Alden Richards & Maine Mendoza Stronger Together

By Apple Ta-as, Niza Mariñas |June 26,2016 - 12:11 PM

 

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza face the Cebu media for their first presscon for "Imagine You and Me"

Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza face the Cebu media for their first presscon for “Imagine You and Me.” (CDN PHOTO/GERARD PAREJA)

 

IT WAS all but sweet serendipity that the phenomenal love team AlDub blossomed in what seemed like an ordinary “Problem Solving” episode of “Juan for All, All For Juan,” a segment of the country’s longest-running noontime show, “Eat Bulaga” last year.

Since then, AlDub – Pambansang Bae Alden Richards and Dubsmash Queen Maine Mendoza – has taken the world by storm, broken Twitter records, gotten numerous endorsement deals, almost turning anyone into a fan with the charms of their young reel love that started in that instant kilig moment on split-screen TV.

And now, after almost a year of wait for the “tamang panahon,” of 12 months of reel romance with the world as a witness of the tandem’s highs and lows, of first dates and first tears and their first ever kiss, Maine and Alden are taking another first together, as they star in their first solo movie “Imagine You and Me” that will hit the cinemas this July 13.

Directed by Michael Tuviera and produced by APT Entertainment, GMA Films and M-Zet TV Production, Inc., the film will be the couple’s first anniversary gift to their fans.

Shot in the picturesque places in Italy and in the Philippines, it is the story of Andrew and Gara whose paths cross in Italy. Alden is back in the genre he is best known for while Maine proves she can do more than dubsmash. She got to write the lyrics as well as sing the film’s theme song.
Alden and Maine were in Cebu Wednesday and Thursday and got to sit with the entertainment media for their first ever press conference for “Imagine You and Me.” Here, get to know more about the love team’s roller coaster ride, their real status and what projects their fans can look forward to as they mark another milestone in their personal lives and career. (AMT)

How are you after shooting the film in Italy?

Alden: Ever since naman po before we went to Italy, we’ve known each other quite deeper naman po as we go along, as we improve everyday. Kumbaga nung pumunta na kami sa Italy, it helped us a lot to know each other. Kasi araw-araw magkasama sa shoot, it’s like what, three weeks? Around 21 plus days. Kumbaga it also helped us also actors to master our craft since we are out of the country, mas nakapag-focus po kami sa trabaho namin bilang Andrew and Gara at kung paano namin mapapaganda ‘yung bawat role.

Maine: Pero talagang mas lalo po namin nakilala ang isa’t isa (Alden: Sobra). Marami po kaming malilit na bagay na nalaman about each other.

Such as?

M: Like si Alden ay sobrang … sobrang cute (laughs). Di, sa amin na lang siguro ‘yun, ‘yung mga ganung bagay di namin nakikita sa isa’t isa dito sa Philippines. Minsan lang din naman kami magkasama, sa workplace so ayun mga simpleng bagay na di ko na
i-she-
share.

A: Let’s keep it private na lang po.

How would you describe AlDub after one year?

M: One word. Stronger.

A: Ako naman po, aside from stronger, parang AlDub has been a success. Parang it give people a lot of inspiration, it gives us and I something to look forward to everyday. And we are very happy with what we have now. Kumbaga, ‘yong blessings po na dumadating sa amin, sobrang uncomprehendable. Di po namin sukat akalain ‘yung mga blessings, na dumadating po sa amin. Parang what have we done to deserve this? Pero since we might have done something good, so kami as we go along, bottom line is we do good things to other people.

M: ‘Yung relationship po namin is stronger din not just as love team. Kasi friendship din kasi namin napakalakas din kasi nakilala na din natin (turning to Alden) ang isa’t isa sa loob ng isang taon, sa dami nating pinagdaanan through ups and downs, lahat.

A: ‘Yong mga challenges, especially ‘yong social media very harsh in a way, kumbaga they tell us things, tell us bad things that’s how I put it na lang po. It’s what we do that matters, kumbaga ano po ‘yong nagagawa namin on TV, nagagawa po namin as us, that’s what matters po and hindi po ang sinasabi ng ibang tao, at hindi ‘yon totoo.

M: At dahil kilala natin ang isa’t isa.

A: Exactly!

You have some of the most passionate fans who react right away to issues about you. You seem to be dealing with these things in a different way, usually may times na Maine is more vocal compared to Alden, who is more the quiet one. How do you help each other? How do you keep your spirits up amidst all the bashing?
M: We have each other’s backs kasi kahit anong mangyari. Sa aming dalawa, talagang kami lang din pong dalawa ang magsasandalan, sa ganyang bagay.
A: Kami lang po ‘yong may understanding sa each other. Ako po, I’ve been quiet talaga in social media and I never answer back, kasi parang it fuels the fire more. Si Maine naman po she is answering not because she wants to get back at those people. She’s just answering to prove a point, that’s how I see it. Kumbaga hindi po para palakihin ‘yong gulo or para lang makasagot for the sake na makasagot. Tao din naman po kami, we are public
figures, pero di naman po kami parang robots na pwedeng diktahan lagi kung anong dapat naming gawin.

M: Ako naman binu-voice out ko lang ‘yong thoughts ko and opinions ko. Kung alam kong may mali, sometimes you have to stand up din.

abDSCF0394

(CDN PHOTO/GERARD PAREJA)

Anong formula niyo para mawala ‘yung parang sawa factor? Kasi araw-araw kayong magkasama?

A: There’s no sawa factor naman po kasi ‘eh.
M: Wala naman kasi may mystery pa din ‘eh, may mga bagay pa din na di namin alam sa isa’t isa.

A: As we go along, we discover something new about each other. We never think of sawa factor with each other kumbaga kasi ‘pag masaya ka naman sa ginagawa mo, di mo na iisipin ‘yun.

M: Tsaka parang it’s like getting to know him, it’s a never-ending process kaya feeling ko talaga kahit gaano pa tumagal to, walang sawa factor kasi meron tayong nadidiskubre sa isa’t isa habang tumatagal, di ba? (laughs)

Kasama ba si Maine sa upcoming book mo?

A: Yes. Meron kaming segment or special chapter, parang the title (of the book) is “Alden Richards: In My Own Words.”

So, you wrote the book yourself?
A: I was interviewed po at ti-transcript po ng Summit team. It was presented to me after the interview. Sabi ko ‘yon pala ‘yong buhay ko sa isang libro. It’s like 300 pages lang din siya, pero andon na po lahat, all in.
M: Grabe na kaya ‘yon ha? Kung magkakaroon ako ng libro, 10 pages lang.
A: Ten pages? Sa dinami-dami mong …

M: ‘Yung spacing pa nga (laughs)

So, what is the real score between the two of you? Everyone wants to know.

A: Kumbaga, what we have now, we try to keep it more private. We don’t need labels po. We don’t need labels for our relationship, sa aming dalawa ni Maine. Basta as long we love what we are doing, we’re doing it to bring out the best in each other. Real score? Kung ano ba talaga kami, parang it doesn’t matter anymore kasi alam naman naming dalawa kung ano kami sa isa’t isa.
M: Pakiramdaman na lang. Ayun nga, what you see is what you get. Hindi naman kami nagpe-pretend sa harap ng mga tao, ‘yun lang talaga ginagawa namin, ‘yung pagsampa-sampa ko, walang ano dun, walang plan, script.
A: We are not doing it for the sake of mas kiligin ‘yong audience. Like kung ano lang po ito, ‘yun po ang natural.
M: Basta masaya.

 

May kissing scene ba sa movie?

A: Basta po panoorin niyo na lang ang movie.

M: Para may element of surprise, kung meron or wala.

After this movie, can we expect a teleserye from the two of you?

A: It will really depend on how the movie will go po.

What are your expectations for “Imagine You and Me?”
M: Actually, wala naman po kaming expectations dito.
A: Ang gusto lang po namin, ’pag pinanood na po siya ng mga tao. Paglabas nila ay masaya sila, at especially in love sila paglabas nila.
M: Kung sakaling mag hit man ang movie na ito, it’s not because of AlDub, it’s because of the story, maganda ang storya nito.
A: Maganda po talaga ang istorya, sa sobrang engrossed po namin, medyo naglagay po namin ng sarili naming inputs. There were new things incorporated based on our contributions. We asked Direk if we can do this, or we can do that … It’s a good thing na binigyan kami ng chance ng creative team to share our thoughts about the script. Kaya po sobrang mahal po namin ang project na ito. There’s a part of it that’s Alden and a part of it that’s Maine, aside from being the characters themselves.

Maine, sabi mo kanina through ups and downs. We are aware of your ups, you have broken records, etc. Ano ‘yung lows mo?
M: ‘Yung criticims ng tao sa amin since sila kasi maraming silang comments on both of us, marami silang suggestions, mga unsolicited.
A: Kasi everyday the social media in the society is very dominant. Sino ba ang walang Facebook, sino ba ang walang Instagram at Twitter? So us, having quite a number of followers naman po, we always look into our social media accounts, how our accounts are doing, (see) comments there ang dami nilang gusto mangyari. In a way, though, it’s not distracting pero parang pinapangunahan nila kami. May gusto po silang mangyari ‘pag di naibigay namin or ng ”Eat Bulaga!” they blame it on us. Like bakit hindi ganito, bakit hindi ganyan. Sometimes may downside din sa amin as AlDub. But it’s manageable, kasi pinapabayaan nalang namin. Kasi at the end of the day naman po, people will always have something to say.

