No doubt about it, the Korean wave (also known as K-Wave or the Hallyu phenomenon) has landed and it has landed hard. As evidenced by the thousands who attended the Philippine K-Pop conventions, as well as the consistent sales figures of K-Pop albums and concert tickets, it is clear that many Filipinos are card-carrying members of the fandom.
Hooked by the spellbinding twists of Korean dramas and the addicting head-bopping sounds of K-Pop, Filipinos young and young-at-heart have embraced K-Pop and they are not ashamed of it.
The thing is, K-Pop fans often suffer the puzzlement, or worse, the derision of those who do not understand the genre. They often deal with questions like “How can you like something you don’t understand?” Or, “Why do you like these artists who look weird?” Or, get taunted with, “You’re a kimchi-noy.”
But is K-Pop really alien to us? Is it a surprising that many Filipinos love K-Pop? Beyond the usual reasons—”because K-pop artists sound good,” “because Koreanovelas are engaging”—here are a few reasons Filipinos have embraced K-Pop.
These are the common underlying themes of K-dramas and songs. They are no different from the subject matters tackled by local and Western counterparts.
Across cultures, the thrill or kilig of a good boy-meets-girl story (“Full House”) and the exciting Cinderella-like transformation of “rich man, ordinary girl” dramas (“Boys over Flowers”) appeal to women.
In K-Pop, love and heartbreak are prominent themes. Since music and emotional sentiment cross language barriers, it is not surprising that many Filipinos are able to relate to the melodies of K-Pop songs. And, with the power of the Internet, figuring out what the lyrics mean is just a few clicks away because English and even Filipino translations abound.
2. We share a similar culture.
We aren’t just geographic neighbors with South Korea, we also have cultural similarities. The value of respecting our elders and honoring them is embedded in both our cultures and expressed by the use of honorifics (e.g., “po” and “opo” in Filipino and “sunbae” and “nim” in Korean).
The theme of familial loyalty recurs in K-dramas (“Baker King,” “Shining Inheritance”), making these stories easily relatable to us.
If Filipinos can appreciate Western entertainment, isn’t it logically easier for us to cotton on to Asian entertainment?
3. K-Pop provides excellent entertainment.
The main purpose of the entertainment industry is, well, to entertain.
In recent years, Korean pop culture has succeeded in presenting a fresh perspective on the universal themes contained in their music and dramas.
With imitation said to be the sincerest form of flattery, Korean films and dramas have been remade by many Hollywood and Asian producers for their markets.
K-Pop, now heard everywhere, has become a genre in itself. Even the uninitiated can recognize its distinct sound. It has made a dent on the Billboard and iTunes charts, which is further proof it has solidified its presence.
Some lambast K-Pop for stealing the thunder from local artists but with the Internet shrinking the world, artists of every genre and of every nationality have no choice but to compete in a much wider arena. Instead of lambasting the success of K-Pop, maybe it is better to learn from it.
New Delhi: Millions of manhours will be at stake at workplaces around the world as Google honours the American electrical engineer Robert ‘Bob’ Moog with a digital replica of the Moog electronic music synthesizer on his 78th birthday.
The first Moog synthesizer, which went on to revolutionize music in the 1960s and 70s was first introduced in 1964 and the 2012 Google doodle version bring the abilities of innovative electronic device to the Web browser.
With the Moog synthesizer on the Google home page, users can not only create their own music on using the digital 24-key keyboard but also use the volume, mixer, oscillators, filter and envelope controls to tweak the sound that is music to their ears.
Logged in Google users can also record and share their compositions on the Moog Google doodle synthesizer on Google Plus. Other users can also record their compositions and get a short g.co URL leading to a version of the Google home page that plays the recorded music.
Born on May 23, 1934 in New York, Robert Arthur Moog had a PhD in engineering physics from Cornell University. He began his career in building electronic musical instruments as a teenager and later went on to found two companies for manufacturing electronic musical instruments.
In 2002 he was honoured with a Grammy Award for technical achievements. Moog died of a brain tumour on August 21, 2005.