We all take different roads as we traverse in this journey called life. Let me lead you to my day to day discovery and the simple joy I found as a fan of BAE YONG YOON.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Hallyu in the Philippines

The effects of the Korean Wave is palpable in our country but I've never really thought of writing something about it until I've read Mishio's post in her blog.

Geographically, the Philippines is a part of Asia and we as people belong to the Malay race but almost everyone thinks otherwise. We are perceived to be more Latinos, and I can't blame them because our country has been occupied by the Spaniards for centuries, then came the Americans and the Japanese ding WWII. This resulted in us having a unique culture different from our Asian brothers.

I grew up with a lot of western influences around me. The movies and tv shows that I watch are all American made except for the animes shows like Voltes V. Before the boom of asian dramas, maxican telenovelas are shown by the major television networks. Then I woke up one morning and suddenly the "asian invasion" started. The Taiwanese came first with their dramas and songs. You turn on your radio and you're bound to hear their songs being played in the airwaves. Then 2003 saw the start of the Korean Wave with the showing of Autumn in My Heart, a drama so refreshing in it's portrayal of love. Then Winter Sonata came and suddenly the Filipino's taste in viewing is never the same.

So what is influence of "hallyu" in the lives of most filipinos. Inter-personal relationships will be on the top of my list. My parents are survivors of the Japanese occupation and I've grown up hearing stories of how koreans who were part of the Japanese army acted during the war. So I never really looked into them outside my pre-conceived notion of their character. Two years into my korean adventure made me see them in a new light. They too suffered from the war and those soldiers may just be venting their own frustrations while thinking of their own families suffering back in Korea. Koreans living here tend to be reserved and its easy to assume that they are snubbish. Only to realize that Korea was once a closed country so they are not used dealing with other people other than their own. Language is also a problem since they are just beginning to learn english while we tend to speak english like the americans do. So now I usually make the first move, nothing warms a korean more than me greeting them in their own language and offering a sincere smile.

Our entertainment industry is slowly learning from their korean counter-part. People from the entertainment business are complaining on why we are supporting foreign dramas instead of locally produced one depriving our local talents from making a living thereby adding to the death of the industry. I have written a lengthy reply to one entertainment writer and given my own take (which majority of filipino viewers share) on the issue. Most dramas being shown before the advent of k-dramas have sub-plots that borders beyond the impossible which I find absurb and VERY irritating. Imagine a lead that remains alive again and again even after being killed in countless gruesome ways. Koreans have no qualms of killing their lead if the story calls for it. And networks tend to extend a series up to 2 years if it's doing good in the ratings making the writers create storylines that is veering away from their original plots while most k-dramas have fixed number of episodes. Cinematography is never taken seriously so locations are not visually appealing. Who would have thought that we can boost our tourism if we showcase it our local dramas . But now the tide is changing and our arguments are slowly being heard. It's good to see that local producers are investing more time and attention to what makes the korean dramas click and apply it in their own work. Who knows, maybe the next wave will come from us.

Watching k-dramas makes us Filipinos more appreciative of the asians in us. The values and traditions passed down by our elders which we may have been thrown to the sidelines as we become more westernized are being rekindled. Hallyu may have landed in our shores with less impact as compared to other asian countries but the influence has taken root and I don't see it fading away in the near future. Yes, Yong Joon's wish of having a more equal cultural exchange amongst asians may become a reality sooner than he expects.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marissa,
I came through your blog thru BB's. Was just wondering who is Marissa then read your blog and likes what you wrote, so just dropping u a line to let you know i came by. I just seem to love this topic of Hallyu that everybody is writing about. Like yourself I used to watched a lot of western movies but not anymore. Seems to like Asian movies and songs more as I get older....

10:21 PM

Blogger marissa said...

hi anonymous,

Thanks for dropping by my blog and enjoying my random thoughts. My only regret is that you forgot to put your name so I can't be more personal in my acknowledgement.

9:37 AM

Blogger mishio said...

Good entry here, marissa!
Thoroughly enjoyed reading about the regional effects from your end of the world. My father shared similar stories of the occupation (as a matter of fact, he was near Bicol at the time).

Anyway, K-dramas are appealing for all the reasons you mentioned and more. Whatever the initial draw is, the ensuing interest and acceptance of them usually end up opening up a much bigger world of understanding.

10:25 AM

Blogger marissa said...

hi mishio,

This entry is all because of your posting so thanks again for the spark of inspiration.

Gosh! Blogging is becoming more addicting because I'm always inspired by the great minds of my fellow bloggers.

11:42 AM

Blogger bb said...

hi hi, all of you ladies 'upstairs'...

so today, we're on the topic of the korean wave? actually, there ain't much of one in singapore where i live. at least not as pronounced as, say, in taiwan or hk. but well, at least the average singaporean is now more receptive to k-stuff, including drama, movies, food and taking trips there.

you know what, marissa? i was just wondering last night... would there come a time when i'll find that i've nothing to blog about in my bae-blog? i wonder...

p.s. good to have you back blogging again :p

12:22 PM

Blogger marissa said...


Us not having anything to blog about? Not in a long while I hope. As long as we have other sisters being inspired by Yong joon then we can find something to share.

1:14 PM

Blogger deodhors said...

hi marissa,
thank you for blogging this topic. and i agree with you in all aspect. Hope to see you soon.


5:50 PM

Blogger marissa said...

hi dorie,

Yes we really should meet soon, coffee on me next week?

7:01 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home