AlDub and Nora compared and contrasted
THE 2015 show biz season was paced and ‘crowned’ by the AlDub phenomenon on ‘Eat Bulaga,’ prompting some veteran observers to recall other major trends, developments and events that had an overwhelmingly exciting effect on viewers and fans.
The most obvious precursor was the similarly unexpected impact in the late 1960s of the petite singing champion, Nora Aunor, on millions of Filipinos who quickly elevated her to stardom not just as a singer, but as a versatile actress as well.
Initially, they were enchanted by her ‘golden’ singing voice, which sounded so rich, full and mature, in intriguing and captivating contrast to her tender years.
Soon enough, however, they found many more things about her to like and love!
Quite surprisingly, in the context of those very ‘colonially minded’ times, they loved her because she looked Pinay-na-Pinay, so unlike all of the tisoy and tisay types they had previously adored.
That turned out to be Nora’s inadvertent contribution to our pop culture and national development, and it’s no exaggeration to say that this one, little ‘tween from Iriga eventually made many more Filipinos admit to their Asian (not ‘America’s Brown Brothers’) essenceóand finally embrace it!
After Nora became a staróno, the country’s first declared and nationally anointed Superstaróother ‘Pinoy-looking’ stars were created, most of them petite and kayumanggi-skinned like her (Esperanza Fabon, Perla Adea, Eva Vivar, Rhodora Silva, Dolly Favorito), and their male counterparts (Romy Mallari, Eddie Peregrina, Darius Razon, Edgar Mortiz, Jay Ilagan, Novo Bono and Manny de Leon).
In the ’70s, Nora was so popular that many producers wanted her to topbill their movie projectsóto such an extent that she recalls once shooting five films at the same time!
Eventually, she also conquered and ruled the world of television, making her even more popular and influential.
It’s the influential part that we would like to cite and celebrate, because that’s what makes Nora not just a superstar, but also a significant factor in making Filipinos more Filipino.
The fact that they now had a TV-film idol who didn’t look foreign or idealized but just like them had a unique impact on local viewers’ ability to empathize with the Nora starrers they watched.
They could now believe in those movies more, and see themselves in the ‘ordinary’ characters she was portrayingóso, the effect on them of the best of her dramatic films went deeper.
They also learned to be proud, not apologetic, about how they looked long before other ‘nationalistic’ artists like Francis M, Heber Bartolome, Florante, Gary Granada, Asin and Noel Cabangon seconded their motion.
Even better, the initially ‘just for the fans’ Nora ended up working with the finest filmmakers, who brought out the best in her, so she was more than just popular, she became an acclaimed and inspiring thespic icon, as well!
Let’s hope that today’s fave AlDub tandem will similarly be able to translate their current phenomenal popularity into decades-long significance and excellence!
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