You know you’re watching a Filipino TV series/movie when…

Salem By Salem, 9th Oct 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Diaries

Just some of the most common cliches found in almost every Filipino movie or television drama.

You know you’re watching a Filipino TV series/movie when…

I’m a self-confessed couch potato, even more so when I was younger, but even if that is the case, I've always hated watching Filipino soap operas and movies.
Here in the Philippines, they always say that we should love our own, but, shouldn't there be something to love about these programs first?

I prefer watching Korean soaps and movies over the local ones. The reason I hate local soaps is pretty simple, they all have the same plot-lines, the same old sappy dialogues and horrible actors. Here I’m listing the most common plot-lines that are always, and I mean ALWAYS included in all the soaps here in the Philippines.

1. The Childhood Friends – the male and female protagonists almost always start as childhood friends who got separated and then will somehow find each other and fall in love after how many years.
I mean seriously? Is that the only way to meet your special someone? Should everyone just look for a childhood friend to ensure that someday, that friend would come back with the promise of a happily ever after?

2. Invincible, Untouchable Antagonists – The antagonists who are usually either a bitter ex-girlfriend, a rejected suitor or a rich socialite hell bent on taking revenge on the protagonists always do all sorts of evil stuff from the harmless getting the protagonist fired from their jobs or thrown out of their homes to the drastic hiring of professional killers to kill off the main characters. Because they’re rich, they can manipulate the police and even politicians to do their bidding. And also they’re invincible. Example is the antagonist from soap who still survived a fire, and even a bus explosion! Talk about supernatural powers, it’s like the protagonist would need the help of Superman or Batman in order to defeat them.

3. The Poor Witness – In relation to number 2. There are always these seemingly minor characters that at some point would turn out to be crucial because they witnessed, overheard something that is key to bringing the antagonist to justice. At some instances, they were at some point aligned with the antagonist but then would switch sides once their conscience couldn't take it anymore or their loved ones asked them to quit. More often than not, these witnesses get killed off even before they could totally let the cat out of the bag. The antagonist would kidnap and torture them before they are killed. That’s the price they pay for listening to their conscience.

4. Baby Switching – Another tired old plot device is the baby switching. This happens when someone bent on taking revenge on the protagonist’s family would switch their newly born child for a different child, usually his or her own. I mean come on; even if babies are small there must be some kind of difference in appearance right? How can they not notice that the baby was switched?

5. Plastic Surgery – Both antagonists and protagonists have experienced their fair share of going under the knife in Philippine drama. In the protagonists’ case, they resort to surgery to repair their damaged faces or to transform into beautiful creatures if they happen to not be pretty.
Now, the antagonists do it to copy the appearance of the protagonist so they can pretend to be them. To do this, the antagonist would kidnap the protagonist and hide them some place guarded by her minions. I don’t think plastic surgery could be that spot – on no matter how advanced the technology is today.

6. The Wedding Ending – Most soaps end in the much anticipated Wedding. But since Filipinos love drama so much, even the wedding endings sometimes turn into the antagonist’s last attempt at revenge where they would suddenly appear in the church toting a gun or in some cases holding a grenade once the priests asked if anyone is against the wedding, shouting the famous line “If I can’t have you, then no one else will!” or “We’ll all see each other in Hell!”. But then in the end the antagonist would be stopped and the wedding would resume as if nothing happened.

There are lots of others aside from these six, but this article is getting pretty long so I’ll just stop here. If you guys noticed anything about your local TV programs, feel free to share.


Drama, Filipino, Soap Opera

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author avatar Salem
I'm just a simple girl who finds writing to be a very convenient way of expressing my feelings and opinions on things and issues.

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author avatar Utah Jay
12th Oct 2014 (#)

This sounds a lot like U.S. soaps, television is like that everywhere I think...great article.

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author avatar Salem
13th Oct 2014 (#)

haha yeah. thanks for taking the time to read. ^_^

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author avatar WOGIAM
14th Oct 2014 (#)

Most soaps tend to copy each other and use the same story lines. There are vey few which stand out in all countries.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
30th Oct 2014 (#)

Salem, I really enjoyed this article and the way you presented it. Here in the U.S. I watch a soap called "General Hospital" and it was funny that you put in the wedding part because that is what is happening on general hospital. It's right in the middle of some kind of crazy wedding plot. It should be good though. Congratulations on being writer of the day.

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author avatar Salem
26th Nov 2014 (#)

Thank you Nancy. I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Oh my it's been a while since I checked up on here. Didn't even know about the writer of the day bit. :)

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