Sunday, July 5, 2009

karaoke kraze

No, they're not crazy.

Or so they said. Or rather, sang.

It was a cool and cloudy Saturday afternoon yesterday, just perfect for studying the intricate mechanics of the neuromuscular junction, in preparation for next week's lectures. My diligent concentration was disturbed though, by enthusiastic neighbors who were having a rowdy karaoke session with aspiring singers whose voices were many octaves removed from pleasant- to-listen-to.

I scoured the neighborhood from our back-balcony, trying to figure out exactly where the blaring 'noise' was coming from, having half a mind to go and ask the perpetrators to please tone down their stereo volume. A female voice was polluting the air by screeching "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell, I know right now..." Two songs later, a male voice croaks "I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..." again?! I could hardly believe it. They may not be crazy but they were driving me, who needs utter quiet when studying, nuts with their inconsiderately loud singing.

What to do? What to do?

May I dial 166, the police hotline. "Good afternoon, Sir, may I report so and so for disturbing the peace, etc. etc.?" Well, I learned something new from the police officer. He said, "We can't do anything about that, Ma'am, because it is daytime and they are singing in the vicinity of their home. They have a right to do that. If it is nighttime, then we can call their attention about disturbing the sleeping neighbors. But since it is just 3 o'clock in the afternoon..." Awwk. Ganoon?!

This karaoke singing that Filipinos love so much has been cause of much joy and much contention as well. The karaoke singers have great fun belting out the lyrics flashed onscreen, but sometimes, if not often, the emotive vocalists get carried away with their singing, they don't want to relinquish the microphone to anybody else anymore, which would not be a problem really if they had even just passable singing voices. In fact, in many karaoke bars in the Philippines, Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' has been removed from the songlist because not a few inebriated karaoke-ers have gotten into fist-fights or even knife- and gun- fights over 'Whose Way' is better than the others.

Such was my dilemma, one supposed-to-be-a-study-Saturday afternoon. Unable to study but not wanting to be at loggerheads with my neighbors who only wanted a relaxed and fun (for them) afternoon of karaoke singing, I packed my swim gear and headed for the Aqua Center.

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