[Featured image from EB Official Facebook Page] The ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode seemed like a grandiose season finale to one of the most phenomenal “programs” ever to grace Philippine entertainment. The fact that this writer was at the Philippine Arena itself to witness the developments live made the experience more goosebump-inducing.
Surely, much of my point of view will include insights with the help of widescreen access. But my seat at the Philippine Arena can see the developments going on at the stage itself. The K-Pop influence is evident on the stage used at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. K-Pop fans would find the cross-shaped stage familiar with stages found in some K-Pop concerts in Seoul, South Korea. Also, I ended up tracing on stage the people that hosted and portrayed their characters. The widescreen boards above the stage served as zooming devices for the sake of the folks seated far away from the stage.
The Philippine Arena was packed. The spotlight was an occasional source of discomfort for us seated above. Then again, in order to prove to the naysayers that the Philippine Arena can be filled in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. The audience had to be shown. The world’s largest indoor arena has a total of 55,000 seats. What the naysayers thought can never be filled ended up getting jampacked. This is the crowd that witnessed a love blossom between a couple on TV. Now, this crowd gets to witness this relationship become official.
[Note: I know this is scripted. But in a world where you don’t know the truth anymore, this is a welcome respite to soaps dependent on missing offspring, psycho third wheels, kidnapping and gun-related violence to keep a story going. The villains Duhrizz and Frankie had appearances in this episode too. But they show up at ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode just for the sake of making peace with the season that occurred. Also, this is entertainment. So putting a script to make things like the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode is very much acceptable to me.]
The level of self-awareness that has become the trademark of the phenomenal KalyeSerye is also shown at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. We my not expect all of the loopholes to be plugged. But the efforts in getting them settled is astounding. From YayaDUB’s escape by hanging on to the nearest jeepney. To Lola Nidora’s previous relationships. To the youth experienced by the Kalye’s Angels to give the audience an idea about their age.
Then again, while waiting for YayaDUB and Alden Richards to arrive at the Philippine Arena. Lola Nidora kept everyone entertained. This is her bungalow after all as anticipated in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. So she became the default host for much of the program. She had an opportunity to introduce her family background apart from what Isadora revealed in the ALDUB Road To Forever episode. Her parents, her sisters and her children. Special mention was given to her son, Duhrizz’s dad.
There was also a part in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode where Lola Nidora relived her youth. Of course she had to reminisce with the help of her sisters, Donya Tidora and Donya Tinidora. As each of them recounted their past, their younger selves were characterized by Eat Bulaga’s resident dabarkads. Lola Nidora’s younger self was portrayed by Pauleen Luna. Donya Tidora’s younger self was portrayed by HBD Girl Patricia. And Donya Tinidora was portrayed by Eat Bulaga’s craziest female dabarkads’ host apart from Maine – Julia Clarete.
The ALDUB Nation has constantly guessed the estimated ages of the triplets. The only thing that’s clear was that Lola Nidora is supposedly the eldest. But complications in the labor caused Donya Tidora and Donya Tinidora to overtake her in the labor process. The younger version of the Kalyes’Angels in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon episode gave a hint to the Kalye’s Angels’ age. They all looked like flapper girls from the roaring 20’s. The Philippines was under American occupation at that time. But the jazz culture has seeped into Filipino culture then. And young girls like Tidora, Nidora and Tinidora captured the Clara Bow look in their time.
Lola Nidora also came clean among who the men in the leaked photos became her lovers. None of the men in the leaked photos had affairs with Lola Nidora. So she revealed in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode the photos of the men that she had a relationship with. One was Alberto. A genius that bored her to death because he preferred to talk about the different branches of science. Another was Antonio. (Not to be confused with the Antonio who got Isadora pregnant.) Antonio had a foul mouth and a scary temper. Scary enough to make Lola Nidora nix the relationship. Then there was Anselmo. The one who got away. After losing him, she tried to move on by accepting a betrothal arrangement with Miguel De Explorer.
While her marriage to Miguel De Explorer was arranged. Lola Nidora’s mother did not make it a walk in the park for him. He was “hand-picked” because he’s willing to do what it takes to marry Lola Nidora. To fetch water. To chop wood. And do menial work for Lola Nidora’s family as part of the deal to make himself worth of Lola Nidora. Details that seemed like a justification to the rather harsh treatment she imposed on Alden prior to the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. It took awhile for her to fall for Miguel De Explorer. But he didn’t give up. He stayed strong. And it became obvious that years after she got widowed. Lola Nidora has elevated Miguel De Explorer to a pedestal. A pedestal from which she measured Alden’s worthiness of YayaDUB.
Soon, she had to talk about YayaDUB. Or Maine Mendoza since Alden would keep on calling her “Maine” or “Meng”. That is even if everyone else in the KalyeSerye realm called her YayaDUB. (Alden never called her Divina. On whether it’s an error on Alden or his intention to pursue Maine herself for who she really is, it’s still a wild guess even at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode.) Instead of presenting Divina’s rather sordid backstory. Lola Nidora narrated how Maine Mendoza discovered her talent.
Lola Nidora narrated some basic info on Maine Mendoza at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. But most of the details shared are narrated by family and friends themselves. Maine’s parents shared that as a kid, she really didn’t talk much. They even took her to a psychiatrist. Worried that something is wrong with her as she didn’t talk even at age 5. Maine already shared her self-esteem issues on Instagram before. But her family and friends interpreted this as her actual introverted personality.
Then one of her sisters, Coleen, shared about the time when Maine admitted something to her. She uploaded her DUBsmash video of the Kris Aquino clip from Kris TV. The part where Kris Aquino said “Darla, hindi ito masaya!” (Darla, this is not fun!) She had it recorded with the help of one of the swivel chairs at their home in Bulacan. That was the earliest proof of her creativity in lipsynching. It may be a home-made video. But the effort to capture Kris Aquino’s mixed emotions was achieved. Thanks to the right camera angle and the winning facial expressions only Maine Mendoza can exude. They really allotted a major chunk of the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode to presenting Maine Mendoza as herself.
The ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode also addressed Maine’s dream of becoming a celebrity. It was a dream that she didn’t take seriously. Thanks to her almost extreme introverted nature. But it didn’t stop her from making home-made videos that entertained family and friends. Some of the clips shared even showed her and her friends in restaurant intern outfit doing mundane things. For someone that just came clean with her self-esteem issues, she liked to play-act in front of a camera. It was the self-deprecating humor that eventually evolved into who we now know as Divina Ursula Bocbocoba Smash a.k.a. YayaDUB.
It served as a contrast to how Alden Richards was presented in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. For an actor that survived 7 years in Philippine Tinseltown. The public knew enough about him. His life story was already portrayed and replayed on the GMA drama anthology program “Magpakailanman” (Loose translation: Forever). The ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode chose to recap all the hardships that Alden endured to finally be with YayaDUB. And it all started ever since Lola Nidora came clean with how she never wanted Frankie for YayaDUB in the first place.
Alden endured Lola Nidora’s sharp criticisms. (They seemed like inspired from actual comments that Alden’s haters spewed online long before he got paired with YayaDUB.) He also endured several tests that Lola Nidora put her through. The water-fetching test. The firewood delivery test. The Bicol treats. The swimming test. And the dropped plywood wall to cancel Lola Nidora’s Countdown to Tamang Panahon. (Perhaps because the Eat Bulaga creative department needed a reason to officially ditch the countdown.) The long table and the 1-foot distance. The ALDUB EB Tamang Panaho special episode showed Alden stopping at each monitor to read a love quote before moving forward to a waiting YayaDUB.
Once Alden has officially entered the stage area, he came from the middle of the Philippine Arena carrying 2 boxes. One was a box of roses and the red box underneath it. It was a rather slow walk towards YayaDUB. He put down the boxes first before alighting the stage. When he finally reached the circle where YayaDUB stood, instead of them running to each other’s arms. They walked a few steps around the circle. They hesitated in approaching each other. It was at this point that Lola Nidora appeared from behind the stage at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode.
Lola Nidora held both YayaDUB and Alden. She helped them get closer in the middle of the cross-shaped stage. “Mas masarap ang mga bagay na pinaghihirapan natin. Mga bagay na hindi pinipilit. Hinihintay ang tamang pagkakataon. Dumating na hindi inaasahan. Binago ang mga buhay natin. Yaya. Alden Eto na ang tamang panahon.” (The things we work hard for are sweeter. Things that are not forced. Waiting for the right opportunity. Arrived when we least expect them. Changed our lives. Nanny. Alden. This is now the right time.) With ALDUB now officially a couple at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. Lola Nidora left them to be on their own and walked away.
YayaDUB went after her before she could leave the stage. Alden even called her to face everyone. He then hugged her from behind as YayaDUB hugged Lola Nidora too. This really showed that the best moments in the KalyeSerye involved scenes without words. Just happy and contented faces. The ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode really served as a way to make peace with the past.
Alden then started his speech with “Maine.” (He really can’t call her Divina. And the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode is no exception.) “Ang tagal kong hinintay ‘tong chance na to. Gusto kong sabihin sa ‘yo. To say that God gave me you. Ang layo na ng narating natin. Dalawang taong naghahanap. And finally nagkita na rin. Salamat sa ‘yo.” (I waited for this moment for so long. I want to tell you. To say that God gave me you. We have gone so far. 2 people searching. And finally found each other. Thanks to you.) Alden then handed over the microphone to YayaDUB for her turn to speak.
YayaDUB didn’t take the mic. So Alden let her take his arm instead to walk the stage towards the front part of the stage. And here Alden serenaded to YayaDUB Brian White’s “God Gave Me You”. He walked around the front part of the stage while singing. YayaDUB’s hand held to his arm as he sang. Alden later was, again, emotional. Halfway in the song, he stopped to shed a few tears and hugged YayaDUB instead. It is official. ALDUB is the Philippines’ sweethearts as seen in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode.
Alden later shared the mic with YayaDUB. And she sang some lines from “God Gave Me You” to help Alden compose himself. It was almost a duet in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. It was so heart-warming. Some folks from the audience were shown in tears. But the happiest folks are obviously Kalye’s Angels. Donya Tinidora was her chiding self at seeing Alden and YayaDUB together again. Donya Tidora was her usual screaming self. She almost can’t talk. Lola Nidora then asked Alden to repeat what he told YayaDUB or Maine. Lola Nidora ended up calling YayaDUB Maine too due to Alden. Alden then repeated. “God gave me you.”
Lola Nidora then prodded Maine to reply. “Wag yung DUBsmash. Maine, puede ka nang magsalita.” (Maine, you may now speak.) “Alden ….” Donya Tinidora tried breaking the ice. She noticed both Alden and Maine are shaken due to overwhelming emotions in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. Maine tried to compose herself then. “Eto na. Eto na talaga. Alden, thank you. Alam mo, pinagdasal ko talaga itong araw na ‘to. Ganun din naman ang gusto kong sabihin sa yo eh. God gave me you.” (This is it. This is really it. Alden, thank you. You know, I really prayed for this day. It’s what I would like to tell you too. God gave me you.) With this, Alden hugged her.
After Alden let her go, Maine continued to speak. “Ang dami nang nagbago sa buhay natin. Ang dami nang nangyari. Pero may mga bagay pa rin na hindi magbabago. Alam mo na yun. Isa dun? Ikaw at ako.” (So many things have changed in our lives. So many things have happened. But there are things that will never change. You already know that. One of them? You and me.) She then DUBsmashed KC Concepcion’s cover of “For The First Time”.
Lola Nidora then egged Alden to dance with Maine at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. But before he did, he went back to his red box first. It contained the glittering shoe that Maine left at the EB Dabarkads Pa More elimination round. She left it in her rush to get away from the studio. Maine wore the shoe, hiking up her skirt a little too high for the grannies’ liking. Even Donya Tinidora and Donya Tidora were perplexed with her grand-niece’s rather wild behavior. Once the shoe is on, Alden and Maine danced. After the dance, Alden and Maine waved to the inhabitants of the ALDUB Nation present in the Philippine Arena. They also flew kisses. Maine let one of these kisses land on Alden’s cheek.
Donya Tinidora then came out after the dance to greet the happy couple. Along with Donya Tidora (who can’t stop screaming) and Lola Nidora, they then requested for the ALDUB DUBsmash combos again. Of course, the first combo they did is the angry Malaysian DUBsmash. It was then followed by the Pabebe DUBsmash clips. Everything felt right in the world again through the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode.
Later, a short clip from Rishi Jaitly, Twitter’s VP for Middle East and Asia, gave a short message to ALDUB and Eat Bulaga in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. This confirmed all of the ALDUB-related tweets as ORGANIC. Meaning more than 95% of tweets generated are legitimate. He further encouraged everyone to keep tweeting with anything that contained the ALDUB hashtags. He even encouraged everyone to follow Eat Bulaga’s official Twitter account to further proliferate the love from the ALDUB phenomenon.
All the ALDUB-related hashtags were displayed with their corresponding tweet counts. Alden and Maine then celebrated the records broken with a dance number. A slide show containing all the ALDUB-related hashtags were then displayed on the widescreen monitors at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. Before the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon ended. The Twitter tally was at 24 million tweets for the hashtag #ALDUBEBTamangPanahon.
Maine opened her thanksgiving speech at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon with a joke. “Grabe. May boses ako di ba? Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat na dumalo at nakisaya po sa amin ngayong araw. Sa Team Bahay po. Sa Team Abroad. Sa Team Replay. Sa inyo po. Sa lahat ng nagtu-tweet. Maraming maraming salamat po. Hindi nyo po alam kung gaano po kalaking bagay sa amin na makita po kayo dito. Sumusuporta at nagmamahal po sa amin. Nakakatawa nga po isipin na simulang-simula po hanggang Sa Tamang Panahon, nandyan pa rin po kayong lahat. Hindi po kayo nawala. Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat. ALDUB You All!”
(Oh my. I have a voice isn’t it? Thank you very much to all of you who attended and celebrated with us this day. To Team Viewers at Home. To Team Viewers Abroad. To Team Replay Viewers. To you. To all that tweets. Thank you very much. You don’t know how big it is for us to see you here. Supporting and loving us. It’s funny to think about how from the very beginning until In The Right Time, you are all still here. You were never gone. Thank you very much to all of you. ALDUB You All!)
Alden then gave his thanksgiving speech at the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode too. “Eto naman po. Gusto ko pong magpasalamat una kay Lord. Kami pong dalawa ni Maine. Gusto po naming magpasalamat sa kanya. Kundi dahil sa Kanya, hindi po namin kayo makukuha para suportahan kami. Nagpapasalamat po ako sa Eat Bulaga. Ms. Jenny Ferre, thank you po. Mr. Tuviera. Ms. Malou Choa-Fagar. Sa TVJ po. Sa lahat ng dabarkads na host. Sa manager ko po, GMA Artists Center … Sa family ko po. At sa ALDUB Nation. Sa ALDENATICS. At sa lahat ng nagmamahal sa amin ni Maine. Kayo po ang dahilan kung bakit naging posible ito. Kaya para sa atin tuloy ang forever.” He got teary-eyed at this point.
(Here I go. I would like to thank first to the Lord. Us of Maine. We would like to thank Him. If not for Him, we will not have you to support us. I would like to thank Eat Bulaga. Ms. Jenny Ferre [Eat Bulaga Creative Head], thank you. Mr. [Antonio] Tuviera [Eat Bulaga Producer]. Ms. Malou Choa-Fagar [Eat Bulaga Over-All In Charge of Production]. All the fellow dabarkads/hosts. To my manager, GMA Artists Center … To my family. And to the ALDUB Nation. To the ALDENATICS. And everyone who loves us of Maine. You are the reason why this was possible. So for us, forever continues.)
The part in the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode where Lola Nidora got her diary back turned out to be a fitting epilogue. It was one of the main factors early in the KalyeSerye. It pushed Lola Nidora then to “sell” YayaDUB to the man who could’ve ransomed the said diary. The diary retrieval (and Boss Joey de Leon’s antics) served as positive notes to end what may have been Season 1 of the phenomenal KalyeSerye.
Can’t get enough of the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode? The YouTube livestream version is now available. The clip is attached below for everyone to enjoy. Send your thank-you notes and feedback to Eat Bulaga’s social media accounts. Like their official Facebook page. And follow them on Twitter @EatBulaga.
The best has yet to come. But most inhabitants of the ALDUB Nation are far from getting over the ALDUB EB Tamang Panahon special episode. More analytical articles about ALDUB and Philippine pop culture will be underway. So follow us on our social media accounts. Like our official Facebook page, The Philippines Web. And follow us on Twitter @pinasamazing. We’d be expecting you.