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Yup, this is an article about that Filipino pop culture hit, the Aldub street series. It’s that Filipino powercouple show which has been breaking the internet with the current record-breaking 26 million+ tweets last Saturday, just in case you were busy inside your cave. These are crazy figures with viewerships comparable to Pacquiao fights. 
Alden Richards + Yaya Dub = AlDub
But why is this tandem so appealing? Why did it have mind-boggling ratings and tweets? On this article, I put my two cents as a casual young male viewer who relies on Facebook re-runs at night.

In an articleI’ve written about Filipino TV shows two years back, I’ve mentioned that we can infer from the Time Magazine data that there are more people who own TVs than those who have access to the Internet – thus, still making our boob tubes the main avenue for entertainment and news. But because of the ever-changing communications landscape, social media has now penetrated our households; thanks to the internet providers... and free data.
Even the Taiwanese superstar Barbie Xu of the Meteor Garden fame, was intrigued, too. 
But with TAPE Incorporated’s Eat Bulaga, these two platforms were successfully merged by having Yaya Dub (played by Maine Mendoza), a YouTube star with a decent following because of her Dubsmash videos; and with the up and coming leading man, Alden Richards. And true to their 36 years of experience to, Eat Bulaga merged the traditional and the social media by sensitively discerning the two stars’ accidental on-screen chemistry early in the middle of the “Juan for All, All for Juan” segment. The Tito-Vic-Joey line-up has been the pioneer for variety shows and it just proved how well they can capitalize on the waves of Internet fandom, too.
The first 'real' meeting of the two.
The improv show, I observed has general appeal to people of different age rainbow. It appealed to the majority of music-loving Pinoys: the choice songs of the street series are composed of interesting audio snippets relatable to many.  From K-Pop dance tracks to Westlife, from Eva Eugenio’s Tukso to krumping.

Also, the show’s format is split-screen, appeals to the OFWs and the long-distance lovers whose only communication is through the same split-screen internet video calls. It also has the elements of a typical Filipino humor, especially reminiscent of the pre-2000s comedy with the “going-back-to-life” of the late funny man, Babalu.
Wally Bayola as the feisty "Lola Nidora".
Another important element of the series’ success is its raw element. I am a huge fan of stand up comedy and improvisational comedy and these subtle elements can be seen on how JoWaPao (Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros) jelled and exchanged on-the-spot punchlines. The Jose-Wally tandem has been an element of Eat Bulaga for quite some time and this series was a manifestation of their comedic prowess. With the addition of Paolo Ballesteros to the duo, I see that they are the possible replacement for the TVJ in the next years when the latter decides to retire. And as an aside, I come from Mindanao’s fruit basket province, so it cracks me up when they mention about fruits: santol and rambutan.

And just where’d you find a Pinoy TV show where the Princess hangs on a jeepney or a quick-changing bald actor who instantaneously becomes a househelp from a cranky old lady – all in drag? The scenes day-by-day were carefully written so that the next happening would leave the viewing masses in a guessing game. Also, the protagonist-slash-antagonist of the series, Lola Nidora, would once in a while, insert words of wisdom, especially about proper conduct.
The main cast of the series: L-R: Paolo Ballesteros, Wally Bayola, Maine Mendoza, and Jose Manalo.
That’s why even the Catholic media is all praises for the show’s emphasis on spreading morality, virtue and good values. What made this appealing even to our celibate brothers is its seeming revival of cherished Filipino traditions on courtship and chivalry. It is a contrast to its rival show’s - for lack of a better word - “pimping” of a young lady to the Twitterverse. Or a gay guy kissing a recently-wedded fellow mainstay.
The 'barakos' in Dau, Mabalacat City, watching a Saturday episode of AlDub.
Of course, I honestly think that if only we can turn a smidgen part of our Aldub attention towards greater national issues – it’d apparently do staggering changes in our society. But I also came to understand that this is what light entertainment is all about.  Escapism remains to be the culprit; and we need it in order to get away from the hassle and bustle of our daily lives. Watching a Godard film would not do the trick.

Our collective mind was already strained by the daily grind that the majority of us don’t want to flex our mental muscles anymore. That giddy feeling we get from rom-com has far greater rewards than intellectual discussions, undoubtedly.
Fans flock to watch the series at a mall. Photo grab from Facebook.
I honestly think that despite some opposition to its shallowness, the Aldub mania brings good stuff in Pinoy TV. Aldub is a game-changer, a forerunner in bringing a soap opera to the streets; it is a theatrical show which unravels before your eyes on live TV. It’s wholesome and it’s definitely light. It is a ‘throwback show’ in a repackaged, modern outer shell.

