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Pinoy stories in different languages

() - March 21, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Kapamilya network is a success story in reaching out to Filipinos abroad through The Filipino Channel. Along with its mission to serve our kababayan wherever they may be is the opportunity to touch the hearts of non-Filipinos by providing entertainment content such as drama series. This is good news because it means locally-produced shows are making a headway in the global market.

 “The business of going to the international arena started way back in 1992,” recalls Cecile Angela Adriano-Ilagan, ABS-CBN Global corporate affairs senior manager of distributing programs to other territories. “It’s the vision of kapitan, chairman emeritus Geny Lopez.”

That vision saw shows in U-matic tapes being sent to countries such as the Marianas and Guam. The then network relied on DHL to make sure that the tapes landed on the program buyers’ lap.  

Also around this time, Cecile adds, the global team (led by international sales and distribution head Reena de Guzman Garingan) discovered the potential of ABS-CBN programs being marketed to neighboring countries.

The daytime tearjerker Anna Luna was the first show to be dubbed in another language for foreign buyers. Surprisingly, it was sold. And what a proud moment also for ABS-CBN global to watch Maalaala Mo Kaya in Bahasa! Since the distribution of kapamilya programs was making its baby steps then, the global department opted to keep mum about its little wins.

ABS-CBN Global’s big leap, however, began with Pangako Sa ‘Yo starring former real and reel life partners Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa. Malaysia and Singapore first bought its rights. It also reached the shores of Cambodia where kids born in the year Pangako aired there were named after Jericho’s character, Angelo.

Cambodian viewers loved Angelo primarily because he spoke in their language Khmer. Another reason was the dialogues were carefully dubbed without losing the proper characterization and the emotions that came with it.

Pangako Sa ‘Yo paved the way.

After 15 years, drama programs are translated into different languages: Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay in French and Turkish; Marina in Bahasa Indonesia; Sana Maulit Muli in Mandarin; It Might Be You with Romanian sub-titles; Lobo in English; and Super Inggo in Bahasa Melayu and English.

The Gerald Anderson-Kim Chiu-Jake Cuenca starrer Tayong Dalawa is now on its way to Malaysia, Brunei and Kenya.

So, why do other nationalities find Filipino TV drama close to their hearts?

Cecile shares that Pinoy drama is family-oriented. The story offers a glimmer of hope despite the suffering and pain in the storytelling. Foreigners can see a semblance of them in the local actors’ multi-racial features.

To paraphrase ABS-CBN Global’s teaser, the kapamilya network has bridged the universe through Filipino stories. And Juan dela Cruz is now best understood in many languages.

ANGELO ANNA LUNA BAHASA INDONESIA BAHASA MELAYU AND ENGLISH BRUNEI AND KENYA CECILE ANGELA ADRIANO-ILAGAN FILIPINO CHANNEL FRENCH AND TURKISH GENY LOPEZ PANGAKO SA
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