One impression of people abroad regarding our OFWs is that, the latter are fond of singing. And many of them are good singers. If, in other countries, only gifted singers sing in public, people in our country do so even if their voices are terribly out of tune. We love to sing. We can’t help it. We aren’t just contented with listening to songs; we want to sing ourselves.
In every gathering—birthday party, wedding, anniversary, or a mere drinking session—singing is always a vital part of the show. Lucky if the group has a nice singer in it who can take the lead in the singing spree. If there’s none, the group will have to content with their own voices, though they may sound like horny cats.
This explains the proliferation of singing devices throughout the country. And the spread of pirated minus one and multiplex records.
It first started with the so-called jukebox, a big sound box installed in public places like bars and restaurants. But it only allowed people to choose their songs to listen to. There was no provision for them to sing along. If they wanted to, they could only sing in their seats without their voices registering in the loud speakers. The recording artist was still the one doing the singing as recorded.
To resolve this singing monopoly of the recording artist, the karaoke was invented. This time, anyone who can get hold of a microphone could participate in the singing, and choose the preferred songs. This was with the use of minus one or multiplex cassette records.
How the people welcomed its advent. Karaoke bars mushroomed in various places. Even can-afford households bought their own karaoke systems for home use. Neighbors could share with the sounds even if they are already retired in bed in the middle of the nights, amid the howling of dogs.
With the karaoke, though, a singer had to have the lyrics of the songs in hand, or he could not follow the songs well. When copies of those songs got lost, or damaged, a big problem followed. The singer would have to resort to humming.
To remedy this, another breakthrough was introduced, and that was the videoke. With this, loud speakers have to be aided with a TV monitor. As the singer sings, the lyrics of the songs appear on the monitor screen for ease of singing. Backgrounds of the lyrics could be had, too, depending on one’s choice—beautiful scenes, animals in the wild, sexy, near-naked girls, etc.
This is so common nowadays—the videoke, replacing the karaoke of old. We can see it everywhere, in special gatherings, as a form of entertainment among the people in attendance. And it’s not without pay-off. People especially children are developing their singing talents, enabling them to present excellent numbers during programs, making them win various awards in singing competitions, even allowing many of them to get international attention, as was the case of Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda, who are now international singing sensations.
All this is proof we really are a singing generation, a singing race.