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Karaoke Singing in the Philippines

Tagged with karaoke, olongapo city, philippines on December 5, 2023

karaoke Not only have I been a victim of bad karaoke singing for many years, I’ve also been an instigator at various family parties.

While there are more than enough karaoke bars in the downtown areas of some cities, the residents of Olongapo City usually rent karaoke machines. They tend to do their singing outdoors in the rural and suburban areas.

I recently had to deal with three days of karaoke singing between a brother-in-laws’s birthday and mine. The one in the middle was random and should never have occurred. Some of my nieces and nephews surprised me on my birthday. They paid for the karaoke machine rental and my birthday cake. I don’t know who paid for the other rentals on the other days.

The Karaoke Invention

The first time I researched it, the information I found told me karaoke was invented in the United States, not in Japan. A Japanese man supposedly coined the term. The specifics were later disputed, so I won’t be repeating any of it. As far as I know, Filipinos invented the word “videoke”, which is a scoring system added to video karaoke. All the machines we’ve ever rented are set up for videoke.

The machine that people rent is a huge box with a computer monitor on top, microphones and a control panel that resembles something you’d expect at a video game arcade. The speakers are included, but sometimes plugged in separately. A computer controls the song list and the video on the hard drive, which has thousands of sing-along songs.

Filipino Karaoke Singing

I don’t have anything against people bringing out the karaoke machines and singing on special occasions. There are some things that bother me, but not that. Karaoke singing is usually reserved for special occasions. Filipinos, however, can create special occasions if they really want to sing. In those cases, it’s frequently something they want to do to go along with heavy drinking sessions.

Nighttime is for sleeping, not for listening to others practice singing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been kept awake by karaoke machines blaring in the neighborhood at all hours of the night. I can’t say that thoughtfulness and respect for the sleeping go hand in hand with talent. Luckily, there are ordinances now in place limiting karaoke hours, even in the suburbs.

The most annoying thing is that a lot of people who have absolutely no singing talent can’t be helped by karaoke machines. Add excessive alcohol use to the mix, and it gets even worse. My younger son (who hasn’t lived here since 2012) can’t carry a tune, regardless of whether he’s had anything to drink or not. Some people sing so badly that it makes me wince every time I hear it (like one of my brothers-in-law). In fact, the men all start sounding horribly alike after a few hours of drinking. I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it if karaoke machines become even more popular.

Nevertheless, there are a lot of talented singers mixed in with the untalented, and I really enjoy listening to them during the daytime. I was told that I had a lot of singing talent (singing in Tagalog vs. English, no less) years ago. Regardless, I don’t do much karaoke singing these days. The truth is, I would rather listen to someone else.

Image by Sabena Costa from Pixabay

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