The AlDub phenomenon and the Filipinos’ love affair with escapism

The AlDub phenomenon and the Filipinos’ love affair with escapism
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month or so, you most certainly have already heard about the so-called #AlDub love team. It is a recurring segment in GMA 7’s noontime show ‘Eat Bulaga’ starring actor Alden Richards and Nicomaine Dei “Yaya Dub” Mendoza, who first became popular through the website
To say that the unlikely pair has achieved popularity would be a gross understatement. Last August 22, for example, it was reported that there were over 2.5 million tweets that used the hash tag #AlDubAgainstAllOdds.
At the risk of offending the millions of fans of this pair, I can argue that watching #AlDub on “Eat Bulaga” as well as Vice Ganda on “Showtime” will only make Filipinos poorer. How so? Let’s acknowledge the fact that current, past, and future Philippine leaders were voted or put into place by people (they may be rich or poor) who are easily influenced by the media.
To expound on this idea further, it can be told that what we see, hear, and read constantly on TV, radio, movies, music, newspapers, magazines, and social media can influence (unconsciously or blindly) us greatly especially on the way we think, believe, behave, act, decide, vote, rule, govern, etc. 
AlDub phenomenon analysis
The popularity of #AlDub shows that Filipinos can easily get distracted from their true problems in life through inane entertainment

Students of mass communication will refer to this concept as the magic bullet or hypodermic theory of communication. According to this, “the media (needle) injects the message into audience mind and it cause changes in audience behavior and psyche towards the message without their knowledge.”

To a great extent, the media is largely responsible for the leaders we have, the mentality of our people (voters), the quality of life we now are experiencing, and the future we want to pass on to our children and next generation.

The #AlDub phenomenon shows the Filipinos continued affinity with escapism. Instead of being focused on talking about the real problems confronting their day-to-day lives, they are more interested in speculating whether Yaya Dub’s wedding to Frankie will push through or not.

President Benigno Aquino III in many ways is our Escapist-In-Chief. Who can forget about his failure to attend the arrival honors for the 44 PNP-SAF officers who died during an operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January even though he made himself available for an interview on Vice Ganda’s talk show and the wedding of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes?

Our media has a social responsibility to make Philippines a better place by seeking truth and justice and by leaving a positive impact on our people. They should not just pursue profit from politicians or news makers at the expense of making our people dumb or brainwashed.

Filipinos should not fall prey to this example of panem et circenses (Latin for “bread and circuses”), a concept which states that the masses will remain content with their lives if given ample food and entertainment.

At this point, it is good to keep in mind the words of the great American comedian George Carlin: “Government don’t want a population capable of critical thinking. They want obedient workers, people smart enough to run machines and dumb enough to passively accept their situation.”


About Author



Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here:

2 thoughts on “The AlDub phenomenon and the Filipinos’ love affair with escapism

  1. it make me feel like in my younger age…worth watching..and they could give some advises with those “kabataan’…as text text lang kayo na’…so funny but very relevant ang advises nila..kudos to the group of eat bulaga…

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