Time and again, Eat Bulaga has proven its mastery of the art of wooing the masses since 1979. It seems there’s no stopping TAPE Incorporated from its tracks, and when would it finally stop? When would the Aldub fever subside?  We would just know on the right moment; yes, that’s tamang panahon.
One of the most anticipated sports event in this region, the 28th SEA Games in Singapore, had been recently concluded. And despite the previous forecasts for the Philippines; that we might land in the third or fourth place overall, our teams came up with relatively paltry results in the region: we landed sixth of the eleven competing Southeast Asian countries. Ahead of us in the rankings are Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

This biennial event also became memorable because of the infamous viral video of Pinoy divers John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo. The two divers became internet sensations because of their cringe-worthy flops during the men’s single diving events, where they scored zeros in the men's 3-meter springboard competition last week. Both divers claimed that they only had four days to practice for the event.
The infamous "Splash Brothers". Screen grabs from Sports Singapore.
Sure, our cagers and boxers maintained dominance in the region, but in other fields we’re not as good as we think we are. We fell short of our predictions of 50 gold medals; and instead, came up with only 29 golds. It goes to show how little support our athletes are getting for their trainings. Those two Johns are no exception.

No wonder we don’t get a shot for those colored medals in the past four straight Olympics. In fact, our last best Olympic showing was 90 years ago in the Los Angeles Games where we bagged three medals. And now, the question remains: How can we revive Philippine sports?

More than just a self-loathing, I believe that the Philippine government had been ignoring the cry of our athletes for quite a long time already. The last time we had a president who took sports seriously was FVR.

While this country should have tapped on the huge potential of our Filipino athletes, the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and Philippine Olympic Committee seemed not to be doing their job of helping this become a reality. Rumors of mismanagement and power struggles between heads of the PSC, POC, and of NSA (National Sports Association) have been widespread for years now. Talk about palakasan.
One of our very few Olympic medals: This one is for 1964. 
I had the chance of talking to last year’s bronze medalist in the Asian Games for taekwondo, Mary Anjelay Pelaez. She told me that her fellow athletes need international exposures and better facilities in order to effectively compete with our Asian neighbors. She revealed to me that up to this day, our athletes are still allowed to train at the dilapidated 86-year old Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
The blog author with Filipino jin and
Asian Games bronze medalist, Mary Anjelay Pelaez. Photo taken in 2014.
Anjelay's observation is correct; in fact, our country devotes a measly sum for sports development. To check some figures, Singapore’s annual budget for sports is about 7 billion pesos – the PSC, on the other hand, allocates only 750 million annually.

Sports is a wonderful thing; it has the power to inspire individuals and uplift them from their current situation. It is an organized and competitive physical activity requiring fair play, will power, and unity. All those last three qualities this developing country greatly needs.

As for the not-so-satisfying rank in the Southeast Asia, it's not enough to just require our athletes to bag the gold medals without adequate support and funding from the government. Our athletes need nutrition, physical and mental conditioning, among others.

We’ve been talking a lot about Filipino Pride, it’s high time to back that huge braggadocio up. Are we waiting for Timor-Leste to finally catch up with us?
Last month, the Asian country of Nepal was rocked by a 7.8 earthquake killing nearly ten thousand people. After a couple of weeks, another quake with scale of 7.2 on the Moment Magnitude System hit taking the lives of many Nepalese. Yesterday, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 shook Kanto Region in Japan.

With these unfolding natural events in the Asian Region where the Philippines belongs, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recently released the Valley Fault System (VFS) Atlas which show the faultline and the localities projected to be affected should an earthquake occur. This fault wherein two plates bang against each other, has been by many scientists as already “ripe” that may possible move within our lifetime.

When this fault moves, it will produce a magnitude-7.2 earthquake (experts refer to as “The Big One”) which may hit any time within the densely-populated metropolis.
According to the collaborative study by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and PHILVOLCS, the last time an earthquake originated from the said fault was in 1658. The VFS is an active fault system in the Metropolitan Manila which is composed of two fault segments.

First is the 10-kilometer long East Valley Fault (EVF) in Rizal Province and the 100-km long West Valley Fault (WVF) that runs through the areas of Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Cavite, and Laguna.

Because of this incessant warning, the early rounds of which started more than a decade ago, the local governments were already notified and requested by the national agencies to prepare for such calamity as the damage can be very extensive.

According to the 2004 Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study, it was revealed that a 7.2 tremor in the metropolis may cause the destruction of about 40% of both residential and commercial buildings and may kill nearly 34,000 when it strikes during night time. Accordingly, about 84 barangays (smallest administrative regions) will possibly be affected by this earthquake.

