Thursday, April 18, 2024

Crash landing of PH cinema

by Lourem John Terania | November 3, 2022

Korean dramas (K-dramas) have gained international recognition since the Korean wave in the 1990s. With the presence of streaming sites like Netflix and Viu, K-dramas became more popular as they unfailingly give astounding narratives with revealing plot twists and backstories that will leave the audience scarred or their heart fluttering. 

The K-drama experience stimulated more audiences especially during the year of long periods of lockdown because of COVID-19.

Last Oct. 18, during the senate hearing on the 2023 budget of the Film Development Council of the Philippines, Senator Jinggoy Estrada remarked on banning K-dramas from Filipino mainstream television. The remark made by the Filipino senator sparked a lot of negative remarks from Filipino netizens. I see the intention of Senator Estrada that Filipinos should patronize local talents with the same enthusiasm as foreign talents, especially with the Philippine entertainment industry changing and challenging archaic ways to keep the interests of Filipinos since the onset of COVID-19.

As someone fond of K-dramas, the push to ban them is a questionable solution to the lack of success of Philippine telenovelas. This is not to denigrate Philippine cinema, unlike Hollywood where films are expected to make big distinctions. Perhaps, it is because of politics. The culture of the romance genre with overused love teams since it generates the most sales. The lack of budget paired with fast production makes cinemas less about the art and more about the profits. 

Directors can still get better cinematography even with an insufficient budget, Philippine indie films are a testament to low budget but quality content. Writers, producers, and editors should be given enough time to write and work on creative storylines without the pressure of media presence where audiences clamor for actors rather than focusing on the characters and plot. I believe that the problem is not K-dramas stealing the limelight – it is the lack of widening our Filipino cinema perspective.

K-dramas can formulate wider narratives because it moves the spectator to a broader critique of the social order. For example, Korean political thrillers constructively merit how the hero leads the people, becoming an avenue of emancipation from dominant forces. Like the non-partisan prosecutor ending institutional corruption devised by public officers and powerful figures in the city. How K-dramas uncover the conditions of society, greatly expresses a spirit that summons the audience to withstand forces that trouble the social fabric, a “creative” tool for liberation.


  1. Philippine indie films is underrated, there are lots of undervalued movies despite their quality and impressive artistic ensemble. They also produce great actors like coco martin , kiko matos and Alessandra De Rossi.

    Korean culture is spreading worldwide ,making names not only famous in Korea ,but in a plethora of other countries . Many will be. Familiar with traditional clothes originating form China and Japan but not so much with hanboks from Korea . However,why people do know. And love is Korea’s pop culture with their all popular dramas , dramas are series of episodes creating a story but it’s not your recreational intertainment that people. From all classes and enjoy .


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest articles