drama, entertainment, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, television, Thailand

FTT Wonders: Who Really Aired the First Asianovela in the Philippines?

Taiwanese drama ‘Amazing Twins’ was considered by some viewers to be the first Asianovela to air in the Philippines when it was broadcast on IBC-13 in early 2003. (Photo credit: CTS)

Tagalized Asian dramas are a thing these days.

Also popularly known as ‘Asianovelas’, these programs are imported from neighboring Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Although the initial wave of Asianovelas were of Taiwanese origin, Korean dramas (colloqiually known as Koreanovelas) became a more common sight on Philippine television as the years pass.

But in order to understand the origin of the Asianovela, one must go back to 2003, the year these Tagalized Asian dramas first arrived. For many years, ABS-CBN claimed that they were the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’, given that they were responsible for bringing ‘Meteor Garden’ to the small screen around 15 years ago.

However, there is also an argument that IBC-13, with help from Viva Entertainment, was actually the first station to air an Asianovela. Just months before ‘Meteor Garden’ arrived, IBC-13 aired a Taiwanese action series called ‘Amazing Twins’ (locally known as ‘The Legendary Siblings 2’).

Unfortunately for IBC-13, ‘Amazing Twins’ tanked in the ratings, mainly due to the network’s poor reception and reach that persists to this day. It also did not help that the series aired once a week, which makes some viewers impatient given the daily nature of Filipino dramas.

Meanwhile, ‘Meteor Garden’ became a smash hit, turning F4 and Barbie Hsu into household names. The series also benefited from its near-daily airings on ABS-CBN, thus making viewers wait less for the next episode.

Following the success of ‘Meteor Garden’, ABS-CBN, GMA and occasionally ABC/TV5 began to air more Asianovelas. But as time passed, Korean dramas became the most preferred choice thanks to series such as ‘Jewel in the Palace’, ‘Endless Love’ and ‘Lovers in Paris’.

GMA also made history in 2005 by airing ‘Gokusen’, the first Asianovela hailing from Japan. Then earlier this month, the network premiered the Thai drama ‘You’re My Destiny’.

Given that ‘Meteor Garden’ became popular to begin with, it is safe to assume that this series gave birth to the modern-day Asianovela. As much as people would argue about ‘Amazing Twins’ being the first Asian drama to air in the country, it did not quite fit the mold of today’s Asianovela since it failed to become a hit and was only seen once a week.

Still, the jury is on the viewers to decide. Who really is the first Asianovela to air in the country?

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, television

In 150 Words: Weightlifting Fairy Finale on ABS-CBN

Short and sweet.

This week will officially close the book on the ABS-CBN Koreanovela ‘Weightlifting Fairy’. Starring Lee Sung-kyung, Nam Joo-hyuk, Lee Jae-yoon and Kyung Soo-jin, the series first aired on Monday, July 10, and will finish with around 40 episodes when it’s all said and done.

One of the Philippines’ most highly anticipated Koreanovelas and one of the most successful Korean series ever, ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ tells the story of struggling weightlifter Kim Bok-joo who fell in love with swimmer Jung Joon-hyung. However, Bok-joo was soon charmed by Joon-hyung’s brother Jung Jae-hyi, and the chase for both love for work and love for someone is on.

Like ‘Love in the Moonlight’ and ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’, the success of ‘Weightlifting Fairy’ could result in the series getting reaired on ABS-CBN in the near future. But even without an impending rerun, Koreanovela fans should be satisfied with how ‘Weightlifting Fairy”s story turned out.

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drama, entertainment, Korea, Philippines, reality show, television

Asianovelas on ABS-CBN To Be Affected Again By PBB

The entry of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ should cause some concern to Kapamilya Asianovela fans.

Starting next Monday, weekday editions of PBB: 737 will air twice a day, similar to prior seasons. The afternoon edition will air after ‘Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita’, and the primetime edition will air after ‘Aquino & Abunda Tonight’.

The two editions of ‘Pinoy Big Brother: 737’ will replace a pair of Asianovelas that are on their final week: Kapamilya Gold’s ‘Let’s Get Married’, and Primetime Bida’s ‘My Lovely Girl’.

With the Asianovelas about to be shut out in the afternoon and primetime slots, ABS-CBN will now have to find a way to maintain interest to these programs in a different timeslot. After all, they don’t want to rob Asianovela fans of their enjoyment and pleasure in watching such series.

One particular option may be the Umaganda block, where the network’s Asianovelas have enjoyed ratings success in recent years. However, the network has not broadcast an Asianovela in the morning since ‘Lovers in Paris’ re-aired from June to August of last year.

Currently the only open slot on Umaganda is ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’, which is merely a filler program. The movie block is up against GMA Asianovelas ‘Secret Garden’ and ‘Two Mothers’, and Latinovela ‘Corazon Indomable’, all of which were decent performers for the Kapuso network.

Replacing ‘Kapamilya Blockbusters’ with either one or two Asianovelas may help ABS-CBN regain some sense of respectability in the morning block. It should also make up for the presence of PBB in their timeslots, in order to satisfy the cravings of Kapamilya Asianovela fans.

If ABS-CBN decides not to air an Asianovela at all, it will definitely hurt the network’s morale. After all, they are regarded as the ‘First and True Home of Asianovelas’, having first brought one in 2003 with ‘Meteor Garden’.

That said, keeping up with GMA’s ‘Heart of Asia’ should help ABS-CBN continue its tradition of bringing quality Asianovelas to the small screen. The Asianovela-loving fanbase is growing, so ABS-CBN has to heed to their demands.

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