[news] UPDATED: Korean Embassy to bring K-Pop stars to Manila only by public demand

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).

"They sacrificed very much for a noble cause of defending democracy and freedom, and that's really why we feel so grateful to the Filipino people. That's the backdrop of the very sound relations between the countries," he said.

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 Sandara Park's 2ne1.

FILM FESTIVAL. To celebrate the "Philippines-Republic of Korea Friendship Year," the Korean Embassy is holding a week-long Korean Film Festival, featuring seven award-winning films from the East Asian country.
Leading the list of films to be shown is Oldboy, winner of the Grand Prix during the 2004 Cannes International Film Festival. Directed by Park Chan-wook, it tells a twisted story of murderous revenge and redemption.
The other films are Barking Dogs Never Bite (comedy), Sa-Kwa (romance), Beyond the Years (drama), The Show Must Go On (drama), Driving My Wife's Lover (drama), andForbidden Quest (period piece).

Kim said the films were chosen according to how they could impart the Korean way of life to Filipino viewers.

"The films can show the life of the people, the nation, the country to other countries in a very condensed way. I think they are quite representative with the life of Korea," he said.

But can Pinoys enjoy the films too?

"As you are enjoying Koreanovela, there is 100 percent sure reason that you can enjoy Korean films," Kim said.

The Korean Film Festival will run from Sept. 23 to 29 at Shangri-La Plaza Cineplex

Comments translated:

"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."

source: PEP.ph

23 Responses so far.

  1. Gwen says:

    How about ss501? they`re famous here in philippines because of kim hyun joong.

  2. Anonymous says:

    KPop is the best and much more entertaining than Philippine shows/music. Filipinos are copycat too.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kpop is a lot different from the usual filipino singers/bands.
    Kpop is refreshing. i'm filipino but now a days its hard for one to find original songs in the philippine music industry.

    even though i'm not in the philippines, i really hope some kpop artist would come.

    i'm hoping sm artists would come..DBSK, SuJu, SHINee, SNSD, f(x).
    i love sm town. :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    just bring 2NE1...I think the cheap people only likes them...fine with me, I don't want my idols to be exposed to such a lame environment...Filipinos are biased and they're the ones who made 2NE1 look bad because they're the ones usually bashing other idols and saying "2NE1 is the best."

    Plus, if you criticize Sandara, they'll say this and that and gosh, I'm tired of seeing "Sandara is famous here in the Philippines in every 2NE1 video"

    I doubt that they can bring anyone that BIG...2pm and DBSK (some are stupid for hoping this would happen LOL)...so my bet is 2NE1 - the most logical group to bring

  5. Anonymous says:

    hey ! anonymous at 9:26 am, careful and don't put yourself into embarassment !!.... when Filipinos launch out talent they mean it... not... just packaging on good looks and fashion to name a few we have the world class talent leah salonga, charice pempengco, regine velasquez,lani misalucha, sarah geronimo, yeng constantino, rachelle ann go, christian bautista, eric santos, jed madela, nina,rap salazar, sitti, martin nievera,gary v., aegis, rivermaya, southborder... and a whole lot more...these are the type of singers that could give you the real definition of talent and entertainment...check them out and you'll see what i mean....

  6. Anonymous says:

    hey ! anonymous at 9:45 am...don't be envious of the fact that sandara is famous here in the Philippines and YOU'RE JUST A NOBODY !!

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Anonymous says:

    SM TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    anonymous at 9:45 am : by the looks of your post you yourself is being biased. You just said what we have to tell you straight to your face.

  10. Anonymous says:

    dont bash our race.. filipinos are not what you think.. ur stupid...lame environment..??.. what do you think your country hah?? we dont bash other videos but we suggest on our own opinyion.. u.. just shut up.. die now..!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Okay its not good to bash either Korean or Filipino artist...all of them are great... both country's entertainers work their asses off each and everyday to bring us great music and entertainment and to reach their dreams... to say that one industry is a copycat or one only cares about packaging the artist or group is wrong... its like that in the entertainment industry whether in Asia or even in Hollywood... thats what makes the entertainment industry succesful... Furthermore, Filipino and Korean artist are also very different... in the Philippines the singers tend to be the belting kinds while the ones in Korea are more towards the singing and dancing type... there all different... If you don't like Filipino music, don't listen to it.. if you don't like Korean music don't listen to it.. but at least respect it.

  12. Anonymous says:

    p.s. lets not bash each others cultures or even your own...

  13. Karen :D says:

    I hope ALL of them would come.. especially from JYPE,YG Ent., and SM Ent.,
    and many more!!!!! really exited!!!

    I hope also that all of them will come here in PALAWAN..
    can't wait to meet them especially SUPER JUNIOR and BIG BANG!!!!

  14. hey.!!!! also SHINee PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS PLS.!!!! pinoys also want SHINee so pls include them.!!!!! D:

  15. Anonymous says:

    shinee plzz...
    about talents...
    Filipinos are born with natural talents...
    they don't undergo trainings and just debut whenever they are dicovered...
    Koreans are talented also...
    they undergo trainings to improve their skills and their proffesionalism...
    there's a big difference when you watch Filipino artists and Korean artists perform on stage..
    Most of Filipino artists that are major in singing can't dance well or vice versa...
    whereas Korean artists that major in singing can also dance as well and they can do a packaged performance-->singing and dancing...
    I'm a Filipino and I think we are more talented than any other nationality but we lack experience!!

  16. PAT says:

    I want 2pm WITH JAEBUM.

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. Anonymous says:

    Yea SNSD!! (^_^)

  19. Anonymous says:

    pls bring BIG BANG here!! i really like their songs..they can sing english songs very well..and based on the videos i watched..wow..their concerts are AMAZING!..can't wait to see them perform live!!..BIG BANG is VIP!! BIG BANG FIGHTING!!

  20. Anonymous says:

    omg...pls. bring the cast of bof, 2ne1 and wondergirls.......pls.pls.pls.

  21. Anonymous says:

    whoah!!! pls include shinee,,..!!! i like them so much and i think other filipinos like them too,,.. please!!!!!!

  22. Anonymous says:

    SHINee is the one!!!!! i like other kpop bands but shinee is my favorite!! please do bring shinee here in the Philippines,,...

  23. Anonymous says:

    i like to see kpop bands live!!!! bring them here!~ we will be very happy!! i cant wait to see kim jonghyun! saranghaeyo!

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