The social media-savvy fans of the love team AlDub, who are responsible for getting AlDub to make Twitter world history, are not at the height of puberty, spewing acne and hormones. They don’t hold club meetings in small tree houses with a slum book. They are, in fact, saner than your imagination would like to conjure up.
I meet some of them in a cafe one afternoon, after a random Twitter invite asking them to give me a peek into their world in order to help me understand why they do what they do. I tap the @mainealden16 fans. They have almost half a million followers, and I later find out, about 3,000 official members. But do a quick search on Twitter and you’ll find about 30-40 active AldDub-devoted accounts, every one claiming to be better than the rest. The girls I meet come from various professions: one is a medicine student, the other an HR associate; one is a freelance writer, and one a strategic planner. They are female, in their mid-20s, not at all frightening or obsessive in nature. Some of them are meeting each other for the first time, but they converse like high school amigas reuniting after years. They try not to overwhelm me with their fascination — but sometimes it shows. One will scroll through their phones and discover the latest photo of Alden and Maine taken just hours before our meet-up. “Ay ang cute talaga nila,” one fan will comment. They’ll converse using in-depth AlDub jargon. After our interview, they are going to make rounds of all the bookstores to get copies of the magazines with the love team on the cover.