Pinoys can finally meet their favorite Korean stars in November—but only if they demand it.
To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Philippines-Republic of Korea Diplomatic Relations, the Korean embassy is holding a cultural festival November this year.
The festival will also cap year 2009 as the “Philippines-Republic of Korea Friendship Year,” as stated by Proclamation No. 14298 signed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo last May 2008.
PEP had a chance to talk to Kiejoo Kim, Counselor for the Korean Embassy in the Philippines, last Thursday, Sept. 17, at Shangri-La Plaza Cinema 3 during the press screening for the upcoming Korean Film Festival in Shangri-La Plaza Cinema 3.
Kim said his Embassy is planning to bring Korean performers to the country.
“We are looking forward to a lot of events in November,” he said. “There will be a cultural event, and we are going to invite cultural performers from Korea so that we can share our cultural legacy.”
PEP asked Kim if the Korean Embassy is planning to include among the cultural performers the Korean pop (K-pop) stars currently making waves in the Philippine music scene today.
“I’m not in a position to guarantee who we can bring to the RP,” Kim answered. “We will try our very utmost to bring our well-renowned Korean stars so that we can really enjoy together with the Filipino people.”
But Kim quickly added that the plan can push through easily if Pinoys loudly voice out their demand, using surveys, blogs, signature drives, and other platforms.
“I think if there is a certain, a great number of audience, I think that should be a very convincing rationale that we really have to bring them here,” Kim affirmed.
Besides, Kim said, the cultural festival will be borne out of “gratitude” felt by the Koreans to the Filipinos, who helped them achieve democracy and freedom in their country 54 years ago.
In 1950, the Philippines sent 7,000 troops to the East Asian country to fight in the Korean war, which ended five years later. It was fought between the Republic of Korea (South) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North).
Kim added that this “sound” relationship made way for the two countries to forge close ties and enhance cooperation in other fields, like education.
Kim explained that similarities between the two cultures paved way for Koreans to migrate to the Philippines. This is why Pinoys enjoy Korean pop culture, he added.
“I think it’s because of cultural affinity, and the way we feel grateful for the Filipino people. I personally feel quite amazed how the Filipino people enjoy and appreciate telenovela from Korea. That is so impressive, we really appreciate that you enjoy the Korean culture so much.”
Examples of drama series that became hits in the Philippines are Autumn In My Heart, Jewel In the Palace, Full House, Stairway to Heaven, and Lovers In Paris—the last two currently being adapted by GMA-7 and ABS-CBN, respectively, as local versions.
And even if Korean songs are not played over the Philippine radio, legions of Pinoy fans are still using the Internet to enjoy music from K-pop stars like Wonder Girls, Rain, SNSD, Super Junior, DBSK, Se7en, BoA, TVXQ, 2PM, Big Bang and 2NE1’s Sandara Park.
- “I hope Super Junior and 2PM will come!”
- “I like this for the sake of the friendship of the two countries. But I don’t think the fanbase for K-Pop is big enough for such event. Safe bet to come is 2NE1 because of Sandara Park.“
- “Yeah Nobody is cute. I want your body, your money not you! (a parody on Nobody by Filipinos)”
- “I became a fan of K-Pop songs because of BoF and Kim Hyunjoong.“
- “I also watch Korean shows and I know a lot of K-Pop artists. What I can say is that they aren’t as good as perceived to be. Bigbang is only patterned after B2K, Super Junior is cute but too similar to N‘SYNC. Rain is world-class but is still a copycat of Usher and JT.”
- “No idea on why other Filipinos are so crazy over K-Pop to think they aren’t that good, they only have a good image when it comes to packaging (fashion and looks).”
- “Let other people live but that’s (K-Pop) what we like. Though I would agree about them being not too talented especially girl group who play too cutesy. Their singers barely belt as well.”
- “No thanks. I only follow K-Pop because of Sandara and only Sandara. But if she isn’t, the hell I care. No doubt Filipino singers could outsing them.”
- “Korean wave is in the Philippines yeah!”
- “Filipinos should just focus on supporting our own music industry.”
Though there are mixed feelings about the Kpop invasion as can be seen from the netizens’ responses – Kpop is indeed invading many parts of Asia.
Meanwhile, Pinoy Kpoppers, holla!
c:asianpopguru, raissa for the headups