GMA's Koreana

I’ve read about this drama on Pinoyexchange sometime last month. Back then, Pinoy netizens still didn’t know whether it would be an original story or a remake of the late Nida Blanca’s movie, which I saw on RPN 9 two decades ago!
“Koreana” had its premiere episode last night. It stars Eddie Garcia as a Korean (Chang Hee Jung) who was born and raised in the Philippines. They own Korean restaurants in the country. I wonder if they have bathroom fans like the ones here in Korea ;p He has a son (Philip) who fell in love with a Filipina, Nerissa played by Angelu de Leon. As expected, the father didn’t approve that his son marry a non-Korean (yup, not specifically Pinay but a non-Korean). The son eloped, got married and later had a daughter, Jenny played by Kris Bernal.
Chang learned about his grandchild. He visited his son on his grandchild’s first 100 days. Whoa! She looked so big for a 100-day old baby. He invited his son and his family back to his big mansion.
Eula Valdez plays Violeta, the adopted Filipina daughter of Eddie Garcia. He found her lying on the side of the road on a rainy day. She longs for the love of her adoptive father. She even got pregnant of out of wedlock by a Korean so her father would recognize her more. Alas, Philip’s family is back at Chang’s home and Violeta is incensed especially that Chang seems to love Philip’s daughter more. She plots to have Nerissa and her daughter banished from the mansion.
“Koreana” is shown on GMA-7 in the Philippines in the afternoon. The first episode seems like a story that I’ve seen or heard before. There was nothing really special in it except that the actors are playing Korean or Korean-Filipino characters. The music used didn’t sound Korean at all. It sounded Chinese to me and I even asked my husband to listen without me informing him that it’s supposed to be Korean. He said it sounds Chinese too.
In the show, Eddie Garcia is supposed to have grown-up Korean even if he was born and lived all his life in the Philippines. His accent is a little awkward though, but Korean accent is not that easy to learn. I know a Vietnamese here who speaks Korean well but her accent still sounds Vietnamese. As to whether they look Korean or not? There are some Pinoys here that I know who ogt mistaken as Koreans by Koreans themselves. (Yikes! Even my husband has been mistaken for a Japanese by a Korean FA!) In one scene, he was telling his granddaughter that “chili pepper” is the secret ingredient to kimchi. He sprinkled the powder on top of the cabbage though ;p
“Koreana” doesn’t seem to be a big-budgeted drama. It is also shown in the afternoon and not on primetime. It seems to be like a “Mano Po” drama but with Koreans instead of Chinese in the story. Remember that the lead character, played by Kris Bernal, is half-Filipina half-Korean who grew up in non-Korean environment. Don’t expect too much (based on the first episode) but just enjoy it!


  1. I saw the pilot episode…and its not really good….Im not an expert in korean language or anything but Eddie Garcia seemed like he butchered the korean language…its like GMA didn’t take the time to learn about korean culture…they just wanted to cash in on the hallu wave hitting the Philippines…it feels like a rehashed mano po

    1. Koreans are proud of their culture and especially their language. It would’ve been better if they didn’t force the use of Korean in the series. What’s worse is that it seems that the researchers didn’t do their job well in presenting Korean culture on the show. Ang daming sources sa internet, hello!

  2. watched the drama….i know korean accent is very difficult to acquire but i can barely understand anything that eddie garcia said in korean… was awful! you’re right when you said the drama looked like a low-budget poor imitation of mano po

  3. As always naman, GMA was never really good when it comes to producing quality TV dramas. Their story line is always the same (kinidnap ang bida, ang villain ito-torture at ipapapatay ang bida, susunugin ang bahay ng bida, etc. hindi nawawala yan sa mga TV drama ng GMA) at palaging may pagka violent. Sabayan mo pa ng poor acting ng mga bida. Hindi ako magtataka kung matsugi agad sa ere ang dramang ito. Sana hindi na lang sila sumakay sa kung ano ang uso kung hindi rin lang naman nila mapapanindigan.

  4. I look forward everynight to watch this show Koreana. Kris is a very good actress. I hope Chang Gee found Jenna as his grand daughter very soon.

  5. hey! ang sakit mo namang magsalita cyrus,, kung makapagcomment ka, para kang perfect ah!!!!!
    as if naman hindi ka tanga no! hindi mo kayang mag appreciate ng mga dramang magaganda!
    maganda kaya ang koreanna,, ito palang ang isa sa pinakamagandang istoryang napanood ko sa gma!
    watch your words!

  6. hay nako tingnan niyo tuloy palipat-lipat kayo…mas lalong pumangit,,,,,hindi na kami makapanood nang koreana………

  7. The best drama series I have seen – the acting is one to behold it seems the directors and producers have improved their production magnificently. I am waiting for the Dvd sale of it like the “endless love” series..

  8. Oo nga, napansin ko kaagad yung background music, pang-Chinese at hindi pang-Korean. And the Korean accent is unnatural. Yung hanbok pa na suot ni Jenna dun sa party, hindi colorful. It’s gray. Korean traditional clothes are supposed to be colorful.
    Pero i did watch it out of curiousity.
    OK lang naman sha.
    On the positive side, the actor who plays Joshua is good-looking at mukhang Korean talaga.

  9. …na enjoi ko po ang secret garden …
    dahil kay jamie (ha ji won)
    kaya po sana pwedeng mapagbigyan ung request ko….
    na ibalik ang hwang Jini…
    kahit napanood ko na un…
    mejo hindi ko na kasi maalala kya sana mapanood ko pa ulit…
    maraming salamat po…

  10. …sana po mapagbigyan neo ang request ko na ibalik
    at ipalabas ang Hwang Jini for the second time….
    maraming salamat….

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