Philippine film tourism advocacy follows K-Drama’s showcase of local sites

HSBC Philippines
Lee Jong suk
South Korean actor Lee Jong suk in a scene of the 2013 South Korean film “No Breathing” the particular scene was filmed at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City.

Philippine film tourism advocates want to follow the Korean Drama (K-Drama) pattern of showcasing local sites in their television series.

Philippine Film Export Services Office (PFESO) head David Fabros said that the hit South Korean drama “Crash Landing on You (CLOY)” should serve as an inspiration for developing film tourism in the Philippines.

CLOY garnered historic high viewership ratings on TVN and Netflix and as a result, the featured locations in the shoot such as South Korea, Mongolia, and Switzerland, have been getting tourist attention. Its social media impact has popularized its various shooting locations with many fans wanting to visit their shooting locations.

Fabros said the K-Drama’s influence in tourism should open the eyes of film and tourism stakeholders particularly local government units in creating steps to set up their respective film commissions and incentive packages.

Fabros said a South Korean TV series has the potential of choosing their locations in the Philippines if the local government units (LGU) can provide incentives that can combine with the present incentives given by the national government through the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP).

“For example here in Davao, it would really drive these productions here if the LGU can offer incentives on top of that given by the national government,” Fabros said in a PIA report released March 2, 2020.

A scene in the Korean Drama “Forest” starring Park Hae Jin and Jo Bo Ah and was filmed in Manila, Philippines.

PFESO lists the following incentives:

1. The Film Location Incentive Program (FLIP) where qualified foreign film productions can avail of a 20% Philippine spending rebate for a minimum of Php 8-million spending. The rebate has a cap of Php 10-million spending.

2. The International Coproduction Fund (ICOF) where 20% of the Philippine spending is returned back to the producers. ICOF applies to projects where Filipino film producers are working with foreign co-producers. To qualify, there must be a Php 5-million minimum Philippine spending with a cap of Php 10-million.

3. PFESO has created a one-stop-shop that will assist foreign projects on government permits, visas, location permits, special working permits, importation of production assets among many other services.

The Department of Tourism and PFESO have started the tourism campaign #FilmPhilippines on social media and because of this, they get 10 inquiries a week from countries such as Japan, South Korea, United States, United Kingdom, and India.

“We show stock footages of Philippine tourist spots and also cinematic locations such as factories, hospitals, buildings etcetera,” Fabros said.

Fabros added that the film production signs a statutory declaration to preserve shooting locations and not to harm or damage it, or else they will have to pay damages in case they violate the contract. The film tourism industry is a sustainable engagement and protected areas are off-limits, the tourism advocate explains.

PFESO lists the things that a local government should prepare to attract international film productions:

* cleaning and sprucing up their place
* ensuring the availability of facilities such as hotels
* availability of competent local crew

Many Filipino K-Drama fanatics have actually been visiting the shooting locations of their favorite Korean dramas. Fans post their selfies in the location and compare it to where their idols shot their scenes.

Facebook User Karla Obispo even shared with her fellow K-Drama fans all the K-Drama and Korean entertainment locations she has been to – all 22 of them – introducing the list from My Love From The Star to Goblin and Descendants of the Sun as, “Korean drama locations and other fangirling moments.”

These international films were shot in the Philippines:

1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. A prayer before dawn
3. Metro Manila
4. Captive
5. Pacific Rim
6. Master
7. Showdown in Manila
8. Lupin the 3rd
9. No Breathing
10. American Ultra
11. The Bourne Legacy
12. Bourne on the Fourth of July
13. Apocalypse Now

The Philippines’ GMA Network recently signed a deal with SBS Productions to co-produce the longest running South Korean show “Running Man” for Philippine television. GMA is also currently airing the Philippine adaptation of the worldwide hit K-Drama series, Descendants of the Sun, starring Dingdong Dantes and Jennylyn Mercado.

TELL US in the comments below what you think of the idea of film tourism for the Philippines?

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Blesilda Dela Cruz
Blesilda Dela Cruz is a undergraduate student taking up AB Communication at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas. An Efficient, Hard-working, Committed, and Goal-oriented person towards the goal and development of the company. A reliable team member who knows how to collaborate well. Has a passion in story-telling and acting.