BREAKING NEWS: Maine Mendoza Doll-Like and Stunning Photo shoot for a Magazine!

BREAKING NEWS: Maine Mendoza Doll-Like and Stunning Photo shoot for a Magazine!

The Phenomenal star Maine Mendoza is the new cover for the Magazine Rank. The magazine was supposed to be the project last April but due to some reasons it was rescheduled on this month.

This is the perfect timing of  Maine Mendoza for Rank Magazine .  For this month is the second year of Maine Mendoza in Eat Bulaga.

On the website page of Rank magazine they describe Maine Mendoza as of the people, by the people, and for the people
Written and styled by Leo Balante Photographed by: Advan Ramirez and Joshua Ke of Rank magazine:

In a busy Manila street phalanxed by a mob of cheering supporters, the 38-year-old noontime show, Eat Bulaga (EB), had set up a makeshift stage for its long-running segment Juan for All, All for Juan. Amidst the scorching summer sun, backdropped by a line of wooden shacks and a throng of praying men and women of the barangay stood Maine Mendoza, a girl of 22—hair pushed back in a ponytail, a white sleeveless top, leggings and kicks—opposite veterans Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and the comedic and hosting revelation, Paolo Ballesteros.

Upon the virtual instruction given out on a split screen by their so-called Bossing (comedy giant Vic Sotto), the four wove through the crowd going into the lucky winner of the segment. Not long after, a woman in silver hair, tears streaming down her already puffy eyes, approached. In jubilation, she rushed to give Mendoza a hug—an evident display of excitement seemingly bigger than the myriad of prizes that awaited her.

True to the show’s format, a winner gets into an on-the-spot interview that, with the comedic antics of its hosts, gets punctuated by punchlines and unprompted skits that get viewers in the studio and its loyal base of fanatics at homes rolling. The cast of comics identify with whatever an interviewee shares, and yet, like a friend you confide problems with, they let out subtle to full-blown quips that would make even the most dramatic moment unceremoniously funny. They are, after all, agents of escape—and Mendoza, its welcome reinforcement.

The woman collected her shower of winnings but the chance to finally see the half of the love pairing that made waves in Philippine television and social media up close and personal seems to be the biggest prize for the day—made apparent by her unrelenting hugs to the young celebrity, to which Mendoza reciprocates with smiles and facial contortions she had become known for through the years.

Photo by: Advan Ramirez. Satin gown by Mark Bumgarner. Earrings, Celine.

This is not the first time Mendoza was called an “inspiration” to her legions of fans or a “shining light”—a “cure” even—to most of her supporters. While filled with gratitude on how the people had anointed her to be the superstar that she is today, Mendoza remains a reluctant superstar, bemused by her larger-than-life following and her impact to her devoted fans.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet and I always ask myself, why and how. Alden (Richards) and I often talk about how things have happened so fast. We are just two people at the right place and at the right time, who were given this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make people happy, even just for a bit,” she tells Rank in her low, velvety voice, eyes round as saucers, demonstrating a mixture of awe and sincere puzzlement.

Decoding the phenomenon that is Maine Mendoza requires tracing the roots of her unexpected celebrity—how and when a relative unknown has surfaced from obscurity into a showbiz juggernaut. It was in the formative years of AlDub when Nicomaine Dei Mendoza transitioned from a “viral sensation” into a household name.

Of the people

Photo by: Joshua Ke. Top, Vania Romoff. Satin skirt, Mark Bumgarner.

It was two years ago when Mendoza, the online comedic tour-de-force, was christened as the noontime show’s newest support—an accessory to the comic trio of Manalo, Bayola, and Ballesteros, specifically to the character of an aging matriarch, Doña Nidora Esperanza Zobeyala viuda de Explorer. The concocted character of Doña Nidora enlisted the help of Yaya Dub or Divina Ursula Bokbokova Smash, a clever wordplay on the name of the popular online platform Dubsmash, where Mendoza’s Kris Aquino impressions turned heads.

