When I was in Korea in October 2011, they were celebrating – yes, like it was a national holiday — the 10th anniversary of the then phenomenal Korean TV series, Winter Sonata. Stores offered promos, restaurants cooked up special menus, the streets were decorated with bunting and balloons, and every so often TV spots and newspaper articles reminded everyone to rejoice at the success of how a beloved drama put Korea on a larger and more sizable map.
In 2004-05 ABS-CBN brought in the first K-drama. The group that negotiated the contract was nervous: What if the plan flopped? There would be, in typical dramatic fashion, hell to pay.
We know what’s happened since then. The Koreanization of the world through K-pop, K-drama, Korean cosmetics, Korean-made vehicles is a fait accompli. In the year of the pandemic, with couch potatoes under house arrest, and thanks to Netflix, Korea has come home to us. Will there be an end to the K-drama epidemic in this country? Which will end first, the COVID-19 crisis or the KoVideo craze?
Egged on by the K-drama phenomenon in the Philippines, Wilson Tieng has something new for drama mamas. On his ETC channel he’s just premiered the first of a series of dramas imported from Turkey. Yes, the Turkey of olive oil, figs, shawarma, Turkish coffee and Turkish delights. Airing Monday to Friday at 8 p.m., Everywhere I Go is part of his strategy to “Tagalize” ETC with eyes on a predominantly female audience. Two more serials are in the can, ready for dubbing.
Will it click?
The unflappable Wilson believes drama is universal no matter where it’s coming from. Incidentally, if you stand in front of Istanbul’s most beautiful hotel, there’s a point in the Bosphorus strait that’s partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Turkish guys and ladies don’t look any different from our stars with names like Anderson, Curtis, Gray, Ramsay, Wurtzbach. Besides, the Turks on the screen will be talking in Tagalog!
Using the talents of Filipino voice actors is a boon not only to this sector of the theater industry after the shutdown of ABS-CBN and the ongoing pandemic, but also the writer-translators of a local group specializing in the art of dubbing. Break a leg, y’all!