Sunday, October 7, 2012

Korean Dramas, K-pop Helped Reshape Philippine TV, Music

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The hallyu, or Korean wave, that has swept Asia and other regions has helped in changing how Filipino dramas are made and increased the popularity of K-pop in the Philippines.
This was according to a paper presented by Prof. Ma. Crisanta Flores of the University of the Philippines Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature.
Korean dramas (clockwise from left) "My Name is Kim Sam Soon," "Full House" and "Stairway to Heaven"
(Photos courtesy of MBC, KBS and SBS)

Flores was a speaker at the Hallyu sa Pinas [Hallyu in the Philippines] forum, organized by the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, to discuss the impact of Korean wave in the Philippines.
In her presentation titled "Korean Wave: The Great Splash on Philippine Popular Culture & Life," Flores tackled how hallyu has influenced Filipino culture.
She said since the first wave of Korean dramas started in 2003 in the Philippines, TV networks has produced remakes of popular dramas and enhanced the production values of Filipino dramas. Korean dramas also influenced the youth on fashion.
These remakes are ABS-CBN's "Lovers in Paris," "Only You," "Green Rose" and "My Girl," and GMA's  "Full House," "Stairway to Heaven," "My Name is Kim Sam Soon," "All About Eve," and "Endless Love."
There are a total of 165 Korean dramas that have been aired in the Philippines since 2003.
"Producers make sure that their look, the dialogue and the over-all treatment approximate that of the original Korean dramas and romantic comedies," Flores said.
Before Korean dramas became popular in the Philippines, Filipino dramas were influenced by "Mexicanovelas" including "Marimar" and Taiwanese dramas like "Meteor Garden."
Flores said, "Filipino dramas earlier compared to Mexicanovela have now learned from Koreanovela productions."
She said Mexicanovelas have long-winding plots and subplots while Korean dramas have tighter plots and shorter narratives. The former also have heavy conflicts compared to light and romantic comedies seen in Korean dramas.
Mexicanovelas also show explicit images of sexy women while Korean dramas tend to focus on family-oriented teenage characters.
She cited Filipino dramas such as "Together Forever" and "I Heart You, Pare" on GMA and "My Binondo Girl" and "Budoy" on ABS-CBN that have been influenced by Korean drama production.
Flores said in addition, "Korean dramas  have become a  purveyor of anything Korean, from  gadgets to fashion cars to  food."
She added, "Because of the popularity of Korean drama, not only has it influenced the way young Filipinos dress up and don their hair. It has also  made Korean products prestige goods in the hierarchy of gadgets and other consumer goods."
On K-pop, Flores said it is "currently the biggest cultural product among the culture industries in South Korea."
"K-Pop is the commodification of upbeat songs, synchronized dance movement and youthful carefree aesthetics performed and projected by hardworking, good-looking young Koreans  packaged in digital technology," she wrote in her paper.
The popularity of K-pop gave birth to the proliferation of fan clubs of various K-pop singers in the Philippines.
It also paved the way for the emergence of the so-called P-Pop or Pinoy Pop, which "is a testament  to the immense popularity of K-Pop groups which provided an impetus to young, aspiring Filipinos, most of which are half breeds, to organize themselves as a group of performers who groove and gyrate like the K-Pop idols."
Some of the P-Pop groups include XLR8, Down to Mars, Eurasia and Pointen.
She pointed out that "of all the forms brought to Philippine shore by the Korean wave, it is the emergence of Korean villages and communities that will have lasting effect on the life and culture of the Filipino people."
Flores concluded that, "The Korean wave is indeed a tsunami."
"It will  be a series of waves which does not end in the Korean drama or hallyu nor with the K-Pop. Popular culture is dynamic; it refashions itself into newer forms that in the immediate future shall be defined by the next generation. With a strong culture industry base in South Korea, Koreans will still lead in the commodification of cultural products. Thus, expect more Korean waves to come to shores."
The Hallyu sa Pinas forum was hosted by the Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE)  and sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST).

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