In the Philippines Karaoke is treated almost as a national sport – and taken very seriously indeed. Everywhere you go you’ll hear it – morning, noon and night.
There always seems to be some tone-deaf hopeful drawling out the lyrics to “My Way” or Jennifer Rush’s “I’m Your Lady”.
This is no-nonsense, competitive karaoke, with an entrance fee of 5 pesos per song, an automated judging system, and often cash prizes to be won. If there is no cash incentive, 1st prize might simply be a kiss on the cheek from a pretty girl (seriously).
Without doubt, “My Way” is the song that is most in demand, and even fought over amongst participants. This had led to the so-called “My Way Killings” – a series of fatal disputes arising from the singing of this song in karaoke contests.
These disputes are usually over who gets to sing the song, or as a reaction to a particularly bad rendition of Frank Sinatra‘s classic hit.
Either way, if you get involved in one of these contests, you might be advised to choose something a little less controversial – Bohemian Rhapsody, for example 🙂
No escape – in the Philippines Karaoke is everywhere
As a visitor, there’s no escape from the ubiquitous karaoke. Even if your check in to a secluded beach resort miles from anywhere, the sound carries for huge distances across the open water.
And it’s not just the professional karaoke organizers. Every other private house seems to have its own home karaoke system, with huge speakers fit for a Metallica concert, and boy do they like to crank it up!
The ‘Grand Videoke‘ home systems, with HD sound retail starting from 11,500 pesos (around €220).
Actually, having seen a demo in the mall, I’m sorely tempted to buy one myself…
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