MeAnn, former commercial model and mother of three, has been a KDrama follower since 2004. She has gone to Korea six times to marvel at the shooting locations. She has caught herself mimicking scenes from the movies while there.
Her daughter, Jeri, also a fan, has gone with her Mom to Korea four times. They have donned Korean national costumes, watched television variety shows and a concert of The Stray Kids while there. The band is part of the highly successful KPop.
Jeri has also flown to Los Angeles, USA, with the indulgent Mom in tow, to attend “KCon” at the Staples Center. This is usually a two-day event that features Korean musicians, cuisine, fashion, and other delights. Started in 2021, Kcon has been held in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Thalland.
“Our greatest honor is to spark the Hallyu in all the fans,” declares KCon.
Czarina of Naga City is a late bloomer both as a KDrama and KPop fan, starting only in 2016. But she has waded deep into the woods! Aside from feasting on these fares, she now co-moderates a KDrama fan club on Facebook that has more than 255,000 members from all over the world. Here, a hypnotized throng expresses its adulation through photos, reviews, and links.
As one of the moderators, Czarina helps approve or decline pending posts and membership requests. They remove, mute, or block members who do not follow the rules. Hate talk, sexual content, sexism, discrimination, racism, spamming, scams, selling, and anything not related to KDrama are screened out.
Aside from this, Czarina is a member of A.R.M.Y., the fandom of the band BTS aka Bulletproof Boy Scouts. Czarina talks about the sacrifice and discipline in the boot camps which the BTS, for instance, had to undergo for three years before they were introduced to the public. “They are perfect when they come out,” she declares with exuberance.
“I love everything about KDrama” confesses Czarina. “Every drama is well done -- script, casting, direction, acting, cinematography, sound, music, costumes, sets, and the plot twists.” She extols the life lessons that KDramas inject into their stories.
Guia, on the other hand, is fascinated by the recurring element of “destiny” in KDrama, where the lines of fate or serendipity bound people in love through several lifetimes and worlds.
Some of the series afford one to have a glimpse of the world of the chaebols, the trillionaires. True enough, the art department works meticulously on the details and props – from the sprawling mansions with exquisite appointments, the cutleries and the knives, to the luxury sedans, the signature bags and dresses, the shoes, the fine suits, and the shimmering cases with Swiss watches in arrays.
Subconsciously, they drive up aspirations by increments.
Writer Haughland observes that Norway even has a study program at Hadeland Folkehøyskole called K-pop Korean Wave, which teaches Korean culture, history and cuisine while offering an exchange program in Korea to their students.
Hallyu could be contributory to the demand for sampyupsal and kimchi in the Philippines. KDrama seems incomplete without the gustatory scenes, whether they happen in a hole-in-the-wall eatery or in a palatial home. Even the preparation of instant noodles, with the slomo dicing of leeks and the sprinkling of pepper corns, are done with elegance and seduction.
According to the Korea Creative Content Industry, its content industry's exports had maintained an average of 13.4 percent growth since 2010, boosted by the spread of Korean pop culture.
The United Nations Commission on Trade and Industry (UNCTAD), sounding like a fan, observes that “the success of the Republic of Korea as a cultural exporter is often attributed to its high quality cultural products incorporating Western elements while never losing its edge through its re-creation of traditional Korean values and cultural identity.“
The Korean government is giving Hallyu a gigantic push, drawing up a national policy and alloting huge budgets to support its creative industries. It is fully aware that Korea’s sustained economic growth will now come from those.
Hallyu is soft power that is captivating the hearts and minds of people around the globe. It hypnotizes people to accept, emulate, and aspire otherwise alien values and beliefs. Now the Koreans know that they do not have come to the Philippines to learn English so that they could reach out to the world. They can speak with their own rich culture.