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What Is #Aldub and Why Is It Trending on Twitter Every Day?

Categories: East Asia, Philippines, Arts & Culture, Youth
Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza. The tandem is known as Aldub. Photo from the Facebook page of Eat Bulaga [1]

Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza. The Filipino tandem is known as Aldub. Photo from the Facebook page of Eat Bulaga

Aldub refers to Filipino TV stars Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza who rose to fame by starring in a live drama segment in the Philippines longest-running noontime show, “Eat Bulaga [2]“. The love story of the two characters quickly attracted [3] a large following on TV and the Internet [4].

The plot of the show is fairly simple: two young lovers overcome several obstacles and challenges to convince their elder relatives that their love for each other is genuine. They rarely meet and communicate only through a TV screen.

The Twitter hashtag #Aldub has been trending worldwide in the past three months. Since August, the hashtag has been generating more than a million tweets everyday. Last September 26, it received [5] 25.6 million tweets; that episode surpassed [6] the number of TV viewers who watched the game of world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao in November 2014.

Twitter Asia Pacific and Middle East Vice President Rishi Jaitly acknowledged [7] Aldub as a true “global phenomenon” [8]:

Aldub is a global phenomenon on Twitter and shows how our platform as the social soundtrack to TV has really connected Filipinos who love a good love story.

Overseas Filipino maritime workers show support for Aldub. Photo from the Facebook page of Eat Bulaga [9]

Overseas Filipino maritime workers show support for Aldub. Photo from the Facebook page of Eat Bulaga

The global trending [10] power of Aldub is attributed to the high number of Filipinos living or working in many countries. There are 12 million overseas Filipinos. Many can relate to the love story of the Aldub couple, who maintain their long distance relationship via a split-screen monitor. This is familiar to Filipino families who use webcams and smartphones to communicate with their loved ones in other countries.

Some writers also believe that Aldub appealed [17] to many ordinary Filipinos because the show makes reference to social mores, class divide, and traditional Filipino culture. The show also pokes fun at some of the behavior of the elite and their conservative view of modern relationships.

The social relevance of Aldub was recently affirmed after it received a Catholic Social Media award [18] for promoting positive values. The Philippines has a predominantly Catholic population.

Some, however, are urging Filipinos to pay more attention to social issues instead of watching Aldub everyday. This is the message of an editorial cartoon published by newspaper Manila Times: