Revisiting the AlDub Craze

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Credits: AlDub FB (@aldenandyayadub)

Our Obsession with “Kilig”

Kilig (noun): – the overwhelming thrill and excitement felt by someone who is in love or under a strong infatuation, caused by a word, action, or mere presence of the object of love or infatuation. It is characterized by various weird physical reactions such as smiling from ear to ear, laughing uncontrollably, giggling, blushing, hunching one’s shoulders, perspiring (even in a cold environment), cold hands and feet, a strong heartbeat, shaking, or other unexplainable actions. (My own personal definition 🙂 

The peak of the rare social phenomenon in the Philippines known as AlDub happened in the second half of 2015. After almost two years, many are now asking – is the magic over too soon?

One thing’s for sure—the accidental love team of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza will forever go down in history as a marketing miracle, a rare advertizing goldrush event where millions of passionate fans broke social media records, movie ticket sales and tv viewership stats. This duo had remarkably attained many “firsts” in the world of Philippine entertainment and social media. All these happened within the loveteam’s first six months–a real feat indeed.

Marketing experts and media analysts have come up with various explanations about the “Secret Formula” – that magic ingredient that caused everyone from A, B, C and onward down the line in the entire viewership spectrum to stay glued on their TV screens or on YouTube at the height of this “madness”.

But that was in 2015. What’s going on with it now? We do suppose their TV producers or directors are hell-bent on re-creating that magic formula, whatever it may be, and realizing it is not as easy as it seems. An inherent nature of this “magic formula” seems to be spontaneity, an element of “realness,” a real tugging at the heart that couldn’t be summoned merely by a script or tv production.

That “secret ingredient” is what the Philippines calls “kilig”—a Filipino word that has no direct English translation.

Imagine an entire population, or what is known as the “AlDub Nation”, collectively feeling that exact same sensation, although vicariously, at the same time. The result is a widespread phenomenon never before seen on Philippine television or even in the international social media.

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Credits: AlDub FB (@aldenandyayadub)

The AlDub craze, if anything, has demonstrated something in “kilig” that people young and old, whether they be poor, unschooled street laborers, or highly skilled intellectual professionals, married or single, are just drawn to.

There is something in the mere prospect of true, unadulterated pure love that we seem to desperately want to be a part of.

We want to live in the world of this love unfolding before our very eyes, although vicariously through Alden and Maine.

Our primal hunger for love is the real reason why we do most of the things we do. It explains a lot of what we see on social media, for instance—the desire to be liked and admired and accepted. The desire to feel important and treasured. It is such an intrinsic part of you and me, as if we’ve been actually designed for it and it’s a major part of our DNA or genetic make-up. And to be honest about it, of course, we are talking about something beyond just romantic love.

This is why abandoned children usually grow up feeling incomplete. This is why jilted lovers harbor deep emotional wounds, sometimes for years. This is why teen-aged girls give up their virginity way ahead of time. This is why people turn to drugs and alcohol to cover up the emptiness from not being loved, or at least, not being loved as much as they desire to be loved.

And you know what, all of it would not even begin to make sense…. unless you believe that there’s a God who created everything in the universe including you, and that He purposely designed you for love. For His love.

This is why we are forever drawn to love or the prospect of true love. This is why nothing in this world could ever remove that emptiness or unfulfilment or discontent deep down that we keep trying to cover up with busyness, or money, or fame, or material things, or a career, or the love and admiration of other people, or adventure, or power, or illicit sex, or influence, or achievements, or drugs, or beer, or a nightlife, or social happenings, or any form of distraction, or any form of excitement… and the list goes on and on.

God created and designed you for love. For His love. And unless you believe and respond to His love, there would always be something missing in your life, no matter how far you think you’ve come.

God doesn’t want to be your religious icon or an object of religion. He doesn’t want to be your Santa Claus or your genie whom you merely go to for your wishes. He doesn’t want to be your goodluck charm or your talisman to protect you from bad luck. He doesn’t want you to go to Him merely as an emergency recourse in times of trouble. He doesn’t want you mentioning His Name merely for a semblance of morality or to make you look good. He doesn’t want you to see Him merely as your ticket to heaven.

He wants your heart. He wants you to know Him. He wants to be in your life. He wants to have a relationship with you. For real.

