Meteor Garden Appeals to The Filipino Setting
Although Meteor Garden was based on a Japanese anime "Hana Yori Dango" and it was adapted in Chinese, however the show has been somewhat too easy to adapt to the Filipino culture.
For starters, let's take a look at the heroine Shan Tsai and her family. Her parents are spendthrift wastrels. They spend money like it's always there even when it isn't. To make matters worse, they are quite poor. So the father has been in the same company for 20 years and he never got promoted because he's always late for work. The mother is materialistic even if she doesn't have money. Plus, the fact that they sent Shan Tsai to an expensive school proved they were living the Cinderella mentality, hoping that Shan Tsai would get married to a rich man. Shan Tsai may model the OFW or the practical Filipino lady who saves money, is generous and doesn't believe in materialism.
Let's talk about her friends. Her best friend Xiao You would be the typical daydreaming Filipino girl. Qing He would be the new rich guy- a Filipino who gets rich over selling some property in the past. He gets wasteful because of his new-found wealth.
So what about the F4? I would consider them to be different types of rich Filipino-Chinese. Dao Ming Si would be your typical arrogant rich Filipino-Chinese guy who gets frustrated with everyone. Hua Tze Lei... well can't comment he's just a typical weirdo without much of a stereotype. Xi Men and Mei Zuo would be the playboy Filipino-Chinese who fool around with their own kind or with Filipino girls of better income. For the F4, Dao Ming Si seems to reflect on the arrogance of many of the Filipino-Chinese heirs of huge fortunes. Sad but true really.
And well, should I mention the antagonist? Dao Ming Feng the mother of Dao Ming Si would be the stereotypical Filipino-Chinese mother who is snobbish and arrogant, not to mention racist towards Filipino women and would not allow her son to date one especially one of the lower class. So she's always too interested with money and that's a truth that's prevailing in the Filipino-Chinese community. And of course, not to mention being overly controlling where she's always to be the one followed, never mind what others have to say. She only wants more money, more more money and judges people by their deceptive actions. She accuses Shan Tsai of gold-digging when in reality, she's gold digging with Ho Xiao Tze's family for the petroleum. To do so, she insists her son Dao Ming Si must marry Ho Xiao Tze- all for the money!
Well I guess it's no wonder why the drama clicked with the Philippines.