MANILA, Philippines – There’s no denying that Filipinos are huge fans of South Korean series and movies. With most of these shows now readily available on streaming platforms, the Philippines is often included in the list of countries with dedicated K-drama audiences.
But even before its recent global popularity, some Filipino fans have already binge-watched these kinds of series, back when they were still called Koreanovelas, and viewers needed to wait for more than a week for an episode to properly have English subtitles.
Filipinos love these K-dramas so much that we even started adapting some of them, starting all the way back in 2008. Remember Rhian Ramos, Dingdong Dantes, and Glaiza de Castro in Stairway to Heaven or Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, and Enchong Dee in My Girl?
More than a decade later, and we still see the local entertainment industry making their own Filipino versions of Korean media. Blockbuster movies Miracle in Cell No. 7, Miss Granny, and More Than Blue have been adapted for Filipino audiences. This 2022, we’re seeing Jodi Sta. Maria and Zanjoe Marudo in the Filipino version of Doctor Foster and World of the Married, Lovi Poe and Piolo Pascual in a remake of Flower of Evil, and Bea Alonzo and Alden Richards in the adaptation of A Moment to Remember.
As expected, adaptation news often draws mixed reactions. While some fans are excited to see their favorite K-dramas getting localized, others are also against the idea, saying that we should rather just write our own stories instead of basing our content on others’ plots. Some fans have also pointed out the differences in the treatment and storytelling between local teleseryes and K-dramas, which usually affect the way the shows are remade.
But even with these valid points, we still can’t help but wonder how our favorite K-dramas or movies would look like in a Philippine setting, played by Filipino actors. Hence, we asked our Rappler readers if there was any series that they would like to adapted into a Pinoy version, and who they think should star in it.
Here are some of their answers:
Imagine if members of several P-pop groups came together for one teleserye?
Dream High follows the story of six students as they fulfill their dreams of being K-pop idols. Played by second generation idols Miss A’s Suzy, IU, T-ara’s Eun-jung, 2 PM’s Taecyeon and Wooyoung, and Kim Soo-hyun, the coming-of-age drama highlights the cast members’ talents in singing, dancing, and performing.
Given that our P-pop groups have undergone years of training before they made their official debuts, we’re pretty confident that they can keep up with all the performing segments that a Filipino adaptation of this story requires, as well as relate with the show’s conflict, which is the challenges behind being a celebrity.
That Winter, The Wind Blows
Kathryn Bernardo and Jericho Rosales might be an unlikely pair, but we can’t help but agree that these veteran actors could pull off a heart-wrenching melodrama like That Winter, The Wind Blows.
We haven’t seen Kathryn and Jericho cast alongside each other before, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned from K-dramas, it’s that even fresh pairings can have undeniable chemistry.
Originally played by Jo In-sung and Song Hye-kyo, That Winter, The Wind Blows follows an orphaned man and a blind woman who doesn’t believe in love. Both dealing with personal scars, the two learned to find love in each other.
Fans of Nadine Lustre have been clamoring to see the actress in an action project, and we can’t help but think that the action crime series My Name, which starred Han So-hee, would totally suit her.
The story follows revenge-driven Yoon Ji-woo as she joins a crime ring to find her father’s killer. She then ends up taking on a new name and identity as she goes undercover as a cop, through which she discovers the cruel truth about her father’s death.
If any of these local stars can give off bad-ass vibes and still drive us to be emotional in important scenes, best believe that it’s Nadine.
Hotel Del Luna
There’s just something about K-dramas and how creatively they execute fantasy and supernatural series. They’ve had several hits (Goblin, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, W: Two Worlds, The Legend of the Blue Sea, to name a few) but among them, it’s Hotel Del Luna we’d like to have a Filipino adaptation of.
Soloist-actress IU led the series as Jang Man-wol, the CEO of Hotel del Luna, whose clientele consists of ghosts. Aside from the romance between Man-wol and Chan-sung, the assistant manager who unexpectedly landed a job at the hotel, Hotel del Luna also captivated viewers through Man-wol’s fashion in the series.
And if we’re talking about versatile actresses who are also certified fashionistas, we think Heart Evangelista and Anne Curtis could certainly fit Man-wol’s character.
Boys Over Flowers
K-drama fan or not, we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with how Boys Over Flowers goes, given that Filipino audiences have seen several versions of Meteor Garden already – two from Taiwan, another from Thailand.
Rumors about a Filipino adaptation have been going on for years, yet until now, we haven’t seen anyone stepping into the shoes of Geum Jan-di and Goo Joon-pyo.
Still, if the hit series will have its Pinoy remake soon, we hope to see Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan as the lead cast members for it – especially since the DonBelle love team already has a successful high school drama-themed series, He’s Into Her, under their belt.
Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo
Perhaps one of the most light-hearted K-dramas of recent years, Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo has been an instant fan favorite.
It follows Bok-joo, played by Lee Sung-kyung, a woman who dreams of becoming a weightlifting athlete, developing a crush on the older brother of her friend Joon-hyung, played by Nam Joo-hyuk.
Fans of Sharlene San Pedro say she resembles the lead actress. And given Sharlene’s Goin’ Bulilit history, we think that she could bring out the quirkiness and charm that Bok-joo’s character had.
A story about a close-knit neighborhood, a remake of Reply 1988 will surely resonate with the Filipino audience.
It stars the Ssangmundong squad, a group of childhood friends that grew up in the same neighborhood, as they deal with their challenges in family, first loves, and friendships together.
Since the bond of the lead stars is important, we’re thinking of having Charlie Dizon, Joshua Garcia, and Jameson Blake play the characters of Duk-sun, Taek, and Jung-hwan, respectively. The trio has already proven their chemistry in past projects, and we think that it will reflect in the remake, too.
All of Us Are Dead
Filipino fans have always been receptive to zombie apocalypse or survival-themed shows, but we’ve never had a teleserye about it.
All of Us Are Dead revolves around the virus-ridden Hyosan High School, whose surviving students are trying to defend themselves from a zombie apocalypse. Same with the hit K-drama, fans also hope that if the series will be adapted, it should star rising actors instead.
Yes, projects like this are usually big productions, so fans do understand why it’s rare for shows in this genre to get adapted in the Philippines. Until then, our very own Filipino zombie-themed teleserye will remain a pipe dream.
Are there any more K-dramas you’d like to have a Filipino adaptation of? Tell us in the comments section! – Rappler.com