A trickling of catastrophic events would then ensue: blackouts due to the collapse of 13-kilometer electric lines, destruction of about nine bridges, and the devastation of about half a million houses. Streets will also be wrecked and the connection of water will be cut off by the tremors. Sea and airports will also be in ruins.

And with this perceived apocalyptic event, the Philippine local government units are trying hard to respond to this catastrophe. Construction of structures in the five-meter buffer zones is greatly discouraged while residents are obliged to evacuate their dwelling within the buffer areas. Emergence of various tall buildings has to abide by the building code in order to withstand the earthquakes. The MMDA now has about 21 disaster response equipments in strategic areas around Manila which contain tools that can be used should The Big One strike.

Despite this, a more unified proactive response is still needed. MMDA Chief Francis Tolentino, in a press conference stressed out that the current quake readiness is “less than 5 of 10”. Communities need to be more serious in their emergency preparedness drills in order to ensure the safety of the millions who reside and work at one of the most populous cities in the world.
These 10 safety measures just might save your life during the occurrence of a strong earthquake: 

1. If accessible, go to an open space like an open field or a wide lawn. If it isn’t possible, seek shelter under strong furniture during the initial tremor.

2. If the building is still perceived to be hazardous after the initial tremors, get out to a safer, open place.

3. Avoid seeking shelter near shelves, unstable or high piled materials, or hanged objects that could fall. Stay away from glass windows, panelings, and doors, too.
4. If inside a building, never use the elevator. But in case you are inside an elevator during an earthquake, exit at the nearest floor immediately. Push the emergency call button for assistance if ever the car stops.

5. After the earthquake, do not use the elevator until evidently safe.

6. Have your flashlights and batteries ready in case such disaster occurs at night.

7. After the trembling, rescue trapped persons and help in evacuating the injured. You may also administer first-aid to the injured people before professional medical assistance arrives.

8. Secure your property from looters. You may also assess the extent of the damage report that to bank officials.

9. Store food, water, medicine, matches, and other essential items for emergency use. Tune in to radio stations for news and safety advisories.

10. More importantly, have the presence of mind and don’t panic.

Photo Credit:
Experts predict that the West Valley Fault in the Philippines is already "ripe" and may cause tremors anytime soon. About a hundred kilometers of this fault would pass through the localities of Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon City, Marikina, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Cavite, and Laguna.


Quezon City
Bagong Silangan
Batasan Hills
Blue Ridge B
Loyola Heights
Matandang Balara
Pasong Putik Proper
Ugong Norte
White Plains

Marikina City
Industrial Valley

Pasig City
Bagong Ilog

Makati City
East Rembo

Taguig City
Bagong Tanyag
Bicutan (Upper, Central, Lower)
Maharlika Village
Signal Village (North, Central, South)
South  Daang Hari

Muntinlupa City


Dona Remedios Trinidad
Pulong Sampalok
Sapang Bulak

San Lorenzo

San Jose del Monte City
San Isidro
Ciudad Real
San Roque


Bilang Baybay

Gen. Mariano Alvarez
San Jose



San Pedro
Sampaguita Village
San Antonio
San Vicente
United Bayanihan

San Francisco (Halang)

Sta. Rosa
Sto. Domingo



Photo Credits:
         According to the annual list of Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) for the upper house, the following are the Top 10 riches senators in the Philippines as per 2014 data:

10. Grace Poe
Net worth: P89,464,819.36

9. Sonny Angara
Net worth: P100,357,100

8. Serge OsmeƱa
Net worth: P100,770,000

7. TG Guingona
Net worth: P113,382,062.32

6. Juan Ponce Enrile
Net worth: P121,053,463

5. Bong Revilla
Net worth: P181,870,650.12

4. Jinggoy Estrada
Net worth: P192,808,545.13

3. Bongbong Marcos
Net worth: P200,598,008.22

2. Ralph Recto
Net worth: P522,006.655.21

1. Cynthia Villar
Net worth: P1,983,480,135

        On the other hand, here is the rest of the list from ranks 11 to 24:

11. Pia Cayetano – P78.2M

12. JV Ejercito – P75.5M

13. Alan Peter Cayetano – P73.4M

14. Franklin Drilon – P74.1M

15. Miriam Defensor- Santiago – P73M

16. Tito Sotto – P64.3M

17. Nancy Binay – P62.5M

18. Loren Legarda – P39.61M

19. Lito Lapid – P34M

20. Bam Aquino – P24.5M

21. Gringo Honasan – P21.2M

22. Koko Pimentel – P18M

23. Chiz Escudero – P6M

24. SonnyTrillanes – P5.5M

Photo Credits:'Bong'_Revilla_Jr_-3.jpg