ABS-CBN drama series also popular in Asia, Africa

Posted at 03/19/10 4:05 PM

MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN's homegrown entertainment programs have been brought to a broader global audience via the pioneering efforts of ABS-CBN Global’s International Sales and Distribution (ISD).

In an interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, ISD head Reena Garingan says ABS-CBN has already sold around 30 television drama series in different parts of the world like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia as well as in Africa.

She says ABS-CBN shows sell well because they bring hope and inspire people.

"We are trying to come up with programs that are universally accepted, no matter what religion, no matter what culture or race you have, Importante yong nararamdaman ang drama," says Garingan.

Like the Philippines, Garingan says these countries also have poor people hoping for improvements in their lives.

"Ang mga bansa na naghihirap, that are economically and politically unstable, these are the countries that would like to watch...Kasi hirap na sila at gusto nilang makapanood na nakaka-relate sila, at kapag pinapanood ay may hope. They see characters, portrayed by beautiful stars, are actually their lives or the lives of their neighbors. Kaya they keep on watching because there's hope [in these shows]," she says.

High ratings

To prove that Kapamilya's shows are being embraced worldwide, Garingan says these shows get high ratings in these countries.

Recently, “Pangako sa ‘Yo" ("The Promise"), aired on China’s national television, was rated second in overall local and foreign programs. This was 10 years after Filipinos became attached to the Kristine Hermosa-Jericho Rosales tandem.

The classic teleserye appealed to the Chinese audience and even hit the Top 30 list in national weekly rankings covering over 2,000 channels and capturing 1.3 billion viewers.

'Pangako Sa 'Yo" also captured the hearts of people in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia and even Africa.

As Cambodian Nai Hiu Mei recounts: “The teleserye, broadcasted here with Khmer dubbing, was so popular that many Cambodian babies are named Angelo.”

The Times of Zambia writer Meluse Kapatamoyo wrote: “The series has become a topic of discussion among families, friends and even neighbors who daily ponder on how the show would end.”

René Lötter of One Africa Television said: “When is Pangako sa ’Yo coming back?’ I wish I could get a dollar each time I get that question. From teenager to grandma, from household organizers to tax consultant – it’s gripped people across all genders.”

Hits in China

Aside from “Pangako sa ‘Yo” (known internationally as “The Promise”), other Kapamilya shows have also been brought to the global audience. These include "“Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin” (a.k.a. “Only You”), which is being carried by the biggest province in mainland China and airing on primetime.

Meanwhile, “Sana Maulit Muli” (a.k.a. “Chances”), “Maging Sino Ka Man” (a.k.a. “More Than Love”), and “Gulong ng Palad” (a.k.a. “Stand for Love”) are expected to be aired in China soon.

Also earning international recognition worldwide is the Angel Locsin-Piolo Pascual starrer "Lobo” (a.k.a. “She-Wolf: The Last Sentinel”).

In the recently concluded 2009 International Emmy® Awards, “She-Wolf” was recognized for the stellar performance of Angel Locsin, who received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress.

This recognition was the second for the show. It won the Best Telenovela award at the 30th BANFF World Television Festival in Toronto, Canada last year.

"She-Wolf" is currently enjoying wide viewership in Brunei, and it is anticipated to be released in other countries in Asia, Europe and Africa this year.

Subtitled and dubbed

ABS-CBN shows are subtitled and dubbed in several languages, including English, Turkish, Khmer, Mandarin, and French.

One of the programs dubbed in French is “Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay” (a.k.a. “La Longue Attente” in French and “The Long Wait” in English), which will cater to French-speaking viewers in Africa and Europe.

For more than a decade, ISD has been the premiere source of top quality programs from the Philippines, making ABS-CBN Global the first and the biggest Philippine content distributor in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia-Pacific, and the leading Asian distributor in Africa.

Through ISD, Garingan says Kapamilya shows have become so popular among non-Filipinos that ABS-CBN is now regarded as a market mover and thought-leader in the field of broadcasting in Africa.

Garingan recently attended a content and distribution forum and spoke before leading journalists and broadcasters in Africa. She discussed the social and ethical responsibilities of media professionals.

"Ang aim ng ABS-CBN Global is not only to reach the Filipino people all over the world, pero pati yong mga non-Filipino na who will make us proud of what we are doing," Garingan says. "I'd like to think that we bring enjoyment to the local viewers and we bring hope to a lot of them."


About ABS-CBN Global Ltd.

ABS-CBN Global Ltd. is the leader in providing quality news, entertainment, and other products and services for Filipinos and non-Filipinos worldwide. Its flagship product, The Filipino Channel (TFC) is the leading all-Filipino network available in cable, direct-to-home satellite, internet protocol TV, on-line audio-video streaming and mobile. Through its International Sales and Distribution division, it has also penetrated foreign markets and has become the premier source of top quality content from the Philippines. The company, through its various international subsidiaries in the US, Canada, Middle East, Europe, Australia and Japan/Asia-Pacific also has business interests in telecommunications, retail, money remittance, cargo forwarding and social networking. ABS-CBN Global Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippines' largest content provider, ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation.