Life changes so quicky, right, Maine Mendoza?
On February 28, 2015, she was just like any other girl elated and proud of herself for a momentous achievement.
She had just graduated then from college, with a degree in Hotel Restaurant and Institution Management major in Culinary Arts from De La Salle-College of St. Benilde.
“Congrats, self,” she wrote on Instagram.
Her post after that revealed a fashionista lady: Maine in a royal blue dress with a drape that fell off the shoulders and a slit that revealed a little of her left thigh, paired with nude Vince Camuto ankle booties.
Today, two months after being launched as Divina Ursula Bokbokoba Smash a.k.a Yaya Dub (Smash) in Eat Bulaga’s "Juan for All, All for Juan" segment, Maine has become the country’s most-liked female celebrity, as far as social media numbers are concerned.
As of September 18, she has 967K followers on Instagram, well behind Anne Curtis’ 3.6M.
But her last 10 posts have been liked 123,470 times on average.
To put this in mind-boggling perspective, Anne’s last 10 posts got an average of only 32,370 likes.
In the world of social media, these numbers highly matter to cement one’s popularity and likability.
WHO IS MAINE MENDOZA? How did she become the girl of the moment?
Her Instagram account revealed interesting contradictions in this girl’s personality.
Now known as Yaya Dub in Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye and the other half of the phenomenal AlDbub loveteam, Maine said she is at many times hilarious—her natural self, she says—and at times serious and introspective about different things in life.
In one post, she looked gaga and wacky. In the next, she showed her refined feminine side, well-dressed, poised, and elegant.
In her blog, she admitted to being a pessimist. “I'd like to say I'm a ‘realist’, but I am definitely more of a pessimist than anything.
"I have a very cynical view of the world,” she said.
This pessimistic side of hers was reflected on one of her “word” posts: “I don’t understand why some people see negative thoughts as such a bad thing.
"Negative thoughts help me think and for a brief period of time it gives me a subtle motivation, an inner desire to change my life for the better.
"It helps me to figure out which are the things to get rid of to make myself feel better.”
Still, that’s pessimism with optimism.
Before her celebrity status, Maine seriously considered being a chef. She spent six months in the United States for her pre-graduation internship.
“I liked it; considering the fact that I’ve dealt with eggs for six months, I think I can actually consider working inside the kitchen.
"But still, I didn’t think that cooking was for me. I mean, you’ll know it—you’ll know if something is [right] for you,” she wrote in her blog.
She flew back to the Philippines after her internship.
Maine planned to go back to the U.S. and work as a cook again after graduation, but her parents didn’t want her to.
Set up her own restaurant or become a flight attendant—these were the options her parents wanted her to explore.
She thought she wasn’t ready to manage a restaurant, so she set her eyes on becoming a flight attendant.
While waiting for an airline’s hiring period, she helped in the family’s business doing errands—“tagagawa ng kung ano-anong pwede,” she described her tasks.
It was during a boring day at the family’s office that she came across Dubsmash while scouring different social media sites. Naturally a girl who is used to making fun of herself and making wacky facial expressions, she created her very first Dubsmash video, a short clip doing a Kris Aquino impersonation.
Within a day, to Maine’s huge disbelief, that video was viewed one million times. Dubsmash video after dubsmash video, she became an internet sensation.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Maine could not believe it when Eat Bulaga approached her and asked her to do a VTR, which she did.
A few days later, she was informed that she made it and was asked to come on the set of "Juan for All, All for Juan" so she could observe how things are done.
That was Thursday, July 2.
Her TV career officially began that Saturday, July 4, as the nanny of Lola Nidora, essayed with brilliance by Wally Bayola.
In an interview aired at Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho in July, Maine admitted that as a teenage girl, she fancied the life of a celebrity.
It was her secret dream, she said, but one that she has never confessed to family or friends.
“Kasi feeling ko pagtatawanan lang ako kapag nalaman nilang gusto kong maging artista. Ang tingin ko sa pag-aartista noon, medyo impossible. Wala naman akong talent or kahit ano,” she said.
To digress how Maine has commanded such huge popularity will require a different space and a little more scientific research.
But it will be safe to assume that it’s her rawness that people love about her.
She’s natural, even self-deprecating.
She’s not an image moulded by showbiz spin doctors to fit into what people want.
People love her for being herself. She’s relatable.
And the AlDub phenomenon? That’s another inspiring showbiz story.