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, Taiwan, television

Remake of Meteor Garden on ABS-CBN, Plus Local Adaptation of Boys Over Flowers on GMA

Two series based on the manga ‘Hana Yori Dango’ will return to the Philippine small screen soon.

A remake of the hit Taiwanese series ‘Meteor Garden’ will air on ABS-CBN next year, the network announced this week. The new ‘Meteor Garden’, slated to air in Taiwan in 2018, will star Darren Cheng, Dylan Wang, Connor Leong, and Caesar Wu as F4 while Shen Yue will play the role of Shan Cai.

The original version of ‘Meteor Garden’, starring Barbie Hsu and the original F4 (Jerry Yan, Van Ness Wu, Vic Chou and Ken Chu), was aired on ABS-CBN in 2003 to popular acclaim and has been rebroadcast numerous times since. ‘Meteor Garden’ also aired on GMA in 2007, but with a different dub that was not well-received by fans.

Many loyal fans of ‘Meteor Garden’ have long clamored for a Filipino remake of the hit series. However, ABS-CBN has yet to announce any plans to adapt the story to suit Filipino tastes.

Speaking of GMA, they announced that the Korean series ‘Boys Over Flowers’ will have a local adaptation coming soon. The network recently signed an agreement with JU Entertainment Movie and Drama Inc. for the rights to produce the local version of ‘Boys Over Flowers’.

Like ‘Meteor Garden’, ‘Boys Over Flowers’ is based on the manga ‘Hana Yori Dango’. The original series was not aired on GMA however, as ABS-CBN picked up the rights to air ‘Boys Over Flowers’ in 2009.

The original ‘Boys Over Flowers’ starred Lee Min-Ho, Kim Hyun-Joong, Kim Bum, Kim Joon and Koo Hye-Sun as Korea’s version of F4. Hye-Sun likewise reprised the role of Shan Cai as Jan Di.

Even though a local remake of ‘Meteor Garden’ will not come to fruition anytime soon, loyal fans can at least feel some solace that ‘Boys Over Flowers’ will be adapted locally in the near future. That said, anticipation for both series should only grow higher once their respective premiere dates (which will be announced soon) draw near.

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concerts, drama, entertainment, hits, music, Philippines, songs, Taiwan, television

Meteor Garden Is Still Alive, Ten Years After

‘Meteor Garden’ returns to Philippine television next week as part of ABS-CBN’s tenth anniversary celebration of the Asianovela.

More than ten years ago,  ‘Meteor Garden’ became the launching pad that would later become the Asianovela genre, and even after the series ended, its popularity among teenage Filipinos remains strong. Which is why ABS-CBN and Jeepney TV will bring back the original Taiwanese drama starring F4 and actress Barbie Hsu to the small screen starting next week, as part of its 10th anniversary of bringing the Asianovela to Philippine television.

The groundbreaking Asianovela was first introduced in May 2003, and within a month, it became one of the most-watched programs on the Kapamilya network. ‘Meteor Garden’ was so popular that it helped influence teenagers to copy the hairstyles and the wardrobe donned by Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Vanness Wu and Ken Chu, as well as Barbie Hsu. F4 albums were also distributed to great success, and at the peak of F4-mania, the group even visited the Philippines at one point.

The success of ‘Meteor Garden’ forced GMA to answer with their own series in ‘My MVP Valentine’, starring another boyband in 5566. Unfortunately, it failed to measure up to the popularity of ‘Meteor Garden’, and as a result, GMA was forced to go to South Korea to acquire other Asianovela titles. It did, however, re-air ‘Meteor Garden’ in 2007, as part of its short-lived ‘mangaserye’ hour. Despite that, ‘Meteor Garden’ continues to be an iconic brand to the Kapamilya network.

In the weeks leading up to its return, ‘Meteor Garden’ and F4 became one of the top trending topics in the social media website Twitter. This only proves that even after a decade, fanaticism for the Taiwanese series remains on a high. And as the series re-airs next week, expect ‘Meteor Garden’ to once again become one of the top-rated programs of the year, and in the process attract a new generation of fans.

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