At this point, we cannot deny how influential South Korean entertainment is to our country. In fact, according to Twitter’s K-pop data from 2021, the Philippines ranked third in a list of countries with the most K-pop fans. That’s why it’s not surprising at all that our own Pinoy Pop (P-Pop) groups make Tagalog music that sounds Korean pop while also embodying the looks and styling of Hallyu stars.
Our fascination with anything Korean will not be gone anytime soon. Perhaps, it is already embedded in our culture. Years ago, before social media reached its peak, we were already enjoying Korean songs adapted to our own language. Here, I’ll share with you some of the popular Tagalog songs that actually originated in Korea. Some of these might surprise you!
Di Ko Na Kaya – Faith Cuneta
When GMA 7 brought Winter Sonata in their primetime slot in 2003, the soundtrack used was the Tagalog version of “From The Beginning Until Now” by Ryu. The Queen of Asianovela Theme Songs, Faith Cuneta is the singer behind “Di Ko Na Kaya”. This single became a huge hit back then and now, I’d still hear it in karaoke sessions. Although its original version was sung by a male artist, Cuneta’s rendition is just as soulful. This song allows us to feel the bittersweet love story of Jun Kang (Bae Yong-Jun) and Janice Jung (Choi Ji-Woo).
I Believe – Jimmy Bondoc
My Sassy Girl was released in 2001 but I only learned about it in 2014 when My Love From The Star came out. I was surprised when I heard its official soundtrack as it instantly rings a bell. A few searches and I discovered that the film’s OST is “ I Believe” by Shin Seung Hun. I know Jimmy Bondoc’s “I Believe” since forever but I have no idea that it was a Tagalog version of a Korean song of the same title. Now, I believe, there’s always new to discover.
Kung Alam Mo Lang – Roxanne Barcelo
Roxanne Barcelo’s “Kung Alam Mo Lang” is probably in every hugot playlist. You might not memorize every line but for sure, you know its chorus by heart. I bet many were unaware that this 2004 hit is a Tagalog version of the Korean song “Because I’m a Girl” which was released in 2001 by female pop trio Kiss. As for the lyrics, it seems that Barcelo’s version is not a direct translation of the original one. While both talk about the pain of letting go, the song describes being fooled and cheated on by a man.
Alaala Nalang – Hambog Ng Sagpro Krew
For those who have gone through their jejemon phase, you might be familiar with the local song “Alaala Nalang” by Hambog Ng Sagpro Krew. It became popular in early 2010 and it’s impossible not to hear it being played in computer shops back then. I didn’t know until recently that the melody used for it was by South Korean pianist Yiruma. The title of the piece is “River Flows in You” which was composed in 2001. Using someone else’s composition to create your own music is of course illegal. Mayhap, YouTube wasn’t as strict back then for them to be able to do this without being flagged for copyright infringement.
Pag-ibig Na Kaya – Christian Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go
“Perhaps Love” was the official soundtrack of the hit 2006 Korean drama Princess Hours. In the same year, ABS-CBN imported it into the Philippines with “Pag-ibig Na Kaya”, the Tagalog version of its OST. Originally, it was performed by the then-couple, Bugoy Drilon and Liezel Garcia but on the official track, it was sung by Christian Bautista and Rachelle Ann Go. I do guarantee that this song will make you want to feel the pure bliss of a blossoming romance!
There’s really no limit on what can inspire us and it’s amazing how something foreign can be localized and therefore introduced to Filipino listeners. After all, music is an art and art is for everyone.
Salihha is a typical Virgo. She finds interest in true crime stories, Korean wave, thrift shopping, and makeup; these stuff fuels her desire to write. There’s nothing she loves more than her dogs and Harry Styles.