What pops in my mind in finding the reason why most of the Filipinos love Korean dramas is Xenocentrism. It is the preference for the products, styles, or ideas of someone else’s culture rather than of one’s own. Which is to say that the problem is not in the Philippine dramas. That the deficit is on the viewers, not on the quality and content of particular Philippine drama why such drama is not loved by the Filipinos. Yet I am not convinced that it is on the viewers alone to blame why drama in the Philippines is not progressive. Because it is the work and responsibility of the producer, director, writer to catch the attention of the viewers, to tell the viewers how great experience is to watch certain dramas in the Philippines, isn’t it?
Korean popular culture or the K-pop is rising together with their dramas. This is because they are able to tap the eyes and the heart of the viewers especially Filipinos. Asking my classmates and friends why do you love Korean dramas, then they will certainly answer because of the actor. It is not only the beautiful and handsome and cute Korean actor but also they are able to play internally the character being asked in the drama. This is a product of several years of training which is required before an actor could ever play a role both in music and acting in Korea.
Characterization is one of the element in producing a good literature, this is also true in drama . The process should be finding the actor that can play internally what the character is being asked. But it seems to me that in the Philippines mainstream media, the actor is the key element. It means that the actor is already chosen and he/she will be the one primary factor in making the story that will suit him. How do you hope and expect in that kind of process to produce a good drama even in movies? How do you hope for a good story?
One approach of the Philippine drama is using a child actor as protagonist. The story of the drama revolves on the child and his/her interaction to the community. May Bukas Pa, Nathaniel, Aso ni San Roque, Sa Piling ni Nanay, Ning-Ning, Langit Lupa are just few example of many dramas in the Philippines whom the protagonist is a child. And never of the shows fail me to question and critique. Can children range from 5-7 years old think hypothetically; logically; and have a concept of family, love, friendship, forgiveness and others values better than of adult such as being portrayed in the mainstream Philippine drama?
Not, as I remember the theories of human development such of Freud, Erikson, Kohlberg, Piaget and the like. It seems to me that using this type of approach in conveying values is effective but also what makes the Philippine drama as a passable art. It is there but nothing more. That makes me understand why Filipinos love Korean dramas.
In general, I think what makes the Philippine dramas and movies passable, not wanting to watch it again is the lack of referencing. Referencing is a technique in bringing the story into reality. In academic research you have to be very particular with the source of your information, the more reference the more substantial the research is. This is also applicable to drama and movies. Because what is most forceful the plausible story or the one that is unlikely to happen? After all, human insight is the greatest value of Art.
It’s hard to argue that Korean drama is plausible than Philippine drama why Filipino chooses the first. However the point is the Philippine drama has so many weakness that makes Korean drama penetrate the scene.