MANILA, Philippines - Even before the phenomenal dance craze Gangnam Style became viral, hit the world, and crack the blast-hardened firewall of the music billboard. Philippines was already swept up by Korean wave. How? Let me count the ways…
Korean restaurants grow like mushrooms in every city and in almost every malls. From fancy restaurants to food stall there’s surely some spice and sauce of Kimchi.
Fabulous, cozy, and warm café that we often seen on Korean dramas are now in every nook and cranny of Manila. Especially near universities where students love to hang out, chat, or meet new people. Also in high end spots where elites drink a good cup while listening to soft music, a place to read, or spent an idle time away from busy city.
Korean bakeshop is starting to be well known too, aside from its pastries, their cakes are getting attention from Filipinos. Korean cake is one of the most artistic, mouth watering, over-the-top elaborate cakes that in town. It's so beautiful that you don’t want to eat it.
Today it’s not hard to find Korean snacks, ice cream, noodles, fermented vegetables like kimchi or any Korean food in my country. In fact you don’t need to find Korean grocery stores to find these products because in every supermarket or malls has a line of Korean goods.
Korean dramas captivate and capture the hearts of Filipinos because of its charming actors and actresses, interesting plots and exciting twists and turns of events. What else but Korean dramas influenced Filipinos the most, and its not only by entertaining Filipinos in a fresh and new level of entertainment fare, but by promoting Korean products that became a household word. Sample of some foods that we seen only in these dramas that Filipino became familiar with are Kimchi, bulgogi, japchae, bibimbap, kimbap, and soju. Products like cell phones, appliances, cars, skin care and cosmetics, and even fashion were so subtly introduce to Filipino through these dramas.
KPOP is defined as fusion of synthesized music, sharp dance routines and fashionable, colorful outfits combining bubblegum pop idols. Every KPOP fanatic Filipinos followed and memorized not only the song and dance moves of their idols but every hairstyles, fashions, and gadgets of their idols too. Some teenagers even studied the Korean language just to be able to sing and understand the songs and to try it on noraebang.
Filipino took their plunge in Korean cosmetics because of its pretty packaging, very effective, inspired by nature, and mostly endorsed by their loved celebrities. Whether to be look alike of their idols or to support the product endorsed by idols, Filipinos are really hooked in Korean cosmetics..
Korean fashion is a big hit to Filipinos, especially to the youth, they tried to copy Korean star by wearing hip and chic Korean fashion trend. Although some clothes are not suitable to our country’s warm climate they still wear it and matched it up with different accessories from head to toe. From large colorful sunglasses to huge edgy shoes. K-pop popularized high-heel shoes, sleeveless tops and fashionable accessories, short shorts, and boots. Few years ago Filipinos bought their Korean outfits and accessories online but today some department store, boutique, fancy store, and clothing shops have Korean inspired clothing designs ranging from basic casual items to stylish items for trend-conscious consumers.
Korean salons are popping up all over the city. Filipino love the oh-so-gorgeous 'dos they get as a result from the new techniques and cool gadgets that these salons brought to the local hair arena.
Korea leads the innovation in technology through cell phones, smartphones, tablets, TV, and computer. These high-quality and reliable devices captured the heart of many techie Filipinos.
Korean made cars of KIA and Hyundai are gaining popularity and growing faster than its competitor company. It's stylish models, technology, quality plus affordable and fuel efficient surely wins the heart of every money conscious Filipinos.
CULTURE and ARTS
Since Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines open its door two years ago in public, it never failed to attract number of students, young or adult. Many Filipinos are getting interested in their offered classes like language class, culture immersion, arts and culture, traditional dance and instruments year after year. It's truly a gateway to Korea.
The impressive boost of Filipino tourist statistics in Korea made them to put up the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Manila Office last year. It spearheaded the marketing activities, tour packages, introduced medical tourism, and launched advertising campaigns to give a better picture of what Korea is and what visitors can expect to see when they go to the land of Morning Calm.
LIBRARY – Window to Korea
Its been a year since the library called “Window to Korea” opened at the Rizal Library of the Ateneo de Manila University . This library consists of books, periodicals, CDs/DVDs, and other Korea-related materials in the first year, and an additional 200 volumes per year for the next five years. The main purpose of this library is to promote and understand Korea beyond Korean Wave.
|Images from Korean Embassy of the Phillipines|
Did I miss anything? Did you find some great influences of Korea that I missed? What are those exciting points?Please do let me know in the comments.