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Internet and TV personality Maine Mendoza has opened up on her thoughts and feelings about her fame and fandom in an open letter addressed to her fans, the AlDub Nation. While she thanked them for the undying love and support, she also asked for the freedom “to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do.”

The lengthy blog post, which Mendoza also shared on Twitter, started with her expression of gratitude towards her supporters. She also recalled her early days in show business, when the AlDub tandem was formed in 2015 and “when everyone was taking things lightly and we were all just so 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 what I want and say what I feel,” she wrote.

The Kalyeserye star called out some members of her fandom who she said dictated what she should or should not feel. She also said she could not take how some people felt entitled to interfere not just with her career but also her personal life.

“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,” she continued.

Maine – fondly called by her fans as Menggay – said that she realized one day that she was no longer happy, despite all the blessings that she received.

Hindi ko na makita yung tuwa sa mga ngiti ko at kinang sa mga mata ko. Hanggang sa napagtanto ko na iyon pala ay dahil sa ilang mga tao na nakapaligid sa akin. Yung mga taong akala ko ay tunay na nagmamalasakit at nagmamahal sa akin,” she wrote.

The 22-year-old celebrity added that the hate some of her family members, friends and workmates received has gotten out of hand.

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,” Mendoza said.

AlDub shippers’ fantasies were also put to rest when she clarified that she and on-screen partner, Alden Richards, are just friends. She said that Richards, too, deserved freedom and happiness that no amount of money or fame could bring them.

Mendoza said she is also ready to lose supporters. She said she’ll be fine as long as those who truly love and care for her is on her side, including her family and friends.

Despite the hate, however, the GMA-7 actress remains hopeful that wounds will heal and that the fandom would be united again by the same love that brought them together in the beginning. She also encouraged everyone to focus on those who love without any hesitations and expectations.

“I do hope I have also given you enough joy for you to give me the freedom I believe I deserve,” she concluded.

As of writing, the tweet has already garnered almost 63,000 likes, over 16,000 retweets and more than 7,000 replies.

Netizens quickly consoled the Eat Bulaga mainstay and expressed their continued support for her.

“You are so brave!!! I’m always here to support you! [I] love you, Maine!!! God bless,” one fan tweeted.

Mas lalo akong humanga sa iyo, Maine! Salamat sa pagiging totoo,” another tweet said.

Mendoza first rose to fame with her viral Dubsmash videos of Kris Aquino. Her first acting stint in 2015 on Eat Bulaga’s Kalyeserye as Yaya Dub led to the unscripted formation of her love team alongside Richards, hence, the pair’s name “AlDub” and their fanbase “AlDub Nation.”

Prior to the open letter, Mendoza has deactivated her Twitter account after some AlDub fans bashed GMA-7 actor and rumored boyfriend Sef Cadayona.

Photo from Manila Bulletin

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