The links between politics and entertainment in the Philippines are well known, but few have noted these links in the media phenomenon known as AlDub. As a subpart of Eat Bulaga, a long-standing midday TV show, AlDub has gained a life of its own, giving its actors national and even global prominence. How was this possible? Was it happenstance or do basic interests and structures explain its popularity? A deep ethnographic account of how popular culture is generated, reproduced, and consumed reveals its anchoring in material structures the interests of which are often disguised or unacknowledged. Anthropology provides a way of exploring such interests and structures.
Keywords: ethnography • politics of fandom • hegemony • material culture • technological mediations