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Why Korean soap operas and movies are hit in the Philippines

Updated on June 29, 2011

Korean TV shows, soap operas (also called Koreanovelas in the Philippines) and movies are lording it over in the Philippine soil and this maybe a big revelation so as to speak. Although the Korean stuffs are dubbed in local language which is in Filipino, nonetheless, they command a big following in the Philippines and the soap operas are even beamed during prime time, a testament of Filipino’s not wavering adulation. Stairway to Heaven, Jewel in the Palace and just recently the Baker King, to name a few, just won the hearts of millions of Filipinos all over archipelago. There could be a magic formula that was whipped up by the Koreans with their stuffs and this could be the reason why Filipinos go agog and gaga.

Not long time ago the Korean entertainment and movie industry suffered a big blow, as viewership and movie attendance were in a snag. Instead of folding up the resilient and persistent Koreans learned from their struggle and downfall as they discover ways to make up for the lost ground. Yes, changes, improvements and transformation were the key they are looking for in the recovery. The Koreans started to inject life to their dying movie and entertainment industry by virtue of producing quality movies and TV shows, by using their available resources well and coming up with realistic storylines often beefed up by light and funny moments. Soon enough the Korean movies and TV shows were summoned back to life and they are being enjoyed my millions of people not only in the Philippines and Korea but in many parts of the world as well.

Jang Geum and Jung Ho warmed the Filipinos in the TV series Jewel in the Palace
Jang Geum and Jung Ho warmed the Filipinos in the TV series Jewel in the Palace

Now, here are some of the reasons that makes Korean movies and soap operas are a big hit in the Philippines and many parts of the world:

Casting – The casts fits their roles well. They are not only superb in acting but they are also endowed with wit, charm and good looks, especially those who have the lead roles. Lo and behold the young girls of the country cannot hide their admiration with the young actors as they are often seen making deafening yells each time a breathtaking scene sets in. The older women viewers on the other hand are moved with the heartbreaking drama unfolding before their eyes. The male viewers are simply captivated with the exquisite beauty and appeal of the young actresses.

Realistic storyline – We live in real world surrounded by real problems. The Koreans triumphs on this department very well, as they often make their scenes realistic as much as possible and this sinks into the awareness of the viewers. People can easily relate to the soap operas, because they experience same scenarios or perhaps aware that it happens in other people’s lives. There are just a lot of connections that are established and people just love to get involved.

Twists and turns – The twist and turns will annihilate boredom and monotony and at the same time it continuously builds eagerness and interests on the part of the viewers. If the storyline becomes obvious and predictable these will inevitably dampen the peoples’ spirits and eventually they will pull themselves out of the picture and will watch no more.

Sense of humor – No matter what, there are always some light and funny moments that will come in at not the most expected time. This rejuvenates the viewers and makes them enjoy further.

Using the resources well – Even with limited budget the Koreans can still make great stuffs. They don’t thrive in using a lot of camera tricks or great visual effects. They managed to pull through since they pounced more on things that tickles the viewers very well.

Details reigns - The Koreans also have penchant for details like the right facial expressions of the artists, costumes and settings.

The Korean movies, soap operas and TV shows reigns supreme not only on their home country but in various parts of the world, since they use no shortcuts and half-baked acting. The Koreans focuses on the current issues and trends and inject these into the mainstreams of their works to make their stuffs relevant, moving, realistic and enjoying. Koreans do not rely on heavy drama, too much of visual effects, star-studded casting, violence and gimmicks just to get attention and viewership. They instead concentrate on natural acting and consummate storyline to lure people to watch their stuffs.

Thanks for the read…


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    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 

      5 years ago from Philippines

      At first, I said I had no better choice in my hours of TV viewing, so I settled with these koreannovelas because they seem very entertaining. Now I'm hooked! You maybe are right about the impact of these movies to us Filipinos. But beyond appreciating these I don't forget that they are truly Korean culture different from my own Filipino (Pangasinense)culture. It's an added wisdom to know how other people live. Good work, emilgen!

    • emilgen2011 profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener and Emily Geminiano 

      6 years ago from The Land Where Salt is Abundant

      Thanks a lot giops for the visit and kind words

    • giopski profile image


      6 years ago from Oakland, California

      I am a fan of Koreanovelas too given that I too am Filipino though may not completely follow. I agree to most of the reasons that you have pointed out. Added to those reasons is actually the respect and promotion that they give to their own culture which make them truly unique. Whatever genre of soaps that they make, you won't miss at least, a predominating cultural nuances that's truly Korean in nature. The problem with our soaps in the Philippines is that we are too caught up with soaps from other countries that we tend to imitate their styles to the detriment of the TRUE FILIPINO identity. At the end of our soaps, we ask ourselves the question, "Was it a Filipino soap or was it simply a TH (trying hard) attempts at imitating soaps foreign to us?

      Please check my review of a comedy Korean soap "High Kick"

    • emilgen2011 profile imageAUTHOR

      Gener and Emily Geminiano 

      7 years ago from The Land Where Salt is Abundant

      Thanks a lot RL...

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      This sounds great, really makes me want to check out Korean TV, really good hub!


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