Rizal (CNN Philippines Life) — As the world grapples with what is inarguably one of the darkest years in history, there are few comforts that can truly uplift the spirits. For a growing number of Filipinos, Korean dramas have become a balm for the soul, a place where people fall in love, pandemics aren’t real, and everyone can go about their business sans masks.
In fact, this almost-year of seclusion merely amplified viewers’ tendency to binge-watch K-dramas. In the past few years, local and international brands have brought in Korean stars as effective brand ambassadors in the Philippines; a response to the continuous consumption of Korean culture in all forms. This year, telco giant Smart Communications brought in “Crash Landing on You” stars Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin (who played leads Captain Ri and Yoon Se-ri, respectively) as the faces of their “Simple, Smart ako” campaign.
This time around, it’s actor Park Seo Joon as the leading force behind the Giga K-Video data pack. It’s the first ever prepaid data pack in Smart’s growing array of data offerings that includes a premium Viu subscription. Viu is available for free with ads, and has a growing audience who seek out Korean dramas, films, and other Asian film and TV content. GIGA K-Video 99 data pack comes with a seven-day Viu Premium subscription, 1 GB of data for Viu every day for seven days, plus 2 GB of open access data.
Talking about why Smart sought out the Korean actor to be the face of Giga K-Video, Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart President and CEO and PLDT Chief Revenue Officer explains, “Park Seo Joon is very popular and well-loved by the Filipino audience.” He goes on to add that like Smart’s other celebrity endorsers, Park has also shown that he was “very professional and humble” to work with.
For those looking to binge on Korean dramas, here are three currently available on Viu that feature Smart’s newest brand ambassador, Park Seo Joon.
“What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim”
Arguably Park Seo Joon’s best work yet, “What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim” may just be the drama that cemented his rom-com royalty status. It tells the story of how perfectionist and self-aware Vice Chairman Lee (Park Seo Joon) realizes that he has fallen in love with his highly capable assistant, Secretary Kim (Park Min-young). It’s a lighthearted workplace comedy with some elements of drama. While the story itself offers nothing groundbreaking, it’s the entertaining ensemble cast and of course, Vice Chairman Lee and Secretary Kim’s chemistry that makes it worth watching till the end. If this doesn’t make you fall in love with Park Seo Joon, perhaps nothing will.
“Fight for My Way”
Park Seo Joon may have embodied the role of a chaebol heir all too well in “Secretary Kim,” but as aspiring boxer Ko Dong-man, he really shows the versatility of his acting skills in slice of life drama “Fight for My Way.” The drama revolves around four young friends and neighbors as each of them struggle to get by — financially, emotionally, and professionally. It’s been critically praised for its realistic plot, and while that is true, it also features several shirtless Park Seo Joon scenes in the boxing ring. You’re welcome.
"Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth"
Handsome men in period clothing? This is the place for you. “Hwarang” is a historical drama set in the Silla Kingdom, about a group of young men who come of age during a tumultuous time. The series may have underperformed commercially when it came out in 2016-2017, but its star-studded cast eventually gathered a cult following. Not only does it star Park Seo Joon (with long hair), but also features Park Hyun-sik (of the idol group ZE:A) and Kim Taehyung, also known as V from BTS. The three have in fact gotten so close that they have a real life friend group called the Wooga squad with musician Peakboy and “Parasite” star Choi Woo Shik. Hot people of the same feather flock together, it seems.