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Lesson Transcript

Betsey: Mabuhay! Hi everyone! I’m Betsey!
Becky: And I’m Becky. Welcome back to FilipinoPod101.com! This is All About, Lesson 10 - Popular Culture in the Philippines. What are the main topics we’ll learn about in this lesson, Betsey?
Betsey: Hmm, why don't we start with the fun stuff?

Lesson focus

Becky: Okay, in this lesson, we’ll be talking about Filipino television, Filipinos abroad, music, sports, and international pop culture.
Betsey: Okay. Let’s get right to it!
Becky: First off, Popular TV.
Betsey: There are two major broadcasters - ABS-CBN, and GMA. These two stations have been around since the 50s and 60s. In the past couple of years, a new station called TV5 has also been growing in the industry.
Becky: These stations usually hold their own mainstream film productions, and handle their own talents. So, each talent is usually limited to participating in projects backed by one station.
Betsey: If you are even a little familiar with Spanish and Latin American culture, you’ll know that they absolutely love “telenovela”, also known as TV dramas.
Becky: Yes. The dramatic acting, Cliché story plots - Filipinos are the same way. They can’t get enough of it!
Betsey: There are both locally-made ‘teleseryes’ or “TV series”, but Latin American telenovelas are also broadcasted, or remakes are produced.
Becky: There are also a lot of talent-based singing and dancing shows,
Betsey: like ASAP and Showtime!
Also, Filipinos enjoy their singing and dancing so much, it`s not uncommon for people to have their own karaoke set in their homes! In fact, it`s often the norm!
Becky: Oh yes! There’s always Karaoke at Filipino parties. Actually, you don't even have to have the excuse of a party to hear someone belting out a Whitney Houston song in their living room.
Betsey: Yes, Filipinos really love their Karaoke! Which leads us to our next topic - Popular Filipinos abroad.
Becky: Well, we've given you an idea of how much Filipinos love to sing, and naturally the most famous Filipinos abroad are singers!
Betsey: You may know Charice Pempengco. She became famous because The Ellen Degeneres Show discovered her on YouTube. She came from a famous kids’ talent show on Filipino TV, and now she performs with greats such as Celine Dion and producer David Foster.
Becky: She’s really made it big! But I wasn’t surprised when I first heard her on YouTube - she is truly amazing.
Betsey: We also have Lea Salonga, and you may know her because she sang “A whole new world” in the movie Aladdin.
Becky: Didn't she also do the songs from Mulan?
Betsey: Yes, she did. She’s been in many musical productions since she was young, including the famous “Miss Saigon”. She’s known for singing ‘simple love songs’ which is by far Filipinos’ favorite music genre.
Becky: Alright. Next up is Popular Music.
Betsey: Well, love ballads are the most popular music genre among Filipinos.
Becky: When you listen to mainstream radio in the Philippines, you will still hear great love songs from the 80s and 90s.
Betsey: Foreign singers like Whitney Houston and Celine Dion are the most popular singers and Filipinos still avidly listen to their songs today.
Becky: Radio stations are usually divided into music genres, so there’s a station for love songs old and new, then there are OPM stations, which stands for Original Pilipino Music. There are also foreign pop music stations.
Betsey: In the local market, there are usually two types of mainstream musicians - the soul singers who often cover classics by Houston and Celine Dion and other foreign singers of the like, and then there are the OPM Rock bands.
Becky: Great local rock bands sing in both English and Filipino - they often sing on the theme of Filipino life and pride.
Betsey: Rock bands have always been a big part of the local industry. There are so many of them, and you can usually enjoy performances from both famous and independent bands and performers in smaller venues.
Becky: It’s actually one of the best parts of nightlife in Manila. You get to enjoy listening to these great bands in really intimate settings. Now let’s get to the next topic - popular sports.
Betsey: Well, the most famous or popular sport would probably be Basketball.
Becky: I’ve noticed that Filipinos are very good at playing basketball.
Betsey: Yes. They are very competitive, and a lot of them get good practice at local courts, where they can play with skilled amateurs.
Becky: So, what kind of leagues do the Philippines have?
Betsey: Well, there’s the PBA, which is also known as the Philippine Basketball Association. It’s actually the oldest in Asia, and second oldest after the NBA.
Becky: It must have a long history then!
Betsey: It does, but of course height is a big Achilles heel for Filipinos. But local teams actively participate in tournaments such as the FIBA Asia Championships.
Becky: What about other sports?
Betsey: Well, boxing is also popular. Before Manny Pacquiao started becoming famous, there were quite a few skilled boxers, including Pancho Villa and Flash Elorde.
Becky: Both boxers won World Flyweight and Featherweight championships, right?
Betsey: Yes. But boxing in the Philippines became popular again only recently, after Manny Pacquiao proved to be one of the best boxers in the world.
(International Pop Culture)
Becky: Now let’s move on to international pop culture. So, I think we can tell that the Philippines is up to date with what’s going on internationally.
Betsey: Yes, it is. And like we mentioned earlier, imported music and movies are especially popular.
Becky: There are also a lot of retail stores from the U.S.
Betsey: A lot. I mean, from books, to food, to Starbucks, to Krispy Kreme and P.F. Changs. Basically, a lot!
Becky: I guess you won’t really miss a lot from the States then.
Betsey: Other than that, there are also a lot of Japanese and Korean supermarkets to visit when you have cravings. So, it’s pretty diverse.
Becky: Well, that was it guys. I hope you had fun in this lesson!
Betsey: And I’m sure it’s making you want to visit the Philippines more and more!


Becky: Until next time, thanks for listening, and bye everyone!
Betsey: Paalam!