The Korean Wave is slowly taking over the world and the Philippines was not spared. The main culprit? Mass Media and Technology. Because of it, more and more Filipinos are getting hooked on K-Pop and especially, K-Dramas. So we rounded up eight of the most well-loved Korean celebrities in the country today.
1. Gong Yoo
|(Photo from SOOP Management's Instagram)|
First on our list is actor Gong Yoo. He first rose to fame in the Philippines in 2008 with his drama 'Coffee Prince', opposite actress Yoon Eunhye. The show was a big hit in the country with an average rating of 30.2%, making it one of the most popular Korean dramas in the Philippines. Come 2016, Gong Yoo made a huge comeback both in movies and TV with 'Train to Busan' and 'Goblin' which were huge hits in the country as well. According to reports, he will be starring in two new Korean films, 'Seo Bok' (working title) where he will be playing an ex-spy agent and 'Kim Jiyoung, born in 1982' (literal translation), a movie adaptation of a popular feminist novel of the same name.
2. Lee Minho
|(Photo from Lee Minho's Instagram)|
Almost everyone in the Philippines know him as the stubborn but lovable Gu Junpyo from the popular Koreanovela, 'Boys over Flowers'. But obviously, he didn't stop there. All of his dramas after 'Boys Over Flowers' were aired in the Philippines by ABS-CBN, making him a household name. He also became an international endorser for clothing company, Bench. Lee Minho is currently serving in the Korean military as a public service worker and is expected to be finished early 2019.
|(Photo from Momoland's Instagram)|
The youngest member of the K-Pop girl group, Momoland, 18-year-old Nancy Jewel McDonie is one of the newest Korean stars to capture the attention of Filipinos. She first started getting noticed in the country when fans discovered her similarities with Filipina actress Liza Soberano. They recently went to the Philippines for a private event but the Philippine media was lucky enough to interview the group whose song, 'Bboom Bboom' went viral because of the #BboomBboomChallenge.
4. Park Shinhye
|(Photo from Park Shinhye's Instagram)|
Actress Park Shinhye is another Korean celebrity who got the hearts of Filipinos because of her characters in her TV shows that were shown in the Philippines. She started acting when she played the younger version of Choi Jiwoo's character in the show, 'Stairway to Heaven'. Her most popular K-dramas are 'The Heirs', where she starred alongside Lee Minho and Kim Woobin, 'Doctors' with Kim Raewon, and 'Pinocchio' with Lee Jongsuk. She was also a part of the movie, 'Miracle in Cell no. 7' which made a lot of us weep. She will be starring in a new TV drama, 'Memories of the Alhambra', opposite actor Hyun Bin (Secret Garden).
5. Ryan Bang
|(Photo from PUSH)|
Ryan Bang (Korean name: Bang Hyunsung) rose to fame when he won first runner-up in the reality show, 'Pinoy Big Brother', in 2010. He has tried acting, hosting, and even singing! He starred in several TV shows and films under ABS-CBN and Star Cinema. He is also currently one of the hosts of TV noontime show, 'It's Showtime,' which contributed a lot to why the madlang pipol loves him so much. Ryan Bang's popularity in the Philippines is also a big news in his home country South Korea. It landed him guestings in some Korean TV shows and he was the Philippines' representative during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and he was recently appointed as an ambassador of Gangwon Province where his father was from.
6. Sandara Park
|(Photo from Sandara Park's Instagram)|
This list wouldn't be complete without including this lady. She is probably the most-loved foreign celebrity in the country because almost everyone in every part of the Philippines knows who she is. Sandara Park became a Pinoy household name when she first joined the talent search 'Star Circle Quest' in 2004 where she finished first runner-up. Fast forward to 2009 and we got to see Sandara, who now goes by the screen name 'Dara', as 1/4 of one of K-Pop's most successful girl group, 2NE1. Even when her fame rose even bigger, Dara never forgot the Philippines that is why she is still loved and appreciated by Filipinos. Dara recently experienced being a Korean soldier for military-themed variety show, 'Real Men 300', which will start airing on November 02, 2018.
6. Song Hyekyo
|(Photo from Song Hyekyo's Instagram)|
"May tatlong bear sa loob ng isang bahay.. Si Papa Bear, si Mama Bear, si Baby Bear.. (There are three bears inside one house.. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear..)"
During the fame of K-drama 'Full House' in the Philippines, everyone knew that song and even the dance moves! Yes! Actress Song Hyekyo first became popular in the country because of her role as Jessie. She and singer-actor Rain gave everyone kilig that time as the show became the highest-rated Koreanovela that aired in the Philippines with peak viewership at 52.0%. She then starred in another hit Korean drama, 'Descendants of the Sun', in 2016 with her now husband, Song Joongki. The two tied the knot on October 31, 2017. Song Hyekyo will soon be back to the small screen through the show, 'Encounter', opposite actor Park Bogum.
8. Song Joongki
|(Photo from Naver)|
The other half of the 'Song-Song Couple' rounds up our Top 8 list! Song Joongki became popular in the Philippines after playing the hot soldier, Captain Yoo Shijin, in 'Descendants of the Sun'. His on-screen chemistry with his then co-star, Song Hyekyo, earned them a lot of fans. Song Joongki and Song Hyekyo made us all happy when they announced their plans of getting married! He is currently busy shooting his new period-fantasy drama, 'Asadal Chronicles' that is set to air in early 2019.