Leading the K-Pop Invasion
The rise of K-Pop in the country has left an indelible mark on Pinoy pop culture today.
KATRINA ANNE PASCUAL // 5 MIN READ
Published July 17, 2018
When the first Korean telenovelas hit local airwaves in the early 2000s, Filipinos were instantly hooked. People rushed home from work to watch Endless Love, Lovers in Paris, and Stairway to Heaven. The following day, office workers would dissect the latest plot twist over lunch or coffee breaks. Seems there was something about the unique storytelling style, the eerily beautiful Korean actors, and the breathtaking sceneries that made it hard to resist. Little did we know that this would be the start of our love affair with Korean culture.
If you are mad for anything Korean, do yourself a favor and visit the Korean Cultural Center (KCC) located in BGC. Established in 2011, the KCC was intended to help Filipinos expand their understanding and appreciation of Korean culture. Operating under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines, the KCC offers a wide array of exciting cultural classes.
Language courses are offered, from basic to intensive Korean. Hansik will teach you how to cook authentic Korean dishes, and immerse you in their exotic flavors. Taekwondo, the traditional martial art and national sport in South Korea, will teach you the art of self-defense while practicing discipline in mind, body, and spirit. Minhwa, or Korean folk painting class, will enable you to express your own interpretation of various subjects in the lives of Korea’s commoners.
For devoted fans of K-Pop, the KCC offers K-Pop Dance and K-Pop Singing classes. You will learn how to do the perfect cover of popular K-Pop songs, from lip-syncing to dancing to recreating the mirror image of your favorite artists. All class instructors, by the way, are Korean.
Classes are open to the public, and at very affordable rates. For example, you can take 36 hours of basic Korean language lessons for only P2,000. Also, enrollment in the dance and music classes start at P500.
During our visit, we got to talk to some students. Jhonn Valenzuela, a language student, said, “I love K-Pop music and K-Dramas, and I wanted to understand what they were singing, or what they were saying without reading the subtitles.” John Romuel Cabana has been a K-Pop fan for a few years now. “I love K-Pop artists and I wanted to learn how to dance like them.” Restaurateur Richard Yu shared, “I wanted to improve my cooking skills in Korean cuisine.”
The KCC exhibition hall showcases various facets about Korean culture such as the exhibit on traditional alcoholic drinks or Sool. KCC also boasts of a library that houses the largest collection of Korean books, magazines, CDs, and DVDs in the country. The Korean Wave Hall is where film and concert screenings are held every last Friday of the month, and this is free and open to the public.
The Korean invasion continues to grow, showing no signs of abating. As Filipinos fully embrace Korean culture, the KCC will provide a steady presence and will continue to play a part in strengthening the relationship and people-to-people exchange between Korea and the Philippines.
For information on classes and events, log on to http://phil.korean-culture.org.
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