AlDub pair finally meet, but wait …
Even politicians and stars from rival networks couldn’t help but tweet like die-hard fans when the “AlDub” couple finally met each other on Saturday.
The much-awaited eyeball between GMA 7 talent Alden Richards and YouTube sensation Maine Mendoza, aka “Yaya Dub,” which took eight weeks in the making, set Twitter on fire as well.
Its hashtag for the day, #ALDUBBATTLEForaCause, broke the show’s previous record. On Aug. 29, AlDub posted 3.5 million tweets, besting the 3.3 million tweets for Pope Francis’ January visit.
In a phone interview, Jenny Ferre, creative head of “Eat Bulaga” where the AlDub segment is shown, told the Inquirer: “The tweets have reached 4.6 million (as of late afternoon. It was 5.26 million tweets as of 8:30 p.m.). I think Filipinos who live abroad finally got to watch the show and are now tweeting as well.”
The AlDub phenomenon reached fever pitch as the couple met backstage at Broadway Centrum studio, home of the GMA 7 noontime show, “Eat Bulaga.”
Previously, the television lovers who have endeared themselves to millions of Filipinos for their split-screen chemistry, had interacted only on screen.
But Saturday’s much-anticipated meeting between the couple, who stood a mere 5 meters apart, was quickly aborted when resident gadfly Lola Nidora (played by comedian Wally Bayola) blocked each other’s view with a sliding wall.
The expectation had kept fans on edge—and tweeting—about it all day on Saturday.
Inquirer Entertainment’s tweet about the “historic” event was retweeted by Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, who quipped: “Grabe, talo pa ang prime-time soap! Abangan sa Lunes (this beats prime-time soap. Don’t miss Monday’s episode).”
Ferre said other celebrities had tweeted about AlDub, among them Jodi Sta. Maria, a talent of rival station ABS-CBN, and a girlfriend of Mercado’s son, Jolo Revilla.
“Maybe Lani, Jodi and their families were watching the show at home,” the “Eat Bulaga” creative head said.
She added that this latest twist in the AlDub saga still hewed closely to the kalyeserye formula of marrying “hilarity and reality.”
Richards and Yaya Dub really had no idea what would happen on the set, Ferre said, adding, “They were genuinely surprised.
“Yaya Dub tried to remain in character and act comically, but she was obviously thrilled,” she added.
The moment was electric, recalled director Poochie Rivera.
“People inside the studio were holding their breath. They were quiet, but would occasionally burst into waves of screams. It was intense.”
Since the studio couldn’t accommodate all the fans, giant monitors were set up to capture the meeting.
“Everyone was excited and cheering. Kinikilig lahat (everyone was thrilled),” Bayola said of the mood inside Broadway Centrum.
Some fans had lined up outside the studio as early as 3 a.m., and they are the secret to AlDub’s success, said Malou Choa-Fagar, senior vice president and chief operations officer of Tape Inc., the producer of “Eat Bulaga.”
“They were all waiting for this moment and their wish came true,” she added.
When the fans’ euphoria was cut short by the sliding wall, Yaya Dub effortlessly shed tears as well, “because she was overwhelmed by her emotions.” Ferre said, adding that otherwise, “it was very difficult to make Maine cry.”
No dry eye in studio
There wasn’t a dry eye in the studio either, Ferre recalled.
“The fans cried. The hosts, led by comedians Joey de Leon and Allan K, were (also) in tears,” Ferre recounted. “Even Maine’s father, Teodoro, cried.”
Rivera added: “Eat Bulaga hosts Tito and Vic Sotto were so engrossed (in the encounter) as well.”
Richards was as emotional, Bayola said. “I got to talk to Alden after the show and (he) told me that like other actors, he usually prepares before each scene. But not for this show. He cried on the spot.”
He couldn’t help teasing the heartthrob, Bayola said. “I told Alden: ‘Hey, you might be in love with Yaya Dub.’ He just smiled and flashed his dimple,” the comedian recounted.
Bayola, who doesn’t have a Twitter account and is generally clueless about social media, said he was amazed that AlDub has gone viral among Filipinos all over the world, and that it has united celebrities from rival networks.
“We have to wait for a bigger event … when Alden and Yaya Dub finally get to meet and talk,” he said of a phenomenon that could possibly break Twitter.
In Saturday’s episode, Alden and Yaya Dub performed as wildcard contenders on “Eat Bulaga’s” “Bulaga Pa More” segment.
The script had Lola Nidora allowing Yaya Dub to join the contest on condition that she would not meet with Alden.
But the lovers, after two botched meetings, broke their promise and tried to slip away to seek each other out after their performance.
And it seemed the whole world stopped when the couple finally laid eyes on each other—until Lola Nidora slid a wall between them. Later in the episode, Yaya Dub was kidnapped by two men wearing bonnets and was whisked away in a van.
For sure, the cliff-hanger ending to Saturday’s episode will keep fans holding on—and tweeting—and breaking records anew. With a report from Arvin Mendoza, Inquirer.net
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