Korean dramas—some watch them for the plots and some for the ~*cinematography*~. Others, however, just have one thing in mind: The oppas are TO DIE FOR. Any fan would agree that their fave lead guys are 100% irreplaceable, but have you ever imagined who would play those iconic roles if the series you’re obsessed with gets localized on Philippine TV?
By no means is this list definitive or a result of an audited poll—just the product of ~*serious*~ brainstorming with a handful of K-drama fans, but here are 10 hot K-Drama guys and their possible Pinoy counterparts:
1. Kim Shin-Hyuk from She Was Pretty
Played by Choi Si-won
Pinoy counterpart: John Lloyd Cruz
In this drama (now being aired in GMA 7 as Pretty Woman), Si-won showed that he's more than just a Super Junior idol. He was goofy, he was peculiar, and he was truly martir, which made his character more memorable than the lead guy, Ji Sung-Joon (played by Park Seo Joon). And it's why the role would only be given justice if John Lloyd Cruz, the king of unbearable heartbreaks and tearjerkers, played it. All he needs now are Si-won’s scruff and abs.
2. Kim Young-ho/John Kim from Oh My Venus
Played by So Ji-sub
Pinoy counterpart: Daniel Matsunaga
A body that's ripped from head to toe? Check. A sexy, mysterious look? Check again. An uncanny ability to melt your heart? Triple check! On top of it all, his cute on-screen leading lady Erich Gonzales might just be able to mirror Shin Min-ah's charms as Kang Joo-eun. Gwiyeopda!
3. Capt. Yoo Si Jin from Descendants of the Sun
Played by Song Joong Ki
Pinoy counterpart: Gerald Anderson
A tough guy that works up a sweat and gets dirty with all the military training but still looks mabango. Can't think of anyone else that fits the description more than Gerald. Of course, let's not forget DOTS’s Seo Dae-young (played by Jin Goo), which could be a perfect role for JC De Vera with his humor, doe eyes, and yummy abs.
4. Hong Ji-Hong from Doctors
Played by Kim Rae-won
Pinoy counterpart: Dingdong Dantes
Imagine if your doctor looked that good—and you know Marian Rivera would kick ass if she took on Park Shin Hye's role (Hye Jung). On the other hand, Dennis Trillo might be a good fit for Jung Yoon-do, the endearing neurosurgeon played by Yoon Kyun-sang (while either of his past leading ladies, Bela Padilla or Kris Bernal, would make a great sub for Lee Sung-kyung).
5. Wang So from Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo
Played by Lee Joon-gi
Pinoy counterpart: Daniel Padilla
In Scarlet Heart, the fourth Prince of the Wang family hides his scarred face and looks fearsome but eventually reveals his sweet side to the woman he loves—a role DJ can definitely pull off. Kathryn Bernardo can be her own Go Ha-jin (played by IU), too. Can you already imagine them in hanbok costumes?
6. Kang Cheol fromW
Played by Lee Jong-suk
Pinoy counterpart: Paulo Avelino
The role calls for someone who can be the center of a thrilling (and quite complicated) storyline and someone who can be convincing as a rich, hardworking exec with covert vengeful and romantic sides. With the diversity and challenging nature of his past projects, Paulo can definitely be a Jong-suk sub. He's had a lot of experiences shooting guns at action films and soaps before, too, and he's mastered that intense, smoldering look.
7. Lee Yeong from Moonlight Drawn by Clouds
Played by Park Bo Gum
Pinoy counterpart: Alden Richards
Dimples pa lang, panalo na. Alden's on-screen charms are on par with Korean bae Bo Gum's. And we can all bet that Maine Mendoza won't disappoint if asked to play Kim Yoo-jung's role, Hong Ra-on, a cheeky girl posing as a boy who eventually gets caught in a love affair with her master.
8. Heo Joon Jae from Legend of the Blue Sea
Played by Lee Min-ho
Pinoy counterpart: Enrique Gil
Enrique's cunning smile and animated expressions—plus that unfair advantage of looking dashing in any uniform or costume—make him ideal for the role. Who wouldn't be hypnotized by him if he were a con artist who made you do his biddings? Moreover, the entire nation (and maybe the world) would be ECSTATIC to see Liza Soberano transform into a quirky mermaid.
9. Jung Joon Hyeong from Weightlifting Fairy: Kim Bok Joo
Played by Nam Joo Hyuk
Pinoy counterpart: James Reid
James, oh, James. He has a swimmer's washboard abs and broad shoulders. He has the squeal-worthy charms when he makes lambing, and he can be SO adorable when he shows how wacky he can be. Naturally, he'd make a great Joon Hyeong—and Nadine Lustre can be a totally gorgeous version of Chubs. And for the role of big bro Jung Jae Yi (played by Lee Jae Yoon)? How about Ian Veneracion? Yum.
10. Kim Shin from Goblin
Played by Gong Yoo
Pinoy counterpart: Piolo Pascual
Xian Lim might be a great candidate for the role of Grim Reaper/Kim Woo Bin/Wang Yeo (played by Lee Dong Wook), while the up-and-coming, sweet-looking star Joshua Garcia can own the role of Deok Hwa (played by Yook Sung-jae). But for the Goblin/Kim Shin played by Gong Yoo, who's the hottest, most sought-after Korean “ahjussi,” there's no one in the Pinoy teleserye realm better fit to fill in his warrior boots—and leave women of any age or lifetime reeling for more—than Papa P. Saranghaeyo, Piolo. <3
Follow Ginyn on Instagram.