By KATHY MORAN
It may have been just one of many hashtags in the months-long saga of the AlDub fairy tale, but “Tamang Panahon” last Oct. 24 was exactly that – the right, perfect moment, not just for AlDub but also for the AlDub Nation, the Philippines’ place in Twitter history and for Eat Bulaga and its loyal fans over its 36-year life.
The figure 39.522 million was a mind-boggling one for the tweet count reached by #AlDubEBTamangPanahon by 12:01 am of Oct. 25. It went beyond the goal of 36 million tweets set by the AlDub nation for the ‘Tamang Panahon’ big event of Eat Bulaga at the Philippine Arena the day before.
So what could come next after setting this benchmark for AlDub, the Kalyeserye and Eat Bulaga?
Well, the fandom’s Twitter way of thanking Eat Bulaga (EB) for AlDub and the Kalyeserye has been captivating the global audience too. In recent days, BBC, CNN and other news outlets abroad have picked up news about this AlDub phenomenon in our shores — and they have featured what they can about it.
CHANGES On Oct. 26, the first day after “Tamang Panahon,” followers of the Kalyeserye were greeted by Maine Mendoza, that is Yaya Dub minus the apron. Even Lolas Tinidora (Jose Manalo), Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) started calling Yaya Dub, Maine. With microphone in hand, the Lolas ask Maine how she feels about the record-breaking event at the Philippine Arena. ”Kinilig ako,” she says about the centerstage hug between Alden and her.
In an interview with Gist we ask Maine how she feels about the transition from “no talk and Dubsmash only” to talking on the kalyeserye. ”Nahirapan po ako,” Maine says. “Nung una kasi sobrang ilang po ako. Kasi parang kilalala ko yung sarili ko before na may stage fright at parang takot sa tao. “ Was it hard to start expressing yourself?” we ask further. ”Ngayon na pinagsalita po nila ako sobrang kinakabahan ako kasi di ko po alam kung paano,” she adds. “I didn’t take any hosting workshops, so parang hind ko po alam kung ano ang gagawin ko.”
What was the process like? “Pinababasa sa akin pero hindi ko alam kung papano talaga i-deliver, kung tama yung pagbasa ko or if there was specific way of delivering the spiel,” she replies. “Wala po akong experience and nung nagaaral po ako hindi po talaga ako palasalita — so sobrang gulat ko talaga. Hindi po ako na orient.”
KALYESERYE GOES ON
Lola Nidora (Wally Bayola) arrives in a state of disarray and anger. After all, she has been able to recover the missing diary — that is the way Tamang Panahon ended at the Philippine Arena on Oct. 24. We see Lola Nidora in a fighting match with the riding in tandem group. She gets back the diary — and a new series starts to unfold. That diary, which has been a source of contention in the last four months, contains family secrets that Lola Nidora feels should remain in the family. There are pages missing in the diary and this upsets Lola Nidora, but there is a new mystery and this one is about to be revealed. Lola Nidora reads the diary, which tells her that she and her sisters and the child that she has taken under her wing must go to the house of their Lola. The diary also adds that they must bring the boy with the dimple with them, the one who is close to the heart of the child she adopted. Story goes that the mama of the Lolas bumped into a fortuneteller in Paris who had predicted the future for her. ”Upang higit nilang maunawaan ang tunay na pagibig. Of course, it says that “They need to go to the house on Oct. 31, 2015.”
The week progresses with more of the words of their Mama read. “Ayon sa diary, may susi sa paso na magbubukas sa unang pag-akyat nila sa inaasam nilang wagas na pag-ibig.” As the mystery deepens, they wonder where they will find the key that will lead them to “walang hanggang pag-ibig?” It is in a flowerpot, they are told. So Lola Nidora and Maine go in search of the flower pot. Both Maine and Lola Nidora turn up empty handed. It is Alden, who joins the search, who finds the key that will open the love without end in bahay ni Lola.
Now that Lola Nidora has opened the doors to Alden and Maine getting to know each other better — Alden visits Maine on the Kalyeserye location to celebrate the couple’s 15th weeksary. “Ano ba talaga yung ibig sabihin ng 15th weeksary,” asks Lola Tinidora. ”Nag ce-celebrate sila ng 15 weeks na magkakilala,” answers Lola Nidora. Also, Alden makes a promise to Lola Nidora that he would bring the key to her. It is of course a big surprise to Maine — and it shows. She says, “Hindi ako na-orient dito.” “Lahat ng bagay magbabago kami lang ang hindi,” Alden shares when asked to say what his message for Maine was.
HALLOWEEN HERE WE COME
By Friday, the stage is set for a Halloween at Bahay ni Lola. They have the key they need. Lola Tidora suggests that they use Waze to find the address of the house. 1886 Kababalaghan St., Barangay Pugot Ulo, Pangmayaman Subdivision. All set. The mission: To get the jewelry box, which is located in front of a big mirror. To do this, they have to get past the “kakila-kilabot na elemento na bumabalot sa bahay.” If they are able to do that, they will unlock the first step towards a “pag-ibig na walang hanggan.”
On Oct. 31, Lola Nidora tells Alden, who is in the Broadway Studio, that they can’t go house-hunting unless he joins their group. Of course, it’s Halloween, so costumes are in order for the day. The three Lolas are dressed as witches. We see Alden, and he is dressed as vampire Edward Cullen of the Twighlight Series. Maine of course, is dressed as Bella. The kilig factor goes wild. We tell Maine that when Buzzfeed watched AlDub clips it said that it thinks that AlDub could also be a US hit. So, we ask, if she could pick any Hollywood star to play Yaya Dub, who would it be? “Si Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling,” she replies. “Sa tingin ko makukuha nila talaga yung role kapag pinortray nila yung AlDub. Kino-compare kami ni Alden kay Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Medyo kwela din yung relationship nila.”
BACK TO THE KALYESERYE
As all good stories go, this one also has a happy ending. They find the house and when inside, as they search for the jewelry box, they get spooked out of their wits. They locate the mirror, which is across a big cabinet with a locked drawer that opens with the key Alden found. The Kalyeserye ends with Alden reading the note in the jewelry box: “Isuot ang singsing, upang ipaalala na mayroong talagang totoong pag-ibig.” A horn sounds as Alden is on one knee and ready to put the ring on Maine’s finger. Maine has her hand ready. Freeze.
The episode last Oct. 31 had a total Tweet count of 3,505,800. A sign that the AlDub nation enjoyed the Halloween special. What has Maine learned about love as Yaya Dub? “Na lahat ng bagay ay nasa tamang panahon,” she quips. “And, everything happens for a reason.”
(Photos from Eat Bulaga Kalyeserye Facebook)