49 min
By: ENC Leaders

Episode 5: Hallyu: Korean Invasion

What is it about the Korean culture that speaks to our hearts? What does it tell about our innermost desires and how can starting a conversation give us an idea about the gospel connection to these desires?

Play on:

4:35 – The Hallyu (Korean Wave) represents Asian culture, making this relatable to most Filipinos.

5:45 – Prior to the whole Hallyu invasion, there’s a big gap between western and eastern culture. Filipinos can easily relate to the Korean culture because it is more collective, putting a premium on family, friendship, and nationalism. On the other hand, western culture is more individualistic.


  • Hallyu has influenced not just Korea’s Asian neighbors, but it also influenced the whole world.
  • This level of excellence that Hallyu offers to different people became the reason why they are appealing to its audience, especially to us Filipinos.


  • Two observations why the Korean culture is appealing: Excellence and Aesthetics
  • Even though western culture still has influence on the pop culture of Filipinos, the effect of the Hallyu in our own culture is undeniable, regardless of whether you are a fan or not. Korean culture is pervasive in our view of skincare and our choice of pop music, food, and fashion. 


  • The way we view masculine beauty has altered because of the standard of masculinity of Korean men.
  • Hallyu has shifted the way we view beauty. Before, we based beauty on western standards, but Korean beauty gives us a representation of what Asian beauty looks like, thus making it more achievable for us.

13:50 What are the effects of this Hallyu wave on us? 


  • It encourages us to take care of ourselves
  • For many students or Korean fans, they think that this is just entertainment, but this is a perfect discipleship moment to teach them also to appreciate beauty in themselves. 


  • Their stories are values-based. They are not scared to bring their values out there.
  • These values that are seen in Korean dramas, whether positive or not, shape the way we also decide our values.



  • The rise of the KPop and the KDrama fandoms reflect people’s desire for community.
  • Fan-based groups are easily accessible online. This resonates to students because there is a need for them to be part of a community.
  • Interestingly, these groups are formed organically. Because the products released by Koreans are excellent, people are attracted to it. 


  • The way they do their craft is very excellent. They know the ingredients on how to attract their audience. 
  • If we ignore this cultural moment that is happening in the world through this Hallyu Wave, we could be taking for granted a very powerful opportunity to disciple the next generation.
  • To be able to connect with the younger generation is a win through understanding the Hallyu Wave. We are entertained, and we also learn. 
  • Koreans are extreme in terms of their determination and excellence. They are very hard on themselves. These could be things that the students value that resonate in their hearts that make them drawn to it. 
  • On the other hand, because of this extreme characteristic, there are cultural issues in South Korea where they are faced with issues of suicide and depression. These negative effects are signposts that warn us that we can go this route if we don’t help students process them well. 
  • WIth this, we can observe that there are good points, but also dark points in every culture. 



  • Korean men are obliged to do military service. 
  • Some of their dramas even allude to their love for their nation.
  • This can be a jumping board to cultivate that nationalistic spirit by discussing this with our students.


  • Unique bloodline. They have this sacred view of them being Koreans. This belief binds them together and they consider their nationality as their topmost identity, and that they are obliged to help their nation.
  • Lack of confidence. Koreans are the last to understand how good they are.
  • Mixing these two (unique bloodline and lack of confidence) will make a person aspire for more, and to also be true to who they are. They are a nation that always wants to be better and has a drive to succeed.
  • This is an opportunity for us to inspire students to have hope for the nation. We want to inspire future creators to not be limited with what they see, but to strive more for excellence.

This is the beauty when we study culture: It’s neutral. It reveals something in us, and it also reveals a contrast from the culture that we are studying–in this case: Hallyu Wave. It helps us to appreciate what shapes this generation.



  • There’s also a sense of respect for the parents. There always seems to be a tension between individual happiness and the happiness of parents.
  • This speaks volumes about our culture: when we enter a relationship, it often involves our family and friends. 
  • Things like these should be included whenever we talk to the student–that relationships should be done in the context of families, friendships, and key relationships.
  • Knowing the importance of relationships in our lives is vital.
  • On the other hand, Koreans have a hard time to decide for themselves, when their decision is driven by what others think about them, and not what is really true for them.
  • We need to be aware of the potential danger to favor what the society or the community tells us, rather than what God wants us to do.
  • There will always be  tensions that we need to manage or wrestle with in terms of  learning to see things in different perspectives–both in valuing our key relationships, and also acknowledging the individual call that God has for us.


How do we guide the students on how to filter and process their desires in order to avoid idolatry and mindless consumption?

  1. Know your calling
  • Know that we have a calling as a Filipino. We are Filipinos for a reason.
  • This thought is strong enough to hold us accountable to do the things that we can do for our nation, and to know who we really are through the lens of God’s sovereignty on our nationality.
  • Studying other cultures is like looking at a mirror; it leads us to check where we are as a person, and as a Fiipino.
  • We can initiate a conversation with the students to call out what’s in their hearts so we can direct them to their calling.



  1. What resonates to this person? 
  2. Why are they so engrossed in what they are watching? 
  • These are signposts to a deeper need. On the surface it seems like plain entertainment, but if we pay attention, it reveals the internal condition of our hearts.
  • Knowing we are called to be Filipinos, we can aspire and dream for this nation, that one day, this nation will be 10x better than it is today. 
  1. Know the power of culture.
  • Know the power of culture. By studying this, we’ll see how we can insert ministry conversations to the students we are talking to.
  • God invented culture. We have a culture mandate–an Abrahamic call to bless the nations. This is what South Koreans are doing to different nations by blessing us with their excellence. They worked hard and did their stuff well.
  1. Listen more
  • As leaders, we have these two tendencies: to worship or to demonize the trends.
  • As we converse with students regarding these cultural trends, we will be able to discern how we can minister to them by listening to what they share.
  • This adds a different flavor to our discipleship moments: The conversations are light and are not that serious, but at the same time we get to have an opportunity for discipleship moments.
  • These conversations also show a bit of vulnerability on our end. They get to see that we appreciate the things they also appreciate.
  • Most importantly, they value anyone who listens to them.
  1. See the redemptive value
  • When people admire beauty, it’s a signpost of admiration for God’s creation. We can admire the beauty that God has placed inside of us, and we can also inspire others to strive for excellence.
  • We are not just consumers, but we are creators of something beautiful. In fact, we can inspire students to create .
  • They are drawn to the fandom because of their longing for a community. In these communities, they feel they are accepted. As a  church community, we can offer this to them. We can be more accepting rather than be punitive about this. 
  • The “Ikaw rin” moments are also valuable. It means shared humanity. It means having someone understand you in your journey.

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