Liza Soberano gives us the low-down on Liza in Korea, getting a firsthand experience of Korean culture, and more.
From dramas, TV shows, teleseryes, fantaseryes, movies, and even Hollywood productions, Liza Soberano has seemingly done it all. But recently, the superstar added a new feather to her cap with a first for her career, and no, it’s not a new TV show or movie. Instead, Liza deepens her knowledge of Korea even further and takes viewers on an extraordinary journey into the heart of Korean culture with the YouTube series Liza in Korea.
LIZA GOES YOUTUBE SERIES
Produced by JJ Global Group in Korea, the series, which consists of 15 episodes, offers viewers a unique 10-minute immersive experience into the different facets of Korean culture from Liza’s perspective. As for how Liza got in the picture, executives at the company, whom she first met thanks to Dr. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho, reached out to her with an interesting proposal. “[JJ Global Group] reached out to us and asked if they could create a series around me just traveling and going on an adventure,’ Liza shares.
As a fan of Korean culture since she was a kid (Liza considers Super Junior, Girls Generation, and 2NE1 as the first groups she stanned), embarking on this project was a no-brainer for the actress. “[T]hroughout the years, I’ve been visiting the country more and more, and I’ve just been developing an affinity for the culture and the people. I think what I love most about Koreans and Korean culture, in general, is just their strive for excellence, and that no matter how far they’ve come, they’ve still stuck to the essence of their culture, they’re still uniquely them.”
With the many roles Liza has taken on over the years, she is no stranger to putting herself in all kinds of situations. But what differentiates Liza in Korea from her past projects is that there was no need for Liza to play a character. She just had to be herself, though that didn’t mean she didn’t come unprepared. “I tried to learn Korean as much as possible, just so that I could understand them a little more,” she shares. “I think they appreciate the small efforts of just trying to respond at least in Korean, and also just understand and get a little more cultural context.”
THE KOREAN EXPERIENCE
In Liza in Korea, Liza gets a firsthand look at the different sides of Korea, with each of the 15 episodes promising a unique experience for Liza to take on. Aside from that, Liza also shines a spotlight on several businesses in Korea, underscoring her dedication to fostering entrepreneurship and inspiring Filipinos to pursue their dreams. The debut episode, which dropped on September 13, sees Liza meet WonJeong, one of the most followed creators on TikTok, as they do a series of TikTok challenges together.
Episode two, meanwhile, has Liza exploring Lotte World while the third episode witnesses Liza let loose her dancing skills as she masters K-pop choreography while guided by a renowned choreographer. The vibe of the show feels distinctly Korean like it was made for a variety show that airs in the country. It’s an admittedly different look for Liza, but a welcome one at that. Also, this isn’t her first brush with a Korean production. “It was a lot of fun. I must admit that there are a lot of cultural differences. There’s a language barrier and everything. But I think that was the beauty of it,” she shares on her experience doing the show. “I got to experience how different cultures work and go about their things.”
Understandably, filming in a foreign country, especially to do content that is outside your wheelhouse, can be daunting. But Liza complimented how the Korean production team helped her navigate the new territory. “They were kind of explaining to me along the way because there were moments or certain shooting days where I wasn’t so sure about the things that they were asking me to do. It’s definitely pushing me outside of my comfort zone. But then they were saying that this would be good for the program and the audience as it gives them a little bit more insight on me, and how I navigate working with different cultures.”
So, out of all the episodes Liza filmed, which one lives rent-free in her mind? “I’m a huge theme park fanatic. I love a good adventure and thrill so I had a lot of fun at Lotte World. It was also my first time there. But it was sad because that was actually the shortest episode. But they said that it was the most impactful because they saw it in my eyes that I was having the most fun filming that one.”
FOR THE FANS, AND HERSELF
Since the start of the year, Liza has made it known that she’s ready to try new things in her life and explore her career and person even more. Liza in Korea is an example of that, a multi-faceted series that promises an exciting blend of cultural discovery, creativity, and personal growth. Liza Soberano hosting a travel series in Korea on YouTube wasn’t on our 2023 bingo card. But we aren’t complaining, especially given the convenience it will give for people to watch her latest career move. And there’s also the bonus that the series highlights a number of Korean businesses and brands, such as Lacimer.
“I think the overall message of Liza in Korea is just trying to share a little bit more of the Korean culture to a Filipino audience through the lens of a Filipina,” Liza details. “I got to experience things that I think your average tourist wouldn’t be able to because I was with a Korean production team, and everything that I was doing was very not touristy. So, it’s a different side of Korea and myself.”
Aside from having Liza explore Korea and have the time of her life, the YouTube series serves as an opportunity for viewers, especially her fans, to see the fun side of Liza in a new environment. “What my fans can find in this series is that they’ll see me having fun, navigating different cultures, and also just enjoying the process of going outside of my comfort zone once again. I think I’ve been talking about it a lot these past few months, but no one has seen it for themselves. And in the series, that’s something that they’ll see.”
Liza has been able to experience Korea in a way most tourists will probably never be able to do, a development that she is grateful for. At the end of the day, after spending all her time immersed in the world of Korean culture and entertainment, Liza marvels at the cultural soft power the country has employed to become a powerhouse in the world. “You hear the word Korea or Korean and are automatically interested in it. And they’ve risen to global fame, not only in entertainment but in different industries. And I love how despite that, they’re true to themselves.”
And take it from Liza and know that despite their reputation for seriousness and stoic faces, Koreans do care. “They’re all sweethearts deep down inside. I think they present themselves as very intense people. But that’s just because they’re so passionate about what they do. And they’re constantly striving for excellence in everything that they do. But they’re just very lovely and sweet people constantly thinking of what’s best for everyone.”
She adds, “That’s what I really appreciated about this production crew. Throughout the whole filming, yes, there were difficulties, but there was a lot of fun too. At the end of the day, their main goal was to produce something for me and for my fans to enjoy. Like they didn’t care about anything else they just wanted me to enjoy.”
New episodes of Liza in Korea drop on YouTube every Wednesday at 8 PM.
Photos by Jan Mayo.
Continue Reading: 5 Lessons We Can Learn From Liza Soberano’s New Career Chapter