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Breakthrough: SB19

04:05 AM January 12, 2020

Disclaimer: I was never a Kpop fan.

Kpop, or Korean popular music, has been taking the world by storm over the past decade, and the Philippines is definitely included. So when this ragtag group of five boys endured years of rigorous training under a Korean company, leading to the formation of an all-Filipino boy group called SB19, they should have been an immediate hit, right?

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Wrong. It didn’t start out that way. The truth is, Filipinos in general have the tendency to swoon and faint over foreign talents while consciously or unconsciously disregarding our own. I myself am guilty of that.

When compared to developed countries, we sometimes see the Filipino brand as of “lower quality,” something that can’t keep up with the outside world.

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It is a mindset that needs to be changed. That’s what SB19 has been doing. Their music and style are fresh additions to the Filipino music industry. They are making a different sound, and while they are being received with warmth and excitement, they have also faced suspicion, doubt and the usual online bashing.

But there is one very important thing that they have put on the table: Hope. They spell hope for the ordinary Filipino. Hope that something good can always come out of a country looked down upon by Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike. ‍‍‍

SB19 reminds us of just how talented Filipinos are, the kind of pure Filipino talent that can shine and break into the global scene much like any other foreign boy band.

And this is just in the area of music. Imagine what we could do if we supported each other in all other fields — sports, science, filmmaking, etc.

As we watch this group’s career take off, may it spark in us inspiration to take that tiny step and keep the fire burning for our fellowmen. And be reminded that we are Filipinos — genuine, brave and true.

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Claisyl Boteng Casiwan, 25, is a medicine student at St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine.‍

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