Love. Heartbreak. Hope. Restoration. Transformation.
These are the common underlying themes of K-dramas and songs. They are no different from the subject matters tackled by local and Western counterparts. Across cultures, the thrill or kilig of a good boy-meets-girl story ("Full House") and the exciting Cinderella-like transformation of "rich man, ordinary girl" dramas ("Boys over Flowers") appeal to women. In K-Pop, love and heartbreak are prominent themes. Since music and emotional sentiment cross language barriers, it is not surprising that many Filipinos are able to relate to the melodies of K-Pop songs. And, with the power of the Internet, figuring out what the lyrics mean is just a few clicks away because English and even Filipino translations abound. 2. We share a similar culture.
We aren't just geographic neighbors with South Korea, we also have cultural similarities. The value of respecting our elders and honoring them is embedded in both our cultures and expressed by the use of honorifics (e.g., "po" and "opo" in Filipino and "sunbae" and "nim" in Korean). The theme of familial loyalty recurs in K-dramas ("Baker King," "Shining Inheritance"), making these stories easily relatable to us. If Filipinos can appreciate Western entertainment, isn't it logically easier for us to cotton on to Asian entertainment? 3. K-Pop provides excellent entertainment.
The main purpose of the entertainment industry is, well, to entertain. In recent years, Korean pop culture has succeeded in presenting a fresh perspective on the universal themes contained in their music and dramas. With imitation said to be the sincerest form of flattery, Korean films and dramas have been remade by many Hollywood and Asian producers for their markets. K-Pop, now heard everywhere, has become a genre in itself. Even the uninitiated can recognize its distinct sound. It has made a dent on the Billboard and iTunes charts, which is further proof it has...