Question: Has your search for love ever influenced your actions or decisions? In what way? Please leave a comment. 🙂

Are you a victim of the great big universal hoax?

Imagine living in a world where Joaquin Phoenix is just about the best-looking guy there is.

Photo credit: crosstalk.com
Photo credit: crosstalk.com

I’ve watched the short-lived suspense series “Wayward Pines” on Fox, and couldn’t help but notice its similarity with M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village” movie which stars Joaquin Phoenix. No wonder, Shyamalan is also Executive Producer of “Wayward Pines”.

Both “Wayward Pines” and “The Village” are set in an idyllic community where everything appears happy and normal at first. Later on, one would notice a pervading atmosphere of weirdness in that no one is allowed to leave, and not even a single resident had ever set foot outside the village perimeter fence.

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The “Village” is situated in the 19th-century, a small town isolated deep in the woods. The community is virtually one big happy family and everybody’s dream neighborhood. They have regular picnics, outdoor social gatherings and stuff, the ladies wearing their fancy dresses with fancy parasols, and everybody seems to have a great social life. Yet no one dares to venture beyond the village’s boundary towards the forest. Life goes on normally within the confines of the neighborhood, but beyond that lies mysterious beings – “those we do not speak of” as the villagers refer to them, monsters or unknown creatures that leave frightening warnings in blood whenever any resident tries to step out of the village.

 As a village citizen, one could easily settle into the cozy, familiar, predictable life you’ve always known since birth. No one would risk appearing crazy among his friends by going beyond what everybody’s intelligent thinking accepts and believes. At “Wayward Pines”, people were required to embrace the motto “Work hard! Be happy! Enjoy your life in Wayward Pines!” so they could order their lives and step into blissful routinary ignorance.

“The Village” ends with the revelation that it wasn’t the 19th century after all, but the modern present-day. The village inhabitants — the younger ones at least — were being shielded by the elders from the “cruelty” of the outside world by keeping them cloistered within the village at all costs, and they effectively pulled that off through the monster stories. Having been taught since birth that beyond their village dwelled the “evil ones”, the village youngsters had lost whatever sense of curiosity they may have had to explore beyond their “world”.

This reminds me of yet another movie, “The Truman Show”, which starred Jim Carrey, where the world as the main character knows it was actually just a deceptive creation, a virtual reality where everything that happens was an orchestrated weave of deceTrumanshowption. Unknown to Jim Carrey’s character, he was the subject and lead star in one big, elaborate reality tv show religiously followed by millions of viewers since the day he was born. He had no idea that his family, neighborhood, friends, and everything else were not real but mere concoctions of the reality show producers. He was completely unaware that his every mo
ve, every emotion, every event in his so-called life is captured onscreen and seen by the entire world. Can you imagine the shock, the utter sense of betrayal you would feel if that had been you and you’ve just found out the truth?

In “Wayward Pines”, the shock factor came with the scenario that they were actually living 2,000 years into the future, and that the world as they knew it outside Wayward Pines was completely gone. It’s hard to imagine the ultimate shock of waking up one day to this kind of “reality”.

Somewhere along the streets of Wayward Pines somebody had placed a grafitti of this famous saying on a wall: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.

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What if, at the end of your life, you find that everything you’ve ever bet your entire existence on was in fact far from truth?

Death, or the end of this present life, or the transfer from this life to the next, is the grand ending in this great movie of a life when every question, every mystery, will finally find its answer. Every idea or philosophy would finally either be proved or disproved. It is the point where all arguments about God or religion would cease to exist, because by then the truth will be staring us all in the face.

And what if – at the threshold of eternity, you seek out what you thought were your life’s solid anchors – your knowledgeable friends who seemed to know the answers, the life philosophy you cling to, your version of reality, only to find out you’ve been duped? You’ve always believed there was safety in numbers. But nope, in the end, you find yourself going through the consequence of your life decisions ALONE. And worse, in the end you find out there was only One Life Decision that actually mattered.

One Decision that spelled your destiny for billions and billions of years, for eternity.

You couldn’t help but wonder how anybody could pull off such an elaborate universal hoax so great and so clever it could only be diabolical. You search deep within your soul and realize it was actually the attitude of your heart that opened your life to deception. It wasn’t the brilliance nor the power of the big lie, but YOUR heart, that sealed your fate.

 “He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” – Jesus (John 8:44)