Define Singing

Sometimes geeks need to unwind. Well at least that was the intention.

This tiny isolated cove facing the Verde Island Passage, connecting the South China Sea with the Tayabas Bay was the destination this time.

Calatagan, Batangas

The place looks promising. A nice, quiet location one escapes to from the city jungle. And it was. Never mind that it took forever to get there. Or that the “road “, as soon as you get off the main highway, was more fit for a water buffalo than a car.

Despite threats of rain all day (we are entering the typhoon season) there was peace and quiet. Even the sea was calm. At night the stars came out to play. I claimed one of the beach sunbeds and gazed at them stars until I drifted off to sleep. It has been some time since I last slept outdoors.


Sometime in the morning a high pitched screaming shattered the peace. Then it was followed by loud music that I was sure can be heard on the other side of the ocean.

…Kiss me, ki-ki-kiss me… infect me with your lo-ah-vvvve and fiilllll me with your poisonnnnn…

And there you have it folks, a group of idiots decided to grace the province of Batangas with their awful singing golden voices.  At 7 in the morning nonetheless! I must have missed the memo that it was karaoke weekend. Did I mention that they brought their own big, booming, karaoke machine?

The hours went on and there was no letting up. Guests from the nearby resorts were starting to complain of what is now a full blown concert. The resort staff  tried asking them several times to turn down the volume. The group, intoxicated at this point, didn’t like the fact the several people were complaining and were getting all aggressive.  Their designated spokesperson, an overfed woman with the guts to wear a French cut bikini, tummy rolls and all (sorry for the visual) were issuing threats to anyone who will bother them again. To further prove that they were indeed idiots, they crank up the volume some more. I decided to cut my losses and head back to the city early. Pity to the rest who were staying.

even they were not spared of the ear splitting assault

If there is one thing I find disagreeable with my country-folks the most, this is it – karaoke. I loathe it. There, I said it.

Filipinos are great singers, no doubt about it (I missed the gene apparently). Music is an integral part of life around here. People randomly break out into songs all the time. I see nothing wrong with that of course. Karaoke singing however is something else. The music (and singing) is turned up to the maximum that even the next village can hear it.  Never mind that there were only two of them in there. And worst, once the culprits get going, there is no sense of time nor consideration for others’ eardrums. It’s late you say? Why, they’ve only covered Page 200 so far