Filipinos are known for their extreme love of karaoke. You can find it in almost every corner of the streets, in taxi cabs, jeepneys, in every bar and restaurants. They also have karaoke applications in their iPhones, and recently, they even took it a little further, now they installed karaoke machine in caskets.
Almost every household owns a karaoke machine. I recently bought mine just last month. I bought it to teach my daughter to sing, and so that we can also do something different and fun every weekend, and well.. the other reason is also to annoy my neighbor who sings in the wee hours of the morning, belting out his Frank Sinatra songs. He’s lucky he ain’t dead yet singing that “My Way” song. There has been a lot of news throughout the years, about people getting killed in the karaoke bar, singing that Sinatra song; some even said it was cursed.
Anyways, our damned obsession with Karaoke makes us distinct from the other races. We live and breathe Karaoke (Ofcourse that’s technically impossible, I’m just over exaggerating.. ). We use it to get by the challenges of our everyday lives. Karaoke has a lot of uses that only us Filipinos know about and here are some of them:
Entertain our guests. Any occasion is not complete without music. For most Filipinos, hosting an event on a tight budget is not a problem. They would always prefer to ditch the mobile sound system and just rent that fancy karaoke machine to get the party started and keep everyone glued on the dance floor. A Filipino host would always pass the mic to the shy guest to loosen up a little bit, to make them feel comfortable afterwards and then they sing and drink till the next morning comes.
Impress in-laws. If you have a good or bad singing voice, it doesn’t matter. It’s a fun way to break the ice, start a conversation, and impress your in-laws. I was with my friend’s house once, her boyfriend was too conscious being around her parents. He was having a hard time to strike up a conversation with dad. So I called up his name, made him sing. And of all the songs, he picked, “Eye of the Tiger”. It was terrible but it was effective, it made him loosen up a little bit. He finally has the courage to strike up a conversation to my friend’s dad. They were talking how terrible he sounds, and he couldn’t agree more. “Hijo, that was terrible, but I like it more than Manny Pacquiao’s version.” I guess he took it as a compliment. He’s now his father-in-law, and they sound even more terrible when they sing “Eye of the Tiger” together.
Express love. Are you crushing on someone? Are you trying to break up with someone? If you can’t say it, then sing it! It’s probably the most cheesiest but the most effective subtle way to show your feelings to someone. This is not American Idol so, forget about how you sound, just go with your feelings and express your love.
Promote business. Remember the karaoke machine in caskets I have mentioned earlier. I really thought it was really unique. Weird in some way, but unique. It created a lot of buzz so it’s good for the business. Now that’s an effective advertisement, it’s entertaining!
Be famous…and be invited on the Ellen Show. In the old days, you need to join a singing contest or audition to some record company to get noticed. Nowadays, you can easily get fifteen minutes of fame through YouTube. All you have to do is make a video of you, like that random girl singing in a karaoke mall, upload it on YouTube, get a million or thousands of clicks, next thing you know, you’re invited to appear in the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Relieve stress. Are you fed up with work, too stressed out with all the paperwork? Still can’t move on from a recent heartbreak? Get out of the rut; invite your friends to a little karaoke session, that’s how Filipinos usually deal with stress. Throw your frustration to the microphone and sing your heart out. And speaking of heartbreak, I’m not sure but these days, I always hear someone singing this heartbreak song “Somebody that I Used to Know”. I love that song! He sounds so 80’s like Sting, and that accent reminds me of my boss.. which reminds me of the work and paperwork in the office, hahha!
Enjoy your weekend guys! Karaoke is fun, just don’t drink too much or you just might get killed for murdering songs, seriously. Speaking of killing songs, my neighbor is about to kill another one of favorite Beatles song right about now. (Argh!)
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