MANILA — For most Filipinos, Yuletide specialty foods like “lechon” (roasted pig), “halayang ube” (purple yam), leche flan, “puto” (rice cake” and “pansit” of various flavors, and the extremely delightful and sweet “sapin-sapin” would be incomplete and rendered tasteless without “videoke” singing during the coming Christmas and New Year’s Day reunions.
In fact, “videoke” singing and its various forms, have became one of the typical joyous images of the Christmas holidays in the Philippines.
Singing, in its most positive aspect, is synonymous with happiness and good will, hence Filipinos can whole-heartedly relate with this tradition of passing around the mike and singing their favorite songs to the best of their choral capabilities.
Allan Bergonia, a businessman from Villasis, Pangasinan, said Yuletide bondings are strengthened further by singing as the annual “videoke” escapade gives more emphasis to the season.
“May sine-celebrate kasi, family gatherings, ang mga iba ay (sa) Yuletide lang nagkikita ang mga mag kakaibigan and (magkakamaganak)(We celebrate something. Family gatherings. It is only during the Yuletide season when most families and friends reunite),” he added.
Meanwhile, Charlene Manuel, an entrepreneur based in San Carlos, Pangasinan, said Filipinos like to entertain by nature, hence their very close affinity to singing especially during the holidays.
“Siguro kasi (Maybe its because) Filipinos are entertainers by culture hehe. Part ng tradition sa isang bahay ng Filipino families angvideoke kahit anong okasyon lalo na pag holidays. Nag-evolve na lang from kahit anong musical instruments to karaoke to videoke. Maylove affair ang Pinoy sa singing (Videoke is a part of Filipino families’ tradition during occasions, but most especially during the holidays. It just evolved from musical instruments to karaoke to videoke. Filipinos have a love affair with videoke),” she added.
“Way-way back pa mga Filipinos, from humming to lullabies to chants. Sensitive and emotional mga Filipinos. Thru singing nilalabas.Modern times, videokes na ngayon. Bigay na bigay mag videoke, natural na lang. Sa sobrang passionate kumanta, kailangan na ng control (Way back, Filipinos, have humming to lullabies to chants. Filipinos are sensitive and emotional. We release emotions through singing. In modern times, it’s videoke. We give our all in videoke, just being natural. We are so passionate that sometimes, it needs control),” Charlene emphasized.
Manuel’s observation was also echoed by Aileen Cruz, a resident from Meycauyan, Bulacan.
To Aileen, Filipinos are always ready to sing and are just looking for a handy excuse to so. With the coming Yuletide reunions, it will give them one reason to do so
“Kasi mahilig kumanta mga Pinoy tapos sabayan pa ng season (Yuletide holidays) so yung spirit ng happiness lalong na uplift, mas masaya sila tapos ‘videoke’ mag kakanta sila, kahit na very annoying (dahil sa ingay) na minsan (Filipinos really love to sing and with this, the spirit of happiness brought by the holiday season is uplifted. They are happy and then they will sing in the videoke, even if it’s annoying because sometimes, it becomes noisy),” Cruz stressed.
Time to create memories
Meanwhile, Terry Ching Rodriquez from Taytay, Rizal, said the Filipinos’ penchant for singing is always there regardless of the coming Christmas or not.
“Naku kahit hindi holiday season mahilig talaga mga Pinoy mag-videoke. Sa mga kapitbahay na lang namin kabi-kabila mga nagbi-videoke kapag may birthday. Sa tingin ko mahilig kasi mga Pinoy sa musika at gusto lang nilang magsaya (Even if it is not holiday season, Filipinos really love videoke. In our neighborhood alone, there’s videoke everywhere whenever it is someone’s birthday. I think it is because Filipinos are music lovers and they just want to enjoy ,” she added.
Beth Camia Julian, of Imus, Cavite, believes that “videoke” singing during the Yuletide reunions is a good way to store up memories of togetherness and bonding among friends and loved ones.
“Nakagawian na nating mga Filipino tuwing Yuletide season ang pagbi-‘video(ke’) dahil ito ang panahon madalas nabubuong magkakasama-sama ang buong pamilya nang may pagkakasayahan. Dito ang pagkakataon na magkaroon ng good memories kaya bigay na bigay kanilang pagdiriwang (We Filipinos have become used to videoke during the Yuletide season because this is the time when families flock together to celebrate. We make good memories with the festivities),” she added.
For University of Santo Tomas masters student Nicole Manano, “videoke” singing highlights the Filipinos’ capacity for good humor and positive attitude in life despite the hardships.
“Likas na masayahin ang mga Pilipino. Kaya kahit bumagyo o umaraw, lagi pa ring nakangiti ang mga Pinoy kahit wala nang bubong ang bahay at nakukuha pa ring tumawa. Pag okay ka, kumanta ka; pag malas ka, kumanta ka; pag wala kang pera, kumanta ka — at pag may okasyon, kumanta ka! Kaya todo-bigay ang mga Pinoy na kumanta dahil dito nila naipapakita kung bakit nakakaaliw ang Paskong Pinoy. Naipapakita nila ito sa score sa karaoke! Kaya nga hindi rin mawawala dyan yung magkakaibigan at magka-kamaganak na nagkakantsawan at nag-aasaran (Filipinos are indeed happy people. Rain or shine, Filipinos always have that smile and laughter even if their roofs are blown away. If you’re fine, sing. If you’re unlucky, sing. If you don’t have money, just sing. And if there’s occasion, sing. Filipinos are very passionate in singing because this shows the happiness of the Filipino way of celebrating Christmas. They show it through the scores in karaoke. You’ll see there friends and relatives teasing one another),” Manano added.
“Dahil laging nakangiti ang mga Pilipino, gusto nila na may babalikan silang memories kapag wala silang magawa or kung gusto lang nilang matawa lalo na kung magto-throwback sila sa mga pumalpak sa biritan o sa mga nag-trying hard na singer ‘daw’. Syempre, hindi mawawala dyan yung mami-miss nila ang mga taong nakasama nila sa Pasko na bihira lang nila makita lalo na kung malayong kaanak ito o kaibigan. Kaya nga the best ang Paskong Pinoy kasi uso ang reunion — at the more the merrier, mas maraming alaala ang masarap balikan (at mas maraming score ang pagtatawanan) (Because Filipinos always have smile in their faces, they want to have memories which they can look back into especially when they want to show throwbacks of those who didn’t make it to the high notes or those trying hard to sing. Of course, they will miss the people who are with them during Christmas which they rarely see, especially when these are living somewhere far. Filipino Christmas is the best because this is the season for reunions — the more merrier, there are more memories to reminisce),” Manano said.
With these reasons, it seems apparent that “videoke” singing in Filipino Yuletide reunions will last for a long, long time as the Christmas Season has only highlighted the need on why we need to be merry during the occasion. PNA-northboundasia.com