I have to admit, one of my prized personal possessions at home is my Magic Sing Millennium Edition Karaoke Microphone that has 1000 song titles to choose from. Like many other Filipinos around the world, I like to sing Karaoke for fun and relaxation. Not only did a Filipino invent the Karaoke, but also, Filipinos are just born music lovers, which explains our shameless public display of our vocal power. A typical Filipino gathering is not complete without a Karaoke session.
Karaoke is something that many Filipinos share with other music lovers around the world. There are large virtual communities like Ksolo and Sing Snap for Karaoke singers and a Meetup group that has 244 subgroups and more than 35,000 members from 7 countries.
Unfortunately, in recent days, the biggest news and blog conversations on my favorite pastime are the "My Way killings" in the Philippines. The Frank Sinatra hit is so popular in Karaoke clubs that many are fighting over the song, resulting in several reported deaths. As the article suggests, the song's arrogant and narcissistic lyrics may have something to do with it. But from what I hear, killings occur because everyone has a strong opinion on how the song should be sung. Those who murder the song with out-of-tune renditions can themselves be murdered by annoyed listeners, and those who sing it well get a final curtain call from jealous rivals. Obviously, Filipinos take their singing seriously. The New York Times summed it up best: “Filipinos, who pride themselves on their singing, may have a lower tolerance for bad singers.”
Here’s a cheesy YouTube video of "My Way." Feel free to sing along . . . at your own risk.