Have you ever found yourself watching a random television series on Dramacool a Philippine channel? And as the story continues to unfold in this episode, do you begin to wonder why the storyline seems so familiar? And then the show stops to give way to a commercial break and you are greeted by the title of one of your favorite Korean dramas.
Philippine television stations are very fond of showing original versions of dramas from Korea. Some of them flop, but most of them become really famous among Filipinos. Then after these television stations reap the rewards of showing the right television show, they decide to squeeze everything they can out of the drama by making a localized remake of it.
Purists will argue that these remakes are no more than poor imitations or bastardized versions of the original Korean drama. However, those who are more open minded argue that all those involved in the production and filming of these dramas are able to infuse the local Philippine culture and traditions into the storyline of these dramas.
I am personally on the fence when it comes to this issue. While I have set to see a Filipino version of a Korean show that is at par or better than the original, I believe that the television stations are slowly getting there. I mean if Japan and Korea were able to make excellent remakes of Taiwan’s Meteor Garden then the Philippines surely has the potential to do so as well.
Right now the top two television stations in the Philippines are showing remakes of two of the better Korean dramas in recent years. GMA channel 7 is showing its rendition of Stairway to Heaven, while ABS-CBN channel 2 is showing its rendition of Lovers in Paris. I am particularly more fond of the latter because I think they have a better crop of actors.
Still, I have yet to see Philippine remakes of Korean dramas that are as good as the original.