Why my neighbors love singing karaoke

Tik aweeey, tik aweeey my hart, opin it up….

I don wanna close my ays…I still mess you bib and I don wanna mess a ting….

Ay am da man who will fight por your honor (enunciated ‘h’)…I ded it all por the glury of lab.


There is nothing inherently wrong in belting these karaoke pieces as if nobody is listening. Most Filipinos, given the struggle they have to go through every day, are inclined to pour their hearts out whenever an opportunity to bust their lungs arises. And they do not mind whether this hobby-for-the-sake-of-fun ruptures their lungs or that it leaves the eardrums of the person seated 20 meters away dysfunctional for the rest of his life so long as they sing, scream, and shriek.

The object is to release all the angst they’ve contained in their beaten psyche. Nothing is more important. Whenever a Filipino gets hold of a mic, the long black object and the song he howls are his personal statements against the assault and cruelty of life.

For three straight nights, I had to endure my neighbors’ karaoke spree. My parents did not seem to care, neither did our other neighbors. Their indifference was conspiratorial. It was as if this silence was their way of expressing their sympathy for the sadness, defeat, or rage our wailing neighbors felt.

For my parents this disturbance to my family’s supposed quiet and solemn celebration of the holidays was nothing but the poor souls’ expression of their misfortune. Not complaining is being benevolent. Letting them sing to their lungs’ content is being gracious. Letting them almost ruin our New Year’s eve and the days following it is a show of our being humane.

I wonder how my parents could live up with these people. Had they been my neighbors, I would’ve already stormed their house and have given them a lecture on my being endowed with an inalienable right to happiness and peace.

I abhorred the notes they incorrectly hit. I detested their mis-enunciation of English vowels. I hated their guts as if they sing like Pavarotti, Ricky Martin, and Martin Nievera all rolled into one. But my parents’ greater respect for other people’s happiness seemed to have outweighed my, according to them ‘arbitrary’, loathing for the music our insensitive neighbors viciously imposed on us.

I protested against their definition of music, but of course, I had enough sense to keep quiet and not question my parents since it’s their house and they dictate the rules.

Rebuking our downtrodden neighbors is definitely against my parents’ house rules. And so I suffered from insomnia for three straight days.

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9 thoughts on “Why my neighbors love singing karaoke”

  1. Is your real name really Chi Le? I find that one interesting. John shouts when he sings, most especially when everyone is singing that song, too. He just wants to overshadow all. Hehe.

    1. hahaha. yes, you are a lot lot lot better than me at singing (vietnamese songs) hahaha. but seriously, chi le sings so well. you’re singing especially co gai den tu hom qua. love it.

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