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How K-Drama Fan Leni Robredo Plans to Uplift Filipino Artists

She sees what South Korea is doing for Hallyu.
by Ara Eugenio
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Photo/s: Leni Robredo/Facebook

Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo said Thursday that to promote Filipino arts and entertainment, she would take cues from how South Korea has successfully exported its dramas and pop music to the world.

As someone who watches Korean dramas, the vice president said she is always filled with envy watching the shows, knowing how Filipino artists could do even better, if only government support is enough. 

"Kanina natanong sa'kin yung KDRAMA and you know, everytime I watch, naiinggit ako. Naiinggit ako kasi pakiramdam ko kayang-kaya natin ito. Kayang-kaya natin ito if only yung support ng pamahalaan is enough,Robredo said in a Zoom call with lifestyle journalists. 

"'Pag nakikita ko yung mga artista parati ko sinasabi mas mahuhusay dito yung mga artista natin. 'Pag nakikita ko how the South Korean government has invested in really promoting the entertainment industry and strengthening it, it is something that I think kaya natin," she added.

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South Korean is known for providing subsidies, tax incentives, among others, to its creative industries, inspiring them to experiment and take risks. This is a recognition of "Hallyu" or the Korean wave.

ALSO READ: Why Filipinos Can't Stop Binge Watching Korean Dramas

Robredo said the goal is to "create a culture that fosters artistic excellence by ensuring the welfare of artists, their protection, education, and opportunities", noting that "a large part of this will come from government". 

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She said this could be done by "clearly" defining the role of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, adding she would revisit and possibly reframe the NCAA's implementing rules and regulations if necessary. 

"Meron ding mga proposals before to determine the feasibility of establishing a Department of Culture [that would] abolish and supersede the NCAA. Sa akin it’s worth opening up for discussion kasi baka kailangan talaga ‘yun," she added. 

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Robredo said this promotion of culture should extend to local government units, adding the country has not been investing enough to make sure that it's an "essential ingredient in local governance."

Among her key concerns would also be the institutionalization of artist welfare and protection. "Andami nang pakikibaka pagdating dito especially during the pandemic na andami talagang nawala and wala tayong safety nets para saluhin man lang yung nawala sa ating mga artists," she said.

Robredo said an active collaboration between government and the private sector is needed to make all this happen.

Another thing she learned from watching South Korean dramas, Robredo said, is that a large part of the industry success will also come from a "deeper and proper appreciation of Philippine history and culture". 

"So dapat 'yung agenda natin it should put premium on education and mechanisms against disinformation kasi luging lugi talaga tayo ngayon. Luging lugi tayo ngayon if we are not able to dismantle the mechanisms that fabricate and circulate disinformation in the government’s communications infrastructure kasi nadidistort niya talaga yung natural flow of things," she said.

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"So, maraming kailangang gawin pero kayang gawin," she added. 

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