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11 October 2015

One-Minute Essay: "AlDub and JaDine: Cinderella All Over Again?"

This takes only 1 minute 
or so to read. Frankly, who 
has time to read?
What do Aldub and Jadine have in common? Obvious. Two part-Caucasian men falling in love with two typical looking Filipino girls, at least being sold by the powers-that-be as being typical. Both Alden Richards and James Reid have English surnames. The two girls, on the other hand, have Filipino-sounding surnames, albeit Hispanic. Maine Mendoza a.k.a. Yaya Dub isn’t exactly a typical Filipino. She does not have beautiful brown skin but adding the moniker yaya next to her name conveniently make her “masa,” or belonging to the working class. Nadine Lustre is beautiful but she is not as white as Anne Curtis or Marian Rivera. She does not have Caucasian blood in her. She looks like the girl next door. In her many films with the part-Caucasian Reid, Lustre has always played the ugly duckling that eventually gets the prince, the white rich prince to be exact.  

This motif is not new. This is the Cinderella story retold, re-imagined, re-packaged but the core of the message remains. Yes, the millennial Cinderella may be more independent and strong willed; she may have a college degree that will eventually land her a good job but we still want her to get the whitest, coolest and most entitled guy around in order to be validated. As one friend satirically commented when she saw a beautiful brown Filipino woman marrying an ordinary-looking Caucasian,

“Mabuhay, isa na namang Pilipino ang nakaahon sa kahirapan!”
(Long live, another Filipino has overcome poverty!)

She was being sardonically funny but the truth still managed to stick out.  Perhaps, Aldub and Jadine are popular because they do not just symbolize "true love;" they may also represent the feudal idea of love lifting us from poverty even if it’s just a fantasy. 

Images of Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza from GMA Network, Eat Bulaga Social Media Department. Photo of James Reid and Nadine Lustre taken from the poster of “Ang Diary ng Panget.” 
Rationale for the use of non-Free media, click this.

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