K-pop star Sandara “Dara” Park is known all over the world as a member of the girl group 2NE1 but in the Philippines, she is seen as an honorary Filipino who has never forgotten her roots in the country. She waved the Philippine flag high once again in a recent TV guesting where she said that she has learned to embrace her Filipino English accent.
Park said this in the June 30 episode of the show Video Star which airs on the South Korean network MBC.
“I was embarrassed by my accent at first,” she said in Korean, according to The Korea Times. “Philippine English has a unique accent.”
She learned to embrace her accent after some people complimented her on it.
“Many people told me it was cool and matches me well,” she said. “I became more confident thanks to them.”
Park then recited some phrases in English to illustrate what she means, which garnered applause from others in the studio.
While most Filipinos can speak English, accent-shaming is common in the Philippines where neutral accents (read: Americanized) denotes intelligence and a higher social class while stereotypically Filipino accents are seen as provincial and uneducated.
A Filipino English accent is often characterized by pronouncing the letter “v” as “b” and switching the sounds for the letters “p” and “f.”
It is often the subject of jokes, whether lighthearted or malicious, as seen in viral videos by YouTuber Mikey Bustos and a meme of the cartoon character Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory speaking in a Filipino accent.
In April last year, a scene from the reality show 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days went viral when a Filipina mispronounced the word “rude” as “road.”
The Philippines has become a top destination for South Koreans who want to learn English as education here is cheaper compared to other English-speaking countries.
Park moved to the Philippines at a young age and lived and studied here for 13 years. She got her start in showbiz after joining the talent competition Star Circle Quest in 2004. After a film, TV, and music career in the Philippines, she left for South Korea in 2007 and debuted as one of 2NE1’s four members in 2009. She still regularly visits the Philippines.