Bini | a girl dance group in the Philippines performing their dance.

Localization Opportunities in the Philippines: What’s the Next Big Project?

Jonalyn R. | 

May 29, 2024

In a country home to between 120 and 187 languages, translation is inevitable. As the Philippines continues its journey toward economic growth and digital transformation, the significance of localization in bridging global content with local audiences has never been more pronounced. In this landscape of opportunity, there are untapped avenues and uncharted territories within the realm of localization that may hold immense potential. 

Lexcode may pride itself on being a trailblazer in the localization industry in the Philippines, yet amid the rapid evolution of technology and globalization, it’s imperative to ponder: What lies ahead? How will localization persist as a cornerstone of the country’s development and its business landscape? What new frontiers does this industry hold for exploration and advancement in our daily lives? 

In the dynamic realm of localization, the Philippines stands poised at the intersection of culture, commerce, and connectivity. Against this backdrop, the answer holds the key to unlocking new vistas of opportunity and impact.

Entertainment and Media

The Filipino music industry has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, largely driven by the rise of P-pop (Philippine Pop) on the global stage, gaining traction not only in the Philippines but also throughout Southeast Asia. The increasing popularity of P-pop has spotlighted the Filipino music scene internationally, opening doors for local artists to collaborate globally and enhancing the country’s music streaming market. Recently, P-pop group BINI appeared on a Chinese reality show and, along with other Filipino artists, performed on stage in Singapore.  

Beyond music, technological advancements, especially the Internet and online streaming platforms, have significantly amplified the global reach of Filipino teleseryes (television series). These services frequently provide subtitles in multiple languages, making the content accessible to non–Filipino-speaking audiences. Moreover, Filipino teleseryes have garnered international recognition, earning nominations for prestigious awards like the International Emmy Awards.  

We have seen the power of Korean media and how central translation is in this lucrative business. Should Philippine entertainment continue in this upward trajectory, one can see how big the potential this market will have in the future. 

Trade and Foreign Investment

Lexcode has seen a slight increase in government bids this first half of 2024. Previously, most of our government projects revolved around trade and the export of goods. However, with the government’s focus on making the Philippines the destination of choice for foreign investment, there is an uptick in localization projects involving public relations—infomercials, infographics, etc.  

Currently, foreign companies are reassessing their operations in China and are looking for viable alternatives. With increasing interest from Japan and favorable economic indicators, the Philippines is well-positioned to capitalize on this opportunity and become an attractive investment destination. 

In its 56-year history, the Board of Investments (BOI) reached a milestone in 2019 with PHP 1.14 trillion in approved investments, marking the highest annual investment approval. Over the past 20 years, the BOI has approved a total of PHP 9.61 trillion in investments. By the end of 2023, the BOI aims to achieve PHP 1.5 trillion in investment approvals, positioning itself among the top three FDI hotspots in Southeast Asia.

With more investors moving their manufacturing plants locally, there will also be an increase in foreigners working in the country, particularly from the East Asia region. Beyond the translation of public relations materials and other things like manuals, the demand for interpretation services will increase, too. 

Social Media

It is a well-known fact that Filipinos remain the most active users of social media globally, with 23% of Filipino respondents in a Telenor Asia survey claiming that they spend more than seven hours on it daily on their mobile phones. This is a huge market that still has great potential for businesses to explore. While various sources claim that around 60% of Filipinos speak English, only a very small minority speak it as a first language.

It is common sense to know that understanding and relatability will increase interest in a product. The Philippines, as established earlier, is a very diverse and multilingual country—a huge untapped market and demographic. Filipino is a very nuanced language. By adapting content to fit the cultural and linguistic preferences of different regions, companies can break down language barriers and connect with new audiences, nurture stronger relationships, enhance engagement, and improve brand perception. Providing a culturally relevant experience can foster an enduring bond with your global audience. 

Beyond the opportunities mentioned above, there are many more possibilities that we can explore as the country continues to grow and establish its presence in an increasingly interconnected global landscape.  

As the translation industry in the Philippines strides into the future, propelled by the transformative power of AI and machine learning, the horizon is limitless, with possibilities waiting to be explored. While there is still ample room for improvement, the journey ahead is brimming with potential, promising a future where language barriers dissolve and opportunities become accessible to everyone.


Localization Opportunities in the Philippines: What’s the Next Big Project?

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