Now this is what I call a “big attempt” towards inviting Filipino Kdrama fans to have their own “space” in the world of Hallyu Wave in the Philippines.
This facebook page is an initiative to form an umbrella group for individuals and groups who are fans of Korean dramas. As much as KPop has been gaining a high level of attention in the Philippines, there hasn’t been an organization that caters to Filipinos who love Korean TV Drama Series and Artists.Korean dramas have crossed the Philippine shores since 2003, long before KPop music and artists gained their popularity. While KPop organizations have been mushrooming throughout the country, it’s only proper to have a group where all Filipino KDrama lovers would “feel at home” and freely interact.
As a staff of the Korean Cultural Center (with headquarters currently located in the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines), it is a personal delight to hope for a day when there will also be a recognized organization catering to Pinoy KDrama aficionados.
Here’s a brief background on Kdramas in the Philippines.
Since Endless Love I: Autumn in my Heart (가을동화) in 2003, Korean dramas have been a vital part of Philippine TV shows, providing its sponsor channels with good ratings. To date, there are approximately 136 Korean dramas dubbed in Filipino and aired in leading local channels: GMA Network 7 and its sister channel QTV 11, ABSCBN 2 and sister channel Studio 23, and TV5 (formerly ABC 5). More than ten recent Korean dramas are lined up to be shown this year including Cinderella’s Sister (신데렐라 언니), My Girlfriend is a Gumiho (내 여자친구는 구미호) and even My Princess (마이 프린세스), which is still airing in Korea now.
Koreanovelas, as Filipinos fondly call Korean TV drama series, have been culturally integrated in the Philippine society for the past seven years. Some of the highly rated series were replayed last year, like My Name is Kim Sam Soon ( 내 이름은 김삼순) and Princess Hours (궁). A number of dramas also had a Filipino remake, the latest being Green Rose (그린 로즈). As a Philippine Studies professor in the University of the Philippines Diliman observed,
…The tremendous popularity of Koreanovela on Philippine television comes at a time when a significant number of Korean students come to the country to learn intensive English. The curiosity of Korean culture is heightened and the interface between Filipino and Korean grows. To date, Filipinos consider Korea as the soap opera capital in Asia and the capital of digital technology as well. All these references to Korea as capital contribute to a level of exoticization in terms of how Filipinos construct and interpret the Koreanovela from their point of view. (Flores 2006)
With Korean pop culture advancing in the country and Filipino fans growing in number, Hallyu will definitely continue to be cultivated in Filipino hearts.
The term “Koreanovela” was coined following the popularity of Mexican and Asian television drama series in the Philippines. The term telenovella is a combination of the word ‘television’ and the Spanish term ‘novella’, which has the same meaning with ‘novel’ in English, thus making telenovellas refer to television dramas airing in longer periods of time. Add the name of the place of origin and we get “Mexicanovela”, “Chinovela” and “Koreanovela”.
Mexicanovelas (‘Marimar’, 1995) were the first to have successful runs in the country but after the first phenomenal Chinovela came in the Philippines (‘Meteor Garden’, 2002), the Filipino audience warmly accepted more drama series from other parts of Asia, Koreanovelas becoming their top favorite.
Korean dramas have found their way in Philippine television since 2003. The first Filipino-dubbed Korean drama aired in 2003 was Bright Girl (명랑소녀 성공기) but the one that gained popularity on the same year was Endless Love I: Autumn in my Heart (가을동화).
Since then, Koreanovelas have become a significant part of the daily schedule of leading TV channels in the Philippines. In this generation, there is no day when you cannot encounter a Korean drama (also called K-dramas) in Philippine television.
I wish one day, there would be a recognized organization for Kdrama enthusiasts in the Philippines :)