Individually, ano ‘yong issue na pinakanasaktan kayo?
M: Sa akin kasi kapag naman ‘yong sinasabi nila sa akin ‘yong physical, wala lang sa akin ‘yon kasi nga ako nga ‘yong unang unang pang manlalait sa sarili ko. Ila-like ko pa ‘yong panlalait nila. So talagang walang wala sa akin ‘yonSiguro ‘yong ano na lang … ‘yung dinadamay ‘yung family. Pero ‘pag sa akin po, wala lang kasi kilala ko naman ‘yong sarili ko.
A: Okey lang naman po kami kasi we’re publicly seen everyday pero wag na ‘yong isali ‘yong di nakikita. Kumbaga it offends us na pati ‘yung mga nanahimik, kapatid, magulang and relatives, nadadamay kumbaga, who are they to judge our families? Kami na lang. We are okay with it, kahit ano ang sabihin ninyo sa amin. We really don’t mind. Kasi di lang naman kasalanan sa mga mata ng tao ang ginagawa nila but it’s a sin against God.

Your first anniversary is coming up, what can we expect?

A: There’s gonna be a surprise.

Walang clue?
A: Wala … aalis po kami.

M: Tapos babalik din (laughs).

A: Kasi, Kalyeserye began everything on the spot. There’s no plans kumbaga, maiisip on that day or the day before. Pero syempre July 16 is the one year anniversary of AlDub it must be celebrated na maaalala namin talaga.
M: Di lang po ang mga tao ang walang alam. Di din po talaga namin alam (kung ano mangyayari).

A: It excites us on July 16, kumbaga sa lifetime namin ni Maine, this happened. Sa buong buhay namin, when we grow older, ‘pag nagka-
pamilya na kami ….

Alden as Andrew and Maine as Gara in a scene from "Imagine You and Me"

Alden as Andrew and Maine as Gara in a scene from “Imagine You and Me”

Together?
A: Uyyyy! … maaalala namin na once in our lives we’re AlDub. I’m the Al, she’s the Dub. Something na worth it, kumbaga masasabi namin na sa pagkatao namin, malaki naiambag mo, malaking naiambag ng phenomenon.

M: Talagang di na mabubura yan, irreplaceable yan. Lahat ng nangyari nung July 16, nung nagkakilala tayo at sa mga taon pa, nakatatak na yan.
A: When we were in Europe, I had to go home ahead. There was the sidetrip of Coldplay in Barcelona that she wanted to go to but kulang sa time.
M: Dapat pupunta ako. Eh, meron po kasi sa New York, share ko lang … sa love na love ko ang New York, para naman mag-leave ako for one week para manood ng concert. Sabi ko, sakto sa New York pa … ah eh .. July 16! Sa July 16 po ‘yong concert nila sa New York. Malay mo i-guest pala (ang Coldplay) sa July 16 sa Eat Bulaga. Ayyyy.

A: Hindi, talagang sobrang fan si Maine ng Coldplay. Puro Coldplay playlist nito.

M: Oo. Pinaparinig ko iyon sa kanya. Mga favorite songs ko.

Maine, being part of the Juan for All, All for Juan’s “Sugod Bahay,” how did it change you sa pakikihalobilo mo everyday with the masses? What are your realizations?
M: Syempre madami. Kasi iba-ibang storya ng winners. Feel ko malaki ang nakakatulong yung nasa baranggay ako.

Iba na din ba ang humor mo? The way ka magsalita like ginagamit mo ang term na “kinakasama”?
M: ’Yon naman feeling ko, Bulakenya kasi malalim ‘yong Tagalog. Matalinghaga ‘yong salita. Pero when it comes to humor syempre nakakahawa ‘yong makasabay ‘yong JoWaPao (Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros), lalo na si Kuya Jose. So talagang na-a-adapt mo ‘yong humor nila pati ‘yong sa baranggay, pati ‘yong mga tao dun. Sobrang thankful ko na andun ako, kasi dun ako ‘eh, baranggay talaga ako ‘eh. Dun talaga ako bagay kasi marami akong gustong matutunan sa masa nga para ma-expose ka sa lahat, sa mga taong pinupuntahan namin sa araw-araw para sali din ako sa mga istorya nila.
A: Parang once in a while we learn something from the stories of the people, life changing siya—all of the stories. ‘Yong mga wisdom ng mga taong ‘yon, pinupuntahan talaga ‘yon ang mga market ng Juan for All, All for Juan. ‘Yong different barangay ‘yong nangangailangan. Minsan out of the five or 10 winners at least seven have inspiring stories. May natutunan kami at ‘yong audience.
M: Siguro ‘yong biggest realization ko sobrang swerte ko, sobrang swerte ko.

