Asianovela Fever: Popular Asian series in PH during the 2000s

Anne Marielle Eugenio
PUBLISHED May 18, 2017 02:14 pm | UPDATED September 18, 2017 03:43 pm

(Inside Manila) The Filipinos showed interest in Asian dramas long before the series like “Love in the Moonlight”, “Scarlet Heart”, and “Goblin” were shown in Philippine television. In the early 2000s, the country was introduced to Jenny, Cholo, Dao Ming Si, Sam Soon, and a whole lot of characters that captured the hearts of viewers.


Inside Manila listed 12 of the Asian series Filipinos have come to love through the years.


Endless Love: Autumn in my Heart (2000)



Before Maxene Kang or Kang Mo Yeon of the “Descendants of the Sun” entered the Philippine television primetime, Song Hye Kyo first touched the hearts of Filipinos as Jenny or Yoon Eun-suh in the drama series “Endless Love”. It was noted for its tragic and cliff-hanger ending.


Meteor Garden (2001)



Who could have forgotten the phenomenal Taiwanese drama of the early 2000s? The country was swooned by Shanchai (Barbie Shu), Dao Ming Si (Jerry Yan), Hua Ze Lei (Vic Zhou), Mei Zuo (Vanness Wu) and Xi Men (Ken Chu). Due to its popularity, the actors were even invited here for a concert. It became the “ultimate throwback” when it was re-aired in 2014.


Stairway to Heaven (2003)



The twisted love story of Cholo (Kwon Sang-woo) and Jodi (Choi Ji-woo) broke the hearts of the audience when it was shown in 2005 and was considered one of the popular K-dramas. In 2009, GMA revived the main characters of Stairway to Heaven in a TV adaptation starring Dingdong Dantes and Rhian Ramos.


Jewel in the Palace (2003)



In 2005, another Korean drama took the Philippines by storm when GMA aired “Jewel in the Palace”. Based on the true story of the first female Royal Physician in the Korean history, it focused on the life of the talented orphaned kitchen cook Jang-geum, played by Lee Young Ae. She also learned the secrets of medicine and became the king's first female physician.


Full House (2004)



Full House starred Korean superstar Rain and Song Hye Kyo. Jessie (Song Hye Kyo) marries Justin (Rain) in order to keep her inherited "Full House" from her parents. It is popular for the song about the three bears: Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Baby Bear. In 2009, Heart Evangelista and Richard Gutierrez played the Filipino version of Jessie and Justin.


My Lovely Sam Soon (2005)



Titled "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" when shown in the Philippines, this Korean drama tells the story of a female pastry chef who wanted to change her old-fashioned name.  It was said to be among the highest-rated Asian dramas to be shown in the country. In 2008, a remake titled “Ako si Kim Samsoon” was aired and it starred Regine Velasquez and Mark Anthony Fernandez.


It Started with a Kiss (2005)



Considered as one of the most successful adaptations of manga, “It Started with a Kiss” became one of the most popular Taiwanese dramas in the Philippines. It starred Joe Cheng as Michael and Ariel Lin as Jeannie. In 2007, a sequel titled “They Kiss Again” was aired and a Korean adaptation was created in 2010 entitled “Playful Kiss”.


Jumong (2006)



Jumong, which stars Song Il-gook, was one of the most popular historical period drama shown in the Philippines. Due to its popularity, the original 60-episode run was extended to 81. It won several awards in Korea, including Best Screenplay in the 2007 Baeksang Arts Awards.


Princess Hours (2006)



As a modern-day fairytale, Princess Hours focuses on a normal high school girl named Janelle (Yoon Eun-hye) whose life take an unexpected turn when she learned she was arranged to marry Korea's Crown Prince, Gian (Ju Ji-hoon). The story became a hit, not only in the Philippines, but also across Asia.


Coffee Prince (2007)



Even before he rose to fame as Seok Woo in “Train to Busan” and Kim Shin in “Goblin”, Gong Yoo already became popular in the Philippines when he played Arthur or Han-kyul in Coffee Prince. He was then paired with “Princess Hours” star Yoon Eun-hye. In 2012, GMA had a romantic comedy series of the same name based on the drama which starred Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal.


Temptation of Wife (2008)



Tempatation of Wife is tells the story of betrayal and revenge of Chantal (Jang Seo-hee). It was deemed controversial but remained to be one of the most-watched South Korean dramas. It had a Philippine remake which starred Marian Rivera, Dennis Trillo, Glaiza de Castro and Rafael Rossell.


Boys over Flowers (2009)



This Korean drama brought back F4 to the Philippines and introduced Korean superstar Lee Min Ho to the Filipinos. It also stars Ku Hye-sun, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Bum and Kim Joon. It is the Korean TV adaptation of the manga “Hana Yori Dango”, which was also adapted in Taiwan as “Meteor Garden”.

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