On Nov. 26, Sunday, Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza took to Twitter to clarify several things about her personal life. Among the things she made clear was the real score between her and Alden Richards.
“And for all the love and efforts you have given us, you deserve to know the truth and at this very moment Alden and I are just friends,” Mendoza wrote in a very lengthy letter to her fans. “We are a love team.”
Mendoza and Richards are collectively known as AlDub, a duo regularly featured as hosts on the GMA variety show “Eat Bulaga.” They rose to fame in 2015 and broke records several times on Twitter.
On “Eat Bulaga,” the AlDub duo plays a couple. But as Mendoza emphasized in her letter to her fans, she and Richards are not romantically involved and everything between them is nothing but platonic.
Here is the entire transcript of Mendoza’s letter to her fans. The Tagalog portions have been translated to English and the typographical errors from the original letter have been rectified.
“Hi! You might be wondering what this letter is about. Ako din (Me too) , I am wondering what this letter is going to be about. I do not actually know how to start writing this letter; and I do not actually know either if it is right to do this. All I know for sure is I need to let some things out of my chest. And I couldn’t find any other way to do it so I am writing here on my blog, like I used to.
Bago ang lahat, gusto ko muna magpasalamat sa inyo. Sa lahat ng suporta at pagmamahal na ibinigay at ipinakita niyo sa amin. Sa mga bagay na isinakripisyo niyo alang-alang sa akin/aming dalawa ni Alden. At sa lahat ng iba niyo pang nagawa lalong-lalo na ang pagtulong niyo sa kapwa. Habang buhay akong magpapasalamat sa Diyos dahil dumating kayo sa buhay ko at nakilala ko kayo. Maraming salamat sa panahon at sa pagkakataon. (Before anything else, I would like to thank you. For the support and love you gave and showed us. To all the sacrifices you have done for the sake of me and Alden. And to everything you have done, especially helping other people. I will always thank God that you came to my life and I got to know you. Thank you for the time and the opportunity.)
By the end of this letter I am pretty sure majority of you are going to turn your backs on me and probably hate on me. Pero sabi nga nila (But as they say), speak the truth even if your voice shakes.
When I was new in the business, you all came to my life and loved me for exactly the way I am. Hindi ko kinailangang magpanggap para mahalin niyo. At nagpapasalamat ako dahil tinanggap at minahal niyo kung sino at ano ako bilang tao. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa Diyos siyempre dahil binigyan niya ako ng “kakayahan” at pagkakataon na magbigay ligaya sa iba. (I didn’t have to pretend just to be loved by you. And I am grateful that you accepted and loved who and what I am as a person. I thank God, of course, because He gave me the “ability” and chance to give happiness to others.) I honestly could not be more thankful for the gift of making people happy by just being myself. I believe that is a rarity here in the world of show business, but I am really thankful God had given me that some kind of knack. Maaaring wala nga akong talento pero masaya ako na nakakapagpasaya ako ng ilang tao. (I may have no talent but I am happy that I am making other people happy.) That’s more than enough for me.
I used to be REALLY amazed by the support AlDub was getting back then. I was overwhelemd by all the attention and support you are giving us. AlDub Nation 2015, ang saya saya lang. When everyone was taking things lightly and we were all just so happy. Do you remember the good ol’ days? Back when things are so not complicated? Still worth remembering to this time.
Two years later, a lot has changed but some things remained the same. Masaya pa din kayo. (You are still happy.) I can see how happy you guys are whenever you are all together. Iba yung saya niyo sa tuwing magkakasama kayo. Masasabi kong ibang klase yung pagkakaibigan at samahan na naubo sa pagusporta niyo sa amin. At hindi ako magsasawang ulit-ulitin na sana huwag mawala yan kahit ano pa ang mangyari. (Your happiness is special every time you are together. I can say that the friendship and bonding formed because of your support for us are something special. And I will tirelessly keep telling you that I do not want that to be over no matter what happens.)
Marami kayong nagagawa hindi lang para sa amin ni Alden, kundi para din sa iba. Marami kayong ibang natutulungan na mas higit na nangangailangan. At nagpapasalamat ako dahil ginagawa niyo yan ng kusa, dahil mayroon kayong busilak na kalooban. Salamat dahil ultimo kayo ay nakakapagpasaya din ng iba pang mga tao. (You have done many things not only for me and Alden but also for others. You have been helping those who needed the help even more. And I am grateful that you are doing those things voluntarily because you have good intentions. Thank you because you yourselves are making other people happy.)
I am grateful to have all of you who have walked this path with me. But I need to be honest. I am at this point where I feel like I live in a box. I have not been able to do waht I want and say what I feel because every time I try to express my thoughts and feelings, some of you tend to misapprehend and invalidate them in so many ways. Telling me I am not supposed to feel that way because I am “rich and famous”. Telling me I have no right to be sad and hurt because I have everything a person could ask for. Judging and blaming and getting mad at me for expressing what I truly feel just because you do not agree and it is inconvenient for you. Dictating me what I should feel and should not feel. Ang hirap. Yung mga taong nagsasabi na wala akong dapat na maramdaman kundi kaligayahan kasi pinagpapala ako at dapat akong magpasalamat sa kanila (at sa kanila lang) dahil “wala naman ako kung wala sila”. (It’s hard. Those people saying that I should feel nothing but happiness because I was blessed and I should thank them (and only them) because “without them, I won’t be where I am now”.)
Do not get me wrong, I am thankful for everything I have right now. And I have the Lord and the people who helped and supported me along the way to thank for that. I just could not take how some people feel so entitled in so many things. Hindi lang sa career, ultimo personal na buhay. Minsan nga tinatanong ko ang sarili ko, sino ba talaga ang gumawa sa akin? Ang Diyos ba o sila? Pagmamay-ari ba nila buong pagkatao ko para diktahan ako sa halos lahat ng bagay? Bakit ganun? Ganun ba dapat kapag mahal mo yung tao? Susubukan mong kontrolin ng naaayon sa kagustuhan mo? Dahil tingin mo yun yung tama? Dahil tingin mo doon siya liligaya? (Not only in terms of career, but even in terms of personal life. Sometimes, I’m asking myself, who really created me? Was it God or them? Do they own my whole being that they can dictate what I need to do in everything? Why is it like that? Is that what you should do when you love a person? You want to control the person to follow what you want? Because that’s what you think is right? Because you think that’s what’s going to make the person happy?)
Dumating yung araw na naramdaman ko na para bang hindi na ako masaya. Na kahit samdamakmak ang biyaya ang natatanggap ko, nawala na yung ligaya sa puso ko. Hindi ko na makita yung ligaya sa nga ngiti ko at kinang sa mga mata ko. Hanggang sa nagtanto ko na iyon pala ay dahil sa ilang mga tao na nakapaligid sa akin. Yung mga taong akala ko tunay na nagmamalasakit at nagmamahal sa akin. Hirap. (The day came when I felt that I seem to be no longer happy. That despite the abundance of blessings that I was receiving, the joy in my heart was no longer there. I could no longer see the joy in my smile and the spark in my eyes. Until I realized that it was because of some of the people surrounding me. Those people who I thought really cared about me and loved me. It’s hard.)
Nahihirapan akong dinidiktahan ng mga dapat kong gawin at maramdaman. Napagtanto ko na nakokompromiso na yung kalayaan at kaligayahan ko. At hindi ko kayang mamuhay ng ganoon. (I am having a hard time being told what I need to do and feel. I realized that my freedom and joy are being compromised. And I cannot live like that.) I want to be able to do what I want and what makes me happy because I believe that is how life should be. I do not want to compromise my own happiness for other people’s desires. So this time, I am choosing myself. Ako naman. (It’s my turn.)
WHen AlDub happened, everything escalated. MY life changed drastically when Kalyeserye began. We’ve had blessings on top of blessings. Alden and I were given so much more than we could ask for. But more than anything, we will be forever thankful that God had given us people like you. People who support us in the things we do; those who always stood by our sides and defended us against judgments and criticisms those who love us truthfully as a pair and as two different individuals; and those who never gave up. And for all the love and efforts you have given us, you deserve to know the truth and at this very moment Alden and I are just friends. We are a love team.
I hope you understand that I am here because I love making people happy. I am blessed to be in Eat Bulaga because I get to do what I want to do, and I get to be with such amazing people. I was never into money or fame. All I want in this life is to be free and happy. And I am certain that no amount of fame and money can ever give me genuine happiness. All my life I have been seeking love from people around me. And that is all that matters to me at this moment. As I have said, as you finish reading this letter, a lot of you would probably turn your backs on me. I am ready for it; I knew this day would come. Even if I am left with a small number of supporters after posting this, kahit sampu lang yan, (even if it that’s only 10) for as long as I know (and feel) they truly love me and care for me, I’ll be fine. Or even if I am left with none, I have family and friends who love me dearly and will never leave my side whatever happens. Sapat na yun para sa akin. (That’s enough for me.)
I also owe this to everyone who were dragged into this. Our families, friends, and workmates are being bashed and ridiculed by some. Kahit sinong madikit sa amin pinag-iisipan at pinagsasalitaan ng hindi maganda. Basta hindi naaayon sa kagustuhan ang mga nakikita, nagagalit. (Whoever gets near us, we get negative reactions and bad comments. If it does not fit what they want, they get mad.)
It hurts me seeing them being hurt. It hurts me how some of you are so capable and so proud of throwing so much hate on others- especially on people who care about us. Family and friends outside the industry are being taken into the wrong context, even if they do not have anything to do with the issues thrown at us. Hiling ko lang ay sana bigyan natin sila ng respeto. (I am simply asking that we give them respect.)
Naiintindihan ko na pinoprotektahan niyo lang kami, at nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng ginagawa niyong pagtatanggol sa amin, pero sana maintindihan niyo din na hindi kailangan maliitin ang pagkatao ng iba. Hindi niyo sila kailangan tirahin ng masasamang salita. Alam kong karamihan ng pinagdadaanan ko ngayon ay parte ng mundong ginagawalan ko. (I understand that you are just protecting us, and I am thankful for everything that you are doing to defend us, but I hope you understand also that belittling others is not necessary. You don’t need to say hurtful words to them. I am aware that what I am going through right now is part of the world I am living in.) But some things are really getting out of hand, kailangan na din natin ilagay sa wasto (we need to rectify these things).
But then again, I know, that at the end of the day, love wins over hate. I still believe, and I fervently hope, that the same love who brought all of us here together in the beginning, will heal all scare and unite us again. Let us not focus on those who judge, but to those who love without any hesitations and expectations. I am who I am right now because of that.
Again, thank you very much for the love and support you have given me. I will forever cherish the presence of the whole fandom in my life. I do hope I have also given you enough joy for you to give me the dreedom I believe I deserve. Freedom to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do.
Alden deserves the same, too.
With so much gratitude,