If si Jose nahulog sa ilog, kayo ba do you have major bloopers that we haven’t seen?
M: Wala. Sayang nga po wala ako nung nangyari ‘yon. Baka susunod ako, game ako, seryoso … wala lang, sakali lang. Sayang talaga.
A: Check ko muna kung malinis ‘yong ilog.
M: Sayang nga po. Pero wala pa namang gano’n (na bloopers).

What’s the story of “Imagine You and Me?”

A: It’s a lovestory and it’s our first drama comedy love story in one.

M: Horror..

A: Huyyyy!

M: Syempre ‘pag lumabas na mukha ko, horror na (laughs).

A: Kumbaga it’s gonna be a rollercoaster ride for the audience. Iiyak ka, tatawa, although we cannot say much of the plot kasi ni-reserve po namin ‘yong excitement for the trailer that will be out hopefully next week. So kung ano ang ma-eexperience ng audience ‘yon po ang na-experience namin ni Maine.

Maine, you said AlDub is stronger after a year. Please elaborate on that.
M: Kasi ‘yong simula naman po ng AlDub iba ‘yong relationship namin, talaga di naman kami laging nagkikita. Ayun syempre habang tumatagal lalo nga naming nakikilala ang isat-isa. Sobrang big factor ‘yong nakikilala namin yong isa’t-isa, nakikita namin ang flaws ng isat-isa. ‘Yong relationship namin, habang tumatagal palakas siya ng palakas, dati no’n may mga doubts pa sa isa’t isa pero ngayon ‘yong closeness namin as a love team and friendship namin, talagang kapit lang.
A: Parang ‘yong stronger po is for Alden and Maine kaysa sa AlDub. Emotionally stronger for each other.

So from 80 percent, ilang percent na?
M: Ano … 187.52!
A: And currently working po, going to 200. So, malayo-layo pa po.

Napag-uusapan natin ‘yong Twitter and bashing on social media in general. How do you react to observations na nag wi-wane ‘yong popularity ng AlDub?
M: Alam naman din natin, aware naman din tayo kasi nga di naman namin tini-take as criticism ‘yong sinasabi ng mga tao. Observations lang din talaga, which is minsan nakakabasa naman tayo at kung alam mong tama. So di naman lahat ng nababasa porket negative ibig sabihin bad na siya. Aware naman tayo sa nangyayari sa atin, talagang syempre hindi naman habang buhay …

Maine and Alden at the Kapuso Mall Show in Gaisano Island Mall Mactan.

Maine and Alden at the Kapuso Mall Show in Gaisano Island Mall Mactan. Photo by NORIE JEAM GALOS

Do you agree na nag-wane na ‘yong popularity ninyo?
M: Yes, in a way kasi ewan ko … ‘yon ‘yong observation ko.

A: Pwede rin but at the same time what matters is ‘yong mga naniniwala pa din sa AlDub from the beginning. The ones who really waited for the Tamang Panahon. The thing about people nowadays in social media napakadali magbato ng opinion. Like it’s an open hole na pwede nila ibato kahit sino, and then they have a direct access to the ones they want to send a message so kumbaga it’s so easily accessed kahit sino, walang qualifications kung sino mag-social media or hindi, marami lang talaga gusto magbigay ng opinion negatively or positively or whichever. But at the end of the day, it’s actually what you believe in.

But if we are to look at sa paramihan ng endorsement?
A: Makakasagot lang niyan mga managers namin. (laughs)

M: Kumikita pa din naman. Okay lang naman, sakto lang.

Wala namang nababawasan na endorsements?

A: Wala naman po.

Maine, how did you come up with this film’s theme song?

M: After po nu’ng storycon, sinabihan ako kung pwede or if okay lang po ba sa akin na ako po ‘yong magsulat. Syempre isa po ‘yong karangalan sa akin na ako po ‘yong magsusulat ng kanta para sa pelikulang gagawin namin. Kaya ayun, sinulat ko siya after ko basahin ‘yong script. Binasa ko ‘yong script sa kotse tapos kinuha ko ‘yong phone ko. Sinulat ko kasi fresh pa ‘yong feeling ‘eh kaya tuloy-tuloy lang lumalabas ‘yong salita sa akin. Minsan kasi ‘pag nagsusulat ka imbes puso gagamitin mo, parang utak lahat. So ‘yong kanta lahat, sinulat ko galing lahat sa puso kasi tuloy-tuloy siyang lumabas. So iyon nga, ‘yong utak ginamit ko lang ‘yon for correct usage of words pero ‘yong lyrics talaga, puso talaga ang ginamit dun para lumabas. Syempre inspired by Alden and Maine. Simple lang naman ‘yong lyrics para makarelate ‘yong mga tao.
A: ‘Yon naman hinahanap ng tao. ‘Yong simple lang naman.

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