Eighty-six percent of Metro Manila residents are aware of the KalyeSerye segment of the noontime show “Eat Bulaga” featuring the characters of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza known together as AlDub, with only 36 percent of the same being aware of Pastillas Girl from the rival program “It’s Showtime.”
This was revealed by the second The Standard Poll conducted by this newspaper’s resident pollster Junie Laylo between Sept. 21 and Oct. 1. Laylo’s team surveyed 1,500 individuals from 76 provinces in the Philippines.
AlDub’s awareness numbers for the rest of the country, however, were significantly lower than the Metro Manila figures. Sixty-four percent and 65 percent of Northern and Southern Luzon residents, respectively,were aware of AlDub. Visayas and Mindanao registered 45 percent awareness each, bringing total percentage for the rest of the country to 57 percent.
In contrast, 40 percent of Southern Luzon and Visayas residents were aware of Pastillas Girl, with Mindanao and Northern Luzon residents registering 39 percent and 38 percent, respectively. Nationwide awareness was at 39 percent, higher than the figure for the National Capital Region.
AlDub was also most popular among urban dwellers (73 percent) the ABC socio-economic classes (71 percent), female respondents (71 percent) and those within the 18-34 years old age range (65 percent).
Meanwhile, 41 percent of urban residents, 48 percent of ABC and 43 percent of female respondents were aware of Pastillas Girl. Awareness is highest among 18-34 years old as 46 percent. Pastillas Girl is Angelica Jane Yap, who first became famous online for making parallels between making pastillas de leche (soft milk candy) and dealing with being cheated on by her partner.
Consequently, survey respondents’ attention to the AlDub story were higher than that for Pastillas Girl’s travails, with 31 percent and 22 percent nationwide, respectively, saying they are always aware of story developments.
The highest number of always attentive to AlDub is at the National Capital Region with 48 percent, while the lowest number of those always attentive to Pastillas Girl is in the same region with 17 percent.
Eat Bulaga is aired over GMA 7 while It’s Showtime is a program on ABS-CBN.
KalyeSerye was recognized in the fourth Catholic Social Media Summit held in Sta. Rosa, Laguna on Oct. 11, with Mendoza receiving the Catholic Social Media Award for being a good youth role model. Mendoza first became famous for her Dubsmash posts where she impersonated movie and television characters using their most popular lines.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines also supported the KalyeSerye, which started airing six days a week starting July 16, for its “noble cause of spreading virtue, values and morality.
AlDub’s online popularity peaked on September 26 with its followers posting an aggregate of 25 million tweets, when the character of Richards was finally allowed to court Mendoza’s under the supervision of a strict grandmother.
Sociologists say the AlDub phenomenon has been successful because people “can relate to the many metaphors and key themes” in the series.
A professor at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Clifford Sorita, says people “can relate to the power-play of a heartless old woman who tries to rule over this poor and helpless damsel in distress.”
Another sociology professor from the Far Eastern University says the characters bring hope to Filipinos. “This is a form of escapism from the many realities in our society,” said Rolando Maningas.
Communication and journalism academic Ericka Bien said the social networking platforms complement traditional media, like the television program Eat Bulaga.
But it is the core Filipino values injected into the love story that many say are responsible for the popularity of AlDub, says another professor, Mart Elias Maranon.