Much has been said in the comments section of my blog last Sunday and it has been a torment for me trying my hardest to moderate. Sleep is a word whose meaning I no longer remember, worse, I get to read the ghastliest point of views that will never see the light of day, at least not on my little piece of web space. But then again, I lost my right to complain the moment I pressed that publish button.

Just to cool our raging passions a little bit, let me put my rational thinking and objective hat on and forget for a few minutes that I am a fan.

So, how did we actually get here?

The truth is, this is reality TV at its finest. This is not your usual, run-of-the-mill telenovela that are fully scripted even up to the color of the socks that a character is wearing. The draw to the show is more to its being real than its being reel. Remember this all started with a real-life “crush” that was spun off to create the phenomenon that it has become today. This is a different genre that is revolutionary to Philippine Television, and most of us are still in shock or are still trying to recover from the confusion.

We have been cast into the fray, in a show that challenges or affirms traditional values. It is banking on social themes that are very relevant to our society’s frame of mind. It mimics our everyday scuffles and struggles through life. And we are conditioned to identify with the characters, to get emotionally involved. This is why everybody can easily relate to it.

Real people with real life problems, how they overcome or succumb. These are all part of the grand drama that captured the fancy of our naturally romantic psyche.

The gauge for which its influence on the audience is measured is through fan participation and interaction, which, at this day and age, is primarily through social media. And the more that people talk about it, the more it is relevant, the more interest is generated. The vicious and the virtuous, the naïve and the competent, the feeble and the firm- all thrown into one big mix of discourse that continuously fuel the raging fire of fandom.

Yes, we have been captured. We cannot but take sides. We are encouraged to take sides. But there can never be a wrong side.

Whether we are partial towards one character or the other, for the both of them, for all of them or for neither of them, we are expected to feel and react that way. The clash of ideas over who is more emotionally invested, who tends to gain or lose, who is doing more or less- these are the very reasons why the act is thriving, continuously shaping our morals and principles as a society in the real world.

And then I regress back to being a fan before I douse the fire that has made this fandom the greatest in the history of Philippine entertainment.

I really find nothing wrong with people articulating their ideas and sentiments as to how they would want this spectacle to play out, for all we know, the production is also taking cues from the social pulse and in a way this is where fans may be consulted as to how they want the story to unfold.

I really find nothing wrong with people trying to defend one character or chastising the other for some mundane things as on-screen reactions and non-reactions or with trying to read through each and every detail of the characters’ expressions, it does not at all influence anything other than feed our appetite for explanations of all things inexplainable.

But sometimes we get so absorbed in our emotions that we resort to insinuations that are downright disdainful, disrespectful and judgmental. However plausible the rationalization for why we are so emotionally invested in this tandem, there still remains the reality that these characters are real people and they get affected by what they hear or read about themselves in social media, especially coming from their own followers. The more we drown in the fervor of trying to make this love story run at our own call, we forget we are already hurting the very same people that we have come to love and admire the most.

It is on this note that I extend my most sincere apologies to Maine and Alden, in behalf of myself, and all the others who may have drifted far from the appropriate expressions of fan passion, consciously or unintentionally. I hope you find it in your hearts to understand and forgive. Godspeed. ~ Vilo