Following her now historic audition to become part of the show, Mendoza took a dive in the world of seasoned comedians with only her 15-second lip-syncs to audio samples of popular songs and movie lines in tow. And barely two weeks into her stint, a chance sighting of fellow EB newbie, television and film actor Alden Richards, elicited a response that surprised even the cast of characters involved in the show, including the two.

By happenstance, the deadpan, consistently emotionless Yaya Dub, at the sight of a dimpled Richards, eventually broke her cold exterior, letting out sheepish schoolgirl smiles followed by the coy “pabebe wave” that pierced through television screens to the hearts of its viewers.

The collective shrieks of the pair’s would-be fans in the studio sparked an ingenious idea that then led to the birth of the portmanteau that the nation will know to be AlDub. And the declaration of Joey De Leon, one of the noontime show’s pillars, proved to be prophetic in calling, in jest, what he dubbed as “kalyeserye” to be a big hit.

Kalyeserye was a satiric re-presentation of dramas made popular in Filipino television screens featuring the two unlikely pair. Mendoza continued on to play the young woman entranced by her “prince” in the person of Richards in a highly-romanticized version of himself. The parody, to everyone’s surprise, resuscitated public interest into a flaccid genre and the saccharine portrayal of two “star-crossed” lovers captivated the nation. It was in the beautiful chaos and the spontaneous combustion of wit, humor, and romance of the show’s daily forty minute-skits where the interest on the person behind the character of Yaya Dub grew—exceeding expectations, especially Mendoza herself.

In a special second-year EB (and show business) anniversary video, Mendoza shares, “Ang daming tao na mas may talento, na mas nararapat sa lugar na ‘to pero ako pa talaga ang napili. At hindi ko alam kung bakit ako. Isang malaking kuwestiyon pa rin ang bakit pero siguro meant talaga ako sa lugar na ‘to.”

By the people

Photo by: Advan Ramirez. White sleeveless top, Mark Bumgarner. White shirt (worn underneath), Robert Friedman at Tryst SM Aura.  Neoprene ball skirt, Edwin Tan. Accessories, Celine.

Day by day, Eat Bulaga produces emblematic images of the Filipino fervor for the underdog and the unexpected and Mendoza’s entry served as the iconic program’s freshest offering to its loyal base of supporters—someone they can easily identify with and aspire to become at the same time.

In an entertainment landscape that tends to put premium mainly on looks, Mendoza stood out from the herd with her non-textbook charisma—an innocuous mystique so intoxicating that the viewers were just drawn to it.

No small thanks to the well-oiled machine ran by the geniuses behind the noontime show, AlDub broke records week by week, ultimately dispelling notions that the interest on the two was just a passing fancy. On September 2015, the pairing first made Twitter history by collecting over 12 million tweets for an episode with a single hashtag, #ALDUBMostAwaitedDate. This was fast replaced the week after by registering another record of over 26 million tweets generated in a day by the hashtag, #ALDUBEBforLove.

Eventually, on October 2015, a mob of over 55,000 live viewers packed the Philippine Arena, catapulting AlDub to etch yet another historic achievement. Sky-high ratings reached over 50% in viewership in Mega Manila alone. Online, the event marked an all-time high record of 41 million tweets for the hashtag #AlDubEBTamangPanahon—a figure that is greater than the population of Poland and Canada.

It’s this old and new media dominance that turned Mendoza (on Instagram, she has amassed over 2 million followers and counting) into a bankable star, signing endorsement contracts even before she was allowed to speak in her true voice. She became the face that sold beauty products, fast food, banking services, mobile phones, clothing, beverages, and even home care products—yes, bleach.

Photo by: Advan Ramirez. From left: On Cezar: white button-down shirt, Tommy Hilfiger. Neoprene long coat and jogger pants, Avel Bacudio. On Maine: White sleeveless top, Mark Bumgarner. White button-down shirt (worn underneath), Robert Freidman at Tryst SM Aura. Neoprene ball skirt, Edwin Tan. Accessories, Celine. On Corey: White button-down shirt, Tommy Hilfiger. Neoprene long coat and pants, Avel Bacudio.

Not long after, Mendoza’s luster was tested at the tills. In 2015, she appeared in the Metro Manila Film Festival entry, My Bebe Love, with comedy king and queen Vic Sotto and AiAi Delas Alas and love interest Richards, cashing in an opening day earnings of almost 61 million pesos. At the end of the festival, the movie not only grossed at almost 400 million pesos, it also earned a trophy of Best Supporting Actress for Mendoza. The year after, in their first outing as a love pair, Mendoza and Richards starred in the Italy-based film, Imagine You & Me, which earned them highest opening day ticket sales for 2016 at almost 22 million pesos.

“I feel so blessed that people have faith in us, when at times, I do not even know what I am doing right to earn it. But it is something that I do not want to take for granted,” she answers when asked about the people’s reception. “Nothing is ever permanent, that is why I am just here to do what I can to make our supporters proud of us.”

For the people

Photo by: Joshua Ke. Black dress, Labo.art at Tryst SM Aura. Denim jacket, Burton.

Mendoza has long since tested her mettle, making the rounds in the industry from hosting, singing (she also wrote the words for the song Imagine You & Me, which was the theme for the pair’s first film of the same title), and acting in television (Destined to be Yours) and films. However, looking at Mendoza and her continuing romance with the public eye entails more than a review of facts, statistics, and numbers. Now that the AlDub frenzy has quieted down, what is left is Mendoza, the self-confessed “talentless” dreamer, who continues to entrance viewers with her natural charm and easy likability.

Now that the AlDub frenzy has quieted down, what is left is Mendoza, the self-confessed “talentless” dreamer, who continues to entrance viewers with her natural charm and easy likability.

For her Rank cover shoot, she arrived in the location unescorted, not fearing the potential deluge of people that would come her way. In her blue button-downs, denim shorts, and sneakers, she extends her arms to everyone, gives an effervescent smile and nestles in the make-up chair. Apart from her occasional exchanges with long time hair stylist Celeste Tuviera and banters with ace make-up artist Mickey See, Mendoza remains quiet and unassuming in her seat, observing and waiting patiently.

She is mysterious and reserved, yet accessible and warm. She doesn’t thirst for attention, nor aims to be constantly attended to. And yet, there’s a certain sense of familiarity with her that unintentionally lights up the room. This, in great lengths, may very well be the biggest reason Mendoza easily became the toast of the tinsel town—at one point, the most popular and talked about.

Photo by: Joshua Ke. Black dress, Labo.Art at Tryst SM Aura.

Two years into the job, Eat Bulaga’s home grown talent now hosts and performs production numbers that she often describes as her weak points. But her solid backing of dutiful fans and accolades disagree. To this date, Mendoza has grown leaps and bounds from the girl tasked to do photocopying duties in their family business to an icon.

She has lit up EDSA with billboards after billboards, landed big endorsement deals, starred in her own primetime show, and received awards and recognition from critics and fans alike, all before reaching her sophomore year into the industry–a feat that all budding newcomers could only hope for. She is the friend everyone is happy to see succeed–Meng and Menggay to the AlDubnation and to the rest of the television-watching populace.

And yet, she’s still grounded on her self-deprecating humor, unafraid to let viewers see her sweat, contort her face, mock a growing pimple on her face, or declare that she needs to go to the toilet. It’s this brand of candor that is characteristically hers that has kept her multitudes of fans stick with her.  And thus, the Maine Mendoza magic remains.

Produced and art directed by: Leo Balante

Assisted by: Analiza Alejo

Production design by: Princess Barretto

Hair: Celeste Tuviera

Make-up: Mickey See

Models: Cezar and Corey at Main Model Management

Makeup for Cezar and Corey: Vanessa Estor

Video by: Mark Madriaga

Special thanks: Mr. Antonio Tuviera, Mike Tuviera, Jenny Ferre, Ramel David, and Michael Uycoco of TAPE Inc., and All Access to Artists, Inc.

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