K-dramas—which we used to call Korenovelas—have always been a part of our primetime routine that assembled all the family members in the living room. Even before the rise of online streaming platforms and social media, these series were already widely watched in the Philippines. The popularity of K-dramas reached the point where printed photos of the Boys Over Flowers cast were sold outside our schools and right after we buy one, we put it at the back of our IDs. Ang nostalgic, 'no?
There's no doubt that K-dramas offer quality production and well-thought plots that Filipino viewers simply couldn't resist. This admiration even resulted in Philippine adaptations aired on local television channels. With our very own actors who can portray diverse roles plus the local setting that's relatable, more and more series are given a spinoff.
We listed some of the K-dramas with Filipino remakes that you *should* check out:
1. Descendants Of The Sun
The talk of the town in 2016, Descendants Of The Sun has gained massive success not just in South Korea but also in many parts of the world, including the Philippines. Filipinos have shown much support and love for this series and up to this day, this is one of the go-to suggestions for new K-drama fans. Descendants Of The Sun follows the story of a special forces captain and a doctor trying to steer their relationship despite the struggles from their respective sworn duties. Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo gave all the kilig from their simple stares to heartwarming lines. (Brb, gonna re-watch some scenes because no one is moving on from Big Boss and Beauty!)
In the 2020 local adaptation, Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado played the lead characters and as expected from these actors, they delivered! Both already starred in many local series as leads and their experience helped them play the iconic roles.
2. Full House
Full House is another K-drama featuring Song Hye Kyo and this time she's alongside Rain. With two household names in the Korean entertainment industry, who wouldn't remember this series? Aired in 2004 (back in the time when buying CDs was still a thing), Full House will forever remain a classic. The simple storyline made it enjoyable to watch and it's considered one of the pioneers in the rom-com genre.
In 2009, the Philippine adaptation was aired by GMA Network which starred Heart Evangelista and Richard Gutierrez. Just recently, Full House fans received a special treat when Hye Kyo and Heart had an encounter at a luxury jewelry brand's gala in Paris, France. What a moment!
3. My Love From The Star
Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun in one drama seem too good to be true but yes, it actually happened! Years have passed but this will always be one of the series that you would want to watch all over again. We are still gushing over Soo Hyun's portrayal as a handsome alien. Of course, how can we forget Ji Hyun as the troublesome actress that made us all laugh? P.S: My Love From The Star will turn 10 years old next year! *gasps*
The local adaptation of the drama once again featured Jennylyn Mercado, whose acting prowess is unquestionable. It also introduced Gil Cuerva to the Filipino viewers and even if he was new in the scene during that time, he totally delivered. Despite being new on Philippine television, their chemistry worked so well. The series concluded with 55 episodes.
4. A World Of Married Couple
A World Of Married Couple was originally based on BBC One's Doctor Foster. The Korean series starred Kim Hee Ae, Park Hae Joon, and Han So Hee. It revolves around the seemingly perfect life of a doctor who’s enjoying her established career and loving family. Everything got twisted when she found out that her husband is having an affair with another woman.
There's no wonder that A World Of Married Couple was a hit among Filipino viewers because of its *relatable* plot and as soon as the announcement of the local adaptation came out, the anticipation kicked off. The Filipino version carried a different title and is now The Broken Marriage Vow, starring Jodi Sta. Maria, Zanjoe Marudo, Sue Ramirez, and Zaijan Jaranilla. It aired from January to June of this year.
5. Only You
Filmed in Italy in 2005, this K-drama has charmed viewers with its interesting plot. Despite being aired in the 2000s, you will notice how it's relatable today considering the time that it was televised. It depicted sensitive topics that were not talked about back then. The series tells the story of life and love that is happening in actual situations. Only You also presented how destiny works. It starred Han Chae Young, Jo Hyun Jae, Lee Chun Hee, and Hong Soo Hyun.
Its Philippine adaptation aired in 2009 and the main characters were played by Angel Locsin, Diether Ocampo, and Sam Milby. Unlike the Korean version, the first half of the show was shot in South Korea. The show occupied a slot in ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida evening block and has released 85 episodes.
6. My Girl
Old but gold! The main cast is composed of Lee Dong Wook, Lee Da Hae, and Lee Joon Gi. My Girl's storyline also captured the interest of many and the high ratings were proof of its successful run. Positively welcomed by the Filipinos, ABS-CBN has earned the rights to proceed with a local version.
The Filipino remake of My Girl aired in 2008 and headlined by former Pinoy Big Brother housemates, Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson. The Kimerald loveteam fever made the series an instant hit among viewers.
7. Lovers In Paris
If there's one thing that would remind you of this K-drama, it would be Kitchie Nadal's "Huwag Na Huwag Mong Sasabihin." The song was used as a soundtrack for the Filipino- dubbed version aired in the Philippines, and is a staple piece in karaoke sessions. If you ever watched that version, for sure you were one of the people who used the expression "Aja!" back then. Lovers In Paris was given colors by Kim Jung Eun, Park Shin Yang, and Lee Dong Gun. Overall, the series had a successful run and garnered numerous awards and recognitions for both the drama and its actors.
In 2009, ABS-CBN aired the Philippine adaptation with main roles portrayed by KC Concepcion, Piolo Pascual, and Zanjoe Marudo. Anchored to the City of Love, both the Korean and Filipino versions gave us the ~feels.~
8. Temptation Of Wife
The title itself will already give you an idea of what this is all about. Here's the catch: The legal wife transformed into a temptress when she took revenge by seducing her cheater husband. While this kind of plot appears to be cliché, it will still keep you hooked because...don't we all love revengeful protagonists who win in the end? Hats off to Jang Seo Hee, Byun Woo Min, Kim Seo Hyung, and Lee Jae Hwang for the incredible portrayal of the main characters.
Its localized version was just as exciting as the original! Carrying the same title, the adaptation starred Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo, Glaiza de Castro, and Rafael Rosell and their performances were *chef’s kiss.* The series concluded with 113 episodes which ran from October 2012 to April 2013.
9. Flower Of Evil
Flower Of Evil has served as a reunion project for Lee Joon Gi and Moon Chae Won who previously appeared together in Criminal Minds. This time, they have shared the spotlight with Jang Hee Jin and Seo Hyun Woo. With all the plot twists in Flower Of Evil, you can't help yourself but continue pressing that play button.
The local adaptation is graced by the one-and-only Papa P himself, Piolo Pascual, alongside Lovi Poe. It is currently televised on the Kapamilya Channel since June 25, 2022. What are you waiting for? If you are planning to catch up, it's never too late!
One of the K-dramas that kept us entertained during the height of the pandemic, Start-Up will always have a spot in our hearts. When everything felt on hold, this series inspired us in more ways than one. Bae Suzy, Nam Joo Hyuk, and Kim Seon Ho have portrayed their roles effectively which made us wait for new episodes every week. It was such a core memory when the viewers were divided into #TeamDoSan and #TeamJiPyeong! Well, we have to admit, this K-drama falls on our list of the ones that gave us major second lead syndrome.
Two years after, Filipino fans are in for a surprise as the local adaptation of this drama is about to come to life. The remake will star Bea Alonzo, Alden Richards, Yasmien Kurdi, Jeric Gonzales, and Gina Alajar. While we cannot wait to see what the local production has in store for us, we can expect the unexpected. Who knows? They might give us a different happy ending this time. *fingers crossed*
MORE K-DRAMA ROUNDUPS RIGHT HERE: