What it’s like to be a P-pop fan vs a K-pop fan
Manila, Philippines – If you still think that P-pop is just a cutthroat sucker for its overseas counterparts, then you’re not paying attention. These local bands have redefined the Pinoy pop scene in recent years, even taking the genre to greater heights and uncharted territory.
For the staunch supporters of these P-pop groups, it’s unfair that these talented artists are seen as cheap imitations by people who don’t even give the genre a chance.
“We always say, support local or love local, but some people selectively love local,” M, a 31-year-old fan of P-pop group BINI, told Rappler.
The majority of these P-pop fans are, in fact, also fans of international music, especially K-pop and J-pop, and they have actually come to appreciate P-pop more because it has been able to showcasing Filipino culture through a popular genre.
“I was a K-pop fan before, so I’m not new to fangirling anymore. Oftentimes, I envy South Korean fans because they don’t really need to go out of their way and budget to see their idols perform,” Lulu, a fan of P-pop group Press Hit Play, said. “I was craving our own idol groups with the same timbre, execution and stage presence. I crave bands that have the K-pop vibe.
Although she has seen P-pop groups inspired by K-pop groups, Lulu admitted that she hopes locals will showcase local culture and have their own flavor and sound. “I was skeptical at first, but ended up loving their sound and the other ways they can help show our rich culture and talent to the world.”
Filipinos and their world-class talent
“We do not deny that there are similarities with K-pop and J-pop, especially in terms of the performances of the artist. There are flashy outfits, intense choreography and powerful songs,” said Shai, a fan of P-pop group SB19. “Even the P-pop groups and the staff behind them all sing their praises for the success of K-pop across the world.”
What K-pop has done is an admirable feat, the culmination of years of hard work and generations of talent. And for P-pop fans, such success is not a hit in the dark for Pinoy pop. “Filipinos are known for their world-class talents. Of course, we are famous for our biritera singers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t and don’t want to wow the world with what these Pinoy pop bands can deliver as well,” Shai added.
M also pointed out that Pinoy pop has always been present; it has simply evolved over the years. “When I was younger, I loved dancing to Sexbomb Girls songs, buying their albums and watching their shows. They started P-pop with other groups, as early as the 2000s. -pop are better known here in our country as “P-pop idols”.
At this point, you should be living under a rock if you still haven’t heard of P-pop songs. With artists like SB19, MNL48, BGYO, BINI, ALAMAT and many more, the genre encompasses quite a wide range.
“I met SB19 in September 2019. They introduced me to P-pop. I was really happy to see that a group from the Philippines could show me the same dedication and talent that we see in K-pop “said Jadi, a 17-year-old fan of P-pop groups SB19, KAIA and G22. “I saw new P-pop groups coming up and became really passionate about being a talent fan. Filipinos who motivate and promote Filipino culture.”
“It warms my heart to see Filipinos supporting Filipino artists like they never have before. And as a P-pop fan living abroad, the P-pop community brings me closer to home” , she added.
Honey, a 21-year-old fan of P-pop group 1st.One shared that the steady growth of P-pop is “overwhelming on a high note…. It’s fun to see fans come together and cheer on every P-pop group they love.
Cher, a 44-year-old fan of P-pop group Press Hit Play, recalled that her friends didn’t know of any P-pop groups before. “But right now, I’m even going to hear them hum/sing a certain P-pop song. Before, most of the YouTube reactors of P-pop groups were Filipino vloggers. But over time, P-pop songs uploaded on YouTube are flooded with foreign reactors.
Clar, a 16-year-old fan of P-pop group Press Hit Play, also pointed out that the genre now has such a huge and regular following that it even deserves an event of its own, citing the recently concluded 2022 PPOP CON convention. . “It’s surreal to see how the P-pop community has thrived from its roots…. It shows that there is definitely a group of people out there who are willing to support this genre and the artists within it.
The life of a P-pop fan
Being deeply modeled on the machinery of K-pop, it is therefore not surprising that even Pinoy pop fans are picking up some practices from their foreign counterparts. Most fanbases prepare a series of activities – such as streaming projects, social media boosts, charity events, donation campaigns, to name a few – to show their support for the groups that ‘they represent.
And for those Filipino P-pop fans, that’s where the difference lies: knowing that they’re doing it for their fellow Filipinos.
“Supporting Filipino artists makes me even prouder to be Filipino,” Jadi said. Shai echoed the sentiment, “I am proud to support such talented Filipinos. I am proud to see their hard work pay off and to know that they are achieving their dreams. And in the process, they are also thrusting Filipino art into the international spotlight.
Compared to fans of foreign artists, these P-pop fans share that they found more satisfaction in showing support for a fellow Filipino. “I can identify with them more. They don’t feel like those unreachable celebrities because I resonate with the stories they tell. I see myself in them,” Shai added.
For Clar, sharing the same language plays a big role in this relatability. “Jokes, sarcastic remarks and jokes made by idols are easier to understand because we share the same humor/pop culture in the country.”
Besides relatability, accessibility is also another benefit of supporting a local artist. For these P-pop fans, they had several opportunities to see their artists live. “The most satisfying part is being able to sing and chant with the crowd in your own language,” Lulu added.
Cher said it was rewarding to celebrate her band’s milestones: “Seeing them achieve their dreams as artists, hearing their songs on radio stations, watching them perform on national television, knowing that your idols appreciate all of your efforts to support their group.”
Knowing that they are part of the success of their group, these fans are pushed to be more respectful and protective of their artists. “Perhaps it’s because we don’t put them on a pedestal that we know where our limits are. Some of us are lucky enough to have face-to-face and online interactions with our idols, but that doesn’t make us feel like we have a say in their decisions,” Shai said.
She explained that while minor conflicts are inevitable in every fandom, the P-pop community in general is goal-oriented: “As fans, we all want these groups to get the recognition they deserve.” – Rappler.com