Philippine Soap Opera Curse

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Television, the worlds number 1 source of entertainment, watching t.v. is one habit most people have. What you see on T.V. usually reflects what kind of community they have, what type of country, what culture they have, how people reacts in some situations, how to love, and so on...

I got a friend who is from a theater school suggested me this kind of topic on how he notice Pinoy teleserye story lines are always being repeated on most TV stations.


Pinoy Teleserye
In the Philippines we have this "teleserye (television series)" or "teledrama (tv drama)", and now we also have "telepantasya (tv fantasy)" or "pantaserye (fantasy series)". These kind of shows has been part of the Filipino culture for years.
But, did you know that the first Philippine Soap Opera was first aired on the radio, it was Gulong ng Palad on 1949 then expanded into a television series in the early 1960's

In the 90's Soap Operas like Mara Clara begin to air, and it is one of the longest running Soap Opera in Philippine History, a story about two child that were exchanged with different parents, and ended up as mortal enemies, a story plot that has been used by modern teledramas even up today.


Same old Boring Story

During the early 90's Mexican telenovela has begun its Philippine invasion especially the show Marimar which stars Mexican actress Thalia, a story about a poor girl from the Barrio who fell in love with a rich handsome dude, and she get bullied by the rich people, then she became rich and gets revenge then, blah bla blah and they ended getting maried, got kids... happily ever after, the end. A perfect story plot for the Filipinos who love under dogs and poor people kicking some richie rich butt.

So from there Philippine Soap Opera originality has been nailed and has evolved into a Mexican kind of drama, where a poor girl or boy is being paired with a rich boy or girl, fell in love, start fighting because parents doesn't like the poor thing, gets rich because she or he found out that her/his parents where actually rich and has been looking for years, gets a payback, gets the guy/girl, got kids, blah bla blah again, got married happily ever after! whew... a story that has been repeated for the past two decades even in movies.

After Mexican now Asianovela, with the same old theme. It all started when Meteor Garden came into town, the Soap Opera was actually entertaining it maybe has the old story kinda thing but they gave it a little twist and originality, instead of the looser kind of heroine they put someone who kicks rich peoples behind, or those who yell at their boyfriend, kinda boyish but cool, I like girls that kicks balls, it makes me sweat, hehehe...

Besides the same old boring love story, we also have this lost child story, most soap operas are always looking for their lost child. Mara Clara, 100 days to heaven, Mutya, Time of My Life and now the latest from ABS-CBN  Ikaw ay Pag-ibig are just samples, another story about a mother looking for her child, again... in the end they will be reunited again, new show same old story.

Let me wrap it up for you, I know not all shows are the same but this is what I think about Philippine Soap Opera.

Story lines
  • Mostly about love, about a poor girl and rich boy vice versa
  • got separated by parents while they were young, usually the poor bida was the one separated.
  • The beginning of the story usually starts about a mother who lost her child
  • The villain and bida first meet at school.
  • Usually the fight starts at the canteen usually the villain tripping the hero's foot, and people starts laughing.
  • Sometimes they become friends.
  • They became enemies because they like the same guy.
  • The villains are mostly relatives to the lead actor or actress, the auntie, the mother, the kabit, the stepdaughter.
  • Most shows are on how to be a good Catholic. (it is biased since there are more than17% in the country are not Catholics, not all can relate).
  • Common ailments is amnesia, most of the characters will and some will suffer amnesia
  • All of the shows always show some kidnap scene, they usually uses a multicab or van
  • Most villains got goons
  • Most goons all wear leather jackets, you won't see someone wearing shorts or slippers and the leader of the goons are always the good looking one.
  • The Policemen are useless, always late in the scene of the crime, and the villains always escapes them, even when captured.
  • In the end it is the bida that defeats the villain not the Police
  • Common Profession  of the mastermind villains include, Governors, Congressman, Mayor or Attorney and Policemen. (Have you seen a villain who is just a City Councilor or a Barangay Tanod?)
  • One of the lead Character will die when the show will end in just about 2 weeks.
  • When someone tries to tell the truth he/she will get heart attacked or a stroke.
  • In a shooting scene the bida's bullets doesn't get empty even if it is just a colt with 6 bullets in it.
  • Before killing each other they will have a conversation. (I say just kill the villain already gd damm'it, before he shoots you back!)
  • The Master villain always got a hot chick by his side, and his goons are always smoking and drinking San Miguel Beer Palesen you won't see other brands :-P.
  • In some dramas the end of the show usually ended up the bida forgiving his/her mortal enemy. (after all what she has done to you just gonna forgive her, what a looser!)
  • All of the show, shows Hypocrisy and Ignorance, a common Filipino attitude. 
Combine all of this and you have a top rated teleserye, but there still some shows that has a unique storyline like Amaya.
I hope some writer on those TV shows realizes these same old boring story line. Its just entertainment but, we ain't stupid or dumb. Some people doesn't notice but, while watching TV you will someday get bored and notice the same story over and over again, and there is no end to it, because we ain't got a choice the 3 big stations are showing the same shows. 
I suggest watch Nat geo, History, aljazeera or HBO instead :-P

Is this all Philippine entertainment has to offer? 

bida- lead actor/actree
barrio- suburban town, town in a far province



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