Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Like in the Philippines, Multi-racial Sex Appeal is Big in Thailand

Nadech Kugimiya & Urassaya Sperbund
The Asiatic pirated film scene turned out to be very small & very marginal but it can provide snapshot trends as to the acceptance of Asian films if you just learn to discount the propaganda distortions (it so happens the pirate sites are also propaganda outlets of special interests as well). For a long time, no Pinoy teleserye was shown: it was only last year when "On The Wings of Love" was the first teleserye to have widespread distribution in Russian & Spanish subtitles, & it is still the only one in Spanish (many were already translated into Russian). As for films, the Pinoy teen film Diary ng Panget of the Jadine loveteam started the surge of Pinoy films last October 2014 & it never looked back as the other teen love teams got discovered, like Kathniel & Lizquen. (It was fortunate that their teleseryes were also shown in free-to-air TV in many countries so they had far more popularity outside the pirate world in various geographical areas like Southeast & Central Asia and Africa).

For a long time, the only Southeast Asian country battling it out for patronage in the Asiatic film pirate sites with the majority Northeast Asian countries (China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan) was Thailand. With the prolific production in Northeast Asia, you would think Thailand would be overwhelmed but it held its own. It had an ace: sex appeal (this would be the route that the Pinoy artists would take when Pinoy films started to appear into the mix).

Thailand was never a colony of a European power & a cursory look of its stars in yesteryears would reveal mostly pure Thai stars. But Thailand is one of the top destination of European tourists which led in a short time to the emergence of many multi-racial hybrids, much like what the Philippines has had for centuries. But while the Philippines, which has had multi-racial stars all along, was afflicted for a while by a ridiculous concept of "indigenizing" its showbiz beauty (which instead of identifying turned off instead a lot of potential fans), the Thais were realistic right away ( that after all, beauty is beauty despite pretentious political concepts) and they happily embraced their new multi-racials who were clearly beautiful and turned them into their new stars (one of its biggest pop stars is a Bangkok-born Filipino-French hybrid, Christina Aguilar).

Fortunately, the Philippines has regained its senses eventually and embraced its built-in advantage, and that reality check came just in time  as its stars became the hot items in many parts of the world in both legal & illegal venues like the pirate sites.

But this post is not about the Philippines. It's about the johnny-come-lately multi-racial stars of Thailand. The top koo jin  (fantasy couple, much like the Pinoy loveteam) of Thailand are both Eurasians: Urassaya Sperbund is Thai-Norwegian & Nadech Kugimiya is Thai-Austrian.

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