Pop Culture Expert Explains KPOP Phenomenon in the Philippines


In a recent interview with Philippines’ leading primetime news magazine show, Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (One at Heart, Jessica Soho), pop culture experts discussed in-depth how the KPOP phenomenon developed in the country.

University of the Philippines Prof. Wendell Capili said in an interview by KMJS:

” Music is a universal language, so unang-unang appeal nung KPOP ay ‘yung melody nito, medyo catchy, medyo madaling maintindihan. Sa wikang Ingles, tinatawag nating perky, masyadong magaan… lalo na ang demographic ng KPOP ay mga bata.” (Music is a universal language, so KPOP’s first appeal is its melody. It is catchy and easy to understand. In english, it’s what we call light and perky… and it appeals mostly to audience who are in the younger demographic.)

KPOP in the Philippines started to gain popularity when former teen star Sandara Park went global with her phenomenal group 2NE1.

Her success paved the way for the entry of other popular KPOP acts in Philippine mainstream music.

Just recently, KPOP royalty Super Junior held the last leg of their Super Show 2 tour. And KPOP fans are also looking forward to the upcoming concert of UKiss’ in May, and a possible fan meet by SS501.

Capili also added:

“Kahit Koreano ka man, kahit Filipino ka man, kahit hindi mo maintindihan ang lyrics, ‘yung unang naga-appeal diyan ‘yung melody. Pangalawa, ‘yung mga taong kumakanta rito, pangatlo, ‘yung mga production values ng mga music videos, pang-apat ‘yung fantasy factor na karamihan sa mga Pilipino ay galing sa lower income generation or puwedeng may kaya sila sa buhay pero gusto nilang maglakbay sa ibang bansa. At Korea represents a certain appeal na gustong i-aspire o puntahan ng mga nakababatang Filipino, kaya ang mga Filipino na kabataan ay nahuhumaling sa KPOP.” (It does not matter if you’re Korean or Filipino, even if you cannot understand the lyrics, the first thing that would appeal to you is the melody. Second, the singers. Third, the production value of the music videos. Fourth, the fantasy factor. Most of the Filipino fans belong to the lower income generating class, or they can also be well-off but they want to travel in other countries. And Korea represents a certain appeal that young Filipinos aspire. That is the main reason why most Filipino youth are addicted to KPOP.”

Philippine network GMA-7’s primetime newscast, 24 Oras, also featured the rise of KPOP among the Filipino youth in this video link.

Source: GMA-7, http://www.gmanews.tv, http://www.kapusomojessicasoho.tv
Taken from: Universal Records Philippines Facebook Fanpage


I agree to all of what the prof said, except for one thing. So? Do I have to thank Sandara? Well, I don’t think so. 😛 I think Sandara was a huge factor, but KPOP was popular in the Philippines even when she was not a member of a KPOP group. But still… SuJu drawn me to KPOP.

Yeah, I have watched 24 Oras, and the topic was too random. LOL.


7 thoughts on “Pop Culture Expert Explains KPOP Phenomenon in the Philippines

  1. But admit it! Sandara definitely gave way to the mainstream fame of Kpop. maybe not for some of us because we knew kpop long before 2NE1 fever!
    The most famous kpop song in the Phil in other words the nobody song by wonder girls which i guess every Pilipino knows gain only mainstream fame after more than a year from its release and undoubtedly the same time as of Sandara’s entry to kpop and on the pick of what i could 2NE1 fever!

  2. here’s the thing…I understand that there’s a lot of people diggin’ K-POP way back when it wasn’t even mainstream. But I do believe that Sandara Park paved the way for the masses to accept and embrace K-POP the way it is. There was a familiarization with her, since she was already popular here in the Philippines. You know that feeling when you know someone that became popular or big…something like this “Kilala ko yan…she used to be this and that but now she’s big.” It’s familiarization, a very strong attribute/value of Filipinos. Hence, the popularity of K-POP with the Filipino masses. Because most hard-core K-POP fans started way back so they wouldn’t feel the same thing since they didn’t start as mainstream fans but somewhat as underground or grass-roots fans here in the Philippines…props to them…that includes me and my sisters.

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