Aside from these factors, Hallyu appeals to other countries due to various reasons such as their appeal to emotions, culture, history, and politics. Starting with the export of Korean dramas, Hallyu started to flourish across the globe. For Asian countries, the appeal of Korean dramas was due to an “emotional power” seen from the connection between themes of business, family, friendship, martial arts, romance, and war. Characters in Korean dramas also appeal to their audience through their way of facing issues of love in an emotional, meaningful, and tender way rather than in a sensual manner. Additionally, these dramas portray the prioritization of one’s family and the expression of subtle emotions garnering the favor of viewers in the Asian countries (Correa, 2012).
In particular, Filipinos exhibit fondness toward Korean dramas because of their unpredictable, unusual, and fast-paced plots. Their storylines don’t just revolve around love but are also concerned with other themes of life such as one’s family, career, education, and other prominent social issues. They are produced in high quality comprising of actors and actresses who act well and are visually appealing for the audience (Correa, 2012). Another reason for the affinity of the Filipinos with Korean dramas is the reflection of Filipino culture to that of the Korean culture which is observed by the Filipinos in these dramas. Historically, both the Philippines and South Korea have been colonized by Japan and were helped by the Americans to regain their lost freedom. A democratic system and corruption within the government are some of the similar characteristics of the politics in both countries. Another shared similarities between Filipinos and Koreans are their practices. One of these practices is their communal attitude of sharing food or things with each other. Filipinos and Koreans both serve their food in one (1) bowl to be shared by everyone at the table. It is also common to let a relative or a close friend bite from the same food or drink from the same glass. Both countries also exhibit close family ties where members of the family live close together or at the same house. Another notable similarity in value is the respect shown to elders. Filipinos do the “mano” gesture upon meeting elders while Koreans bow in front of their elders. Both countries are also known to be hospitable, giving their best to accommodate and treat their guests in the best way possible. People residing in the Philippines and South Korea also share a sense of courteousness which can be seen through their positive attitude toward their new neighbors. They also have the habit of treating their friends when something happened – good or bad. In terms of emotions, Filipinos and Koreans are characterized as both expressive and romantic human beings which can be observed by their practice of giving gifts and expressing their love in different ways to people who they deemed to be important to them. These similarities exhibited between the Filipino culture and the Korean culture explains the affinity of Filipinos to the South Korean popular culture, especially how Korean dramas marked the start of Hallyu across every nation in the world (Igno & Cenidoza, 2016).
Content analysis of one (1) Philippine drama and one (1) Korean drama will be conducted. Both of the dramas will be selected through a set of characteristics such as being set in a specific time frame, bearing the same theme, and it’s available to the Filipino audience. These dramas will be examined through the culturalist approach to understand the culture depicted in these dramas and their effect on the viewers (Jacobs, 2009).
Hallyu has influenced many nations across the globe. Initially, it was just thought of as a cultural phenomenon in certain countries with proximity to South Korea. However, its influence expanded throughout Asia and even in Europe, North America, and South America. In these countries, the first to gain immense popularity were Korean television dramas, music, films, comics, and their associated celebrities. After these, Hallyu expanded to affecting the lifestyle which can be observed in the shift of attitude towards their food, fashion, beauty, and even practices. In the Philippines, the influence of Hallyu is observed to grow continuously every year. This growth resulted from the affinity of the Filipinos toward South Korean popular culture due to the similarities that can be observed within their cultures. The first content of the Hallyu to gain popularity was Korean dramas which skillfully represent their culture gaining the favor of the people around the world.