An Ode to Kalyeserye

Saturday, July 16, 2016

graphic art by Elmer

I first met you one quiet afternoon on July 20. I had just finished my lunch and was getting ready to take an afternoon nap while watching the longest running noontime show on Philippine TV when I saw Wally Bayola, all dressed-up, looking every bit like Grinch exchanging lip syncs with Jimmy Santos via split screen. I laughed hard, sleep forgotten and was so intently focused on the comedic spectacle on my tv screen. I was confused at first what the hell was this dubsmash girl, the one that has been making rounds on my Facebook timeline, and actor Alden Richards were doing on Eat Bulaga and why all of a sudden, I started to feel a little kilig about their brief split screen interaction. Curiosity got the better of me, so right after the show ended, I went online to search about the two when I stumbled upon their July 16 episode and cliche as it may sound, the rest, as they say, is history.

I got to know you pretty quickly those first few days - your characters, your unusual plot, your quirks etc. Soon, being with you became a habit I couldn't shake. I found myself awake at exactly 12:00PM just to catch every single episode. I didn't mind that I just came from a night shift and had barely enough slept at all because of you. I followed Maine and Alden's social media accounts and even followed some fan accounts on twitter and Instagram so as not to missed any news and happenings about them. I found myself buying every magazine that featured my favorite love team on the cover. and had even spent a good two hours everyday reading newspaper and online articles about you or AlDub. I barely noticed that most of my time was devoted to you. Every time I couldn't see you, I'd spent hours re-watching episodes online, and scrolling through twitter and Instagram posts. Even my friends complained that they rarely see me because I had to schedule every get-together or gatherings after Eat Bulaga and weekends are a NO-NO. In short, I got hooked and it scared me to admit it back then. 

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not scared to be tagged as baduy or too mainstream or cheap. I'm just scared because nobody has ever made me feel this way. No one has ever made me feel the way that you do. No one has ever made me so hooked-up to a local love team to the point of personally defending them to online bashers. No one has ever made me so personally attached to an on-screen couple like what AlDub did to me and it's because of this that I can honestly say, I wouldn't be able to take it if they would be separated and had to part ways someday. 

Time indeed flies so fast. You were such a big part of my life that I couldn't imagine myself without you in it. I saw you grow from being nothing but exchanging dubsmashes to something big. I saw you conquer social media with millions of tweets about your name. I saw you being recognized not just locally but all over the world. I saw you being noticed by not just loyal Eat Bulaga viewers but other people as well even international personalities. I saw you receiving accolades and yet you remain humble. I saw how you changed other people's lives - redeeming an actor from his otherwise unforgivable scandal, making a phenomenal star from an unknown nobody, for giving another actor his biggest break to date. You were such a game changer.

So thank you. 

Thank you for making me happy. 
Thank you for re-installing Filipino Values to us millennials. 
Thank you for the laughter, fun and tears
Thank you for teaching me about Tamang Panahon
Thank you for introducing me to the AlDub Nation Fandom where I was able to meet such talented individuals

And most of all, 

Thank you for introducing us to AlDub and making all of us believe on "love wins" and "forever".

Things might be totally different from last year and a lot of your viewers already gave up but just so you know, what you've achieved will be so hard to replicate or shall I say will never be replicated by anyone. 

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