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How have Korean dramas influenced Philippine industry?

How have Korean dramas influenced Philippine industry?

Do you still remember Meteor Garden? It was one of the most popular and memorable Asian dramas broadcast in the Philippines. When it was shown on television, most teens at the time, including myself, were eager to go home to watch the episodes. Since then, various Asian dramas have been emerging and, presently, Korean dramas are one of the most popular in Asia, if not around the world. Many children, teens, and even adults have adored Korean dramas ever since these were first introduced in the Philippines in the 2000s.

Filipinos has always been welcoming of foreign trends and culture. As such, Korean culture and trends as seen in Korean dramas have invaded and been deeply rooted in Philippine society today. Korean dramas have greatly influenced the food, fashion, cosmetics, music, and entertainment industries, as well as people’s views and preferences.

Most Korean dramas showcase the exquisiteness of Korean cuisine, influencing its viewers to crave the experience of Korean food. Kimchi, ramyeon, bibimbap, samgyeopsal, kimbap, and bulgogi are some of the most popular Korean dishes in the Philippines. Many Korean restaurants have been established in the country to cater to the increasing Korean food market.  Online videos about the samyang ramyeon challenge—or eating super spicy instant Korean ramen—have also been circulating in social media. Restaurants and retail stores have also seized the opportunity to earn more profits, with many selling ramyeon.

Fashion and beauty
According the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, fashion is a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people. Fashion is a distinctive and often constant trend in the style in which a person dresses. Media places a significant role on introducing fashion trends. Through Korean dramas, Korean fashion has spread and has gained popularity among the Filipino masses. Most Filipino teens mimic the fashion sense of Koreans. Boutiques that sell trendy Korean clothing and accessories can be seen in most shopping malls around the country. Korean cosmetics are also gaining popularity, as we are influenced by Korean actors and actresses with radiant and flawless skin.

Language is the system of words or signs that people use to express thoughts and feelings to each other. Language can be a barrier to communication and, to better understand the Korean language, many Filipinos have learned to speak Korean. In 2017, Education Secretary Leonor Briones and South Korean Ambassador Kim Jae Shin signed a memorandum of agreement to give students in the Philippines opportunities to develop their skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking Korean. Due to the exposure to Korean dramas, we can now hear many Filipinos use simple words and phrases, such as an “oppa” (brother), “unni” (sister), “anyeonghaseyo” (hello), and others.

Many Korean drama fans have been dreaming of traveling to South Korea to see scenic locations, such as Gyeongbokgung Palace (the major legal residence of the royal family during the Joseon Dynasty), N Soul Tower, Jeju Island (located atop Namsan Mountain in the center of the city, offering a great scenic view of the cityscape), Namiseom Island (which became popular after appearing in the Korean drama Winter Sonata in 2002), and many more.

The huge viewer demand has prompted Philippine television stations to import Korean dramas. Top Korean drama series, such as Lovers in Paris, Full House, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, Stairway to Heaven, Coffee Prince, and Boys Over Flowers are imported and dubbed in Filipino, capturing the attention of many audiences through high ratings.

All of these trends or influences are just passing; new trends will emerge and eventually change our ways. We may choose to live in the moment and grasp the opportunities these trends present, as long as we remain true to ourselves as Filipino people. I look forward to experiencing the future influences Korean dramas may bring.

Ms. Tangpos is audit and assurance senior of P&A Grant Thornton in Cebu.  P&A Grant Thornton is a leading audit, tax, advisory, and outsourcing firm in the Philippines, with 21 Partners and over 900 staff members and offices in Makati, Cavite, Cebu and Davao.  For comments on this article, please email   or  For our services,visit; twitter: pagrantthornton, and FB: P&A Grant Thornton.


As published in Mindanao Times, dated 15 May 2018