In a previous paper, the author had begun discoursing on the process of acculturating Korean/Hallyu soap opera aesthetics in television productions such as Only You (Quintos, 2009), Lovers in Paris (Reyes, 2009), and Kahit Isang Saglit (Perez & Sineneng, 2008). This paper attempts to expand the discussions of his “critico-personal” essay by situating the discussions in what he described as the “diasporization” of the Filipino, and the Philippines, as constructed in recent soap operas namely Princess and I (Lumibao, Pasion, 2012) A Beautiful Affair (Flores, Pobocan, 2012), and Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw (Bernal & Villarin, 2013). In following the three teleserye texts, the author observes three hallyu aesthetic influences now operating in the local sphere—first, what he called the “spectacularization” of the first world imaginary in foreign dramatic/fictional spaces as new “spectre of comparisons” alluding to Benedict Anderson; the crafting of the Filipino character as postcolonially/neocolonially dispossessed; and the continued perpetration of the imagination of Filipino location as archipelagically—and consequently, nationally—incoherent. The influences result in the aforementioned “diasporization”, an important trope of simulated and dramaturgically crafted placelessness in the process of imagining Filipino “communities” and their sense of “historical” reality, while covering issues relating to the plight and conditions of the diasporic Filipino.
The spread of the increasingly popular Korean cultural products worldwide at the turn of the millennium is commonly referred to as Hallyu, or the Korean Wave. Literature on Hallyu is often written from the Korean perspective, focusing on its success in neighboring Asian countries, and the USA. The experiences and perspectives of cultural outsiders are largely absent from this corpus.
Inspired by this perceived gap, my paper begins with my chosen methodology, autoethnography: the study of the self in the context of culture, with a focus on individual experiences and personal accounts. After a brief introduction to Hallyu and what made it resonate with me on a personal level, I discuss how I first became aware of the problematic issue of Korean halal food and how this problem was expounded when I came to study in Korea. Finally, I refer to a few efforts on the side of Korea, discussing their effectivity in the face of this problem, and outline the implications of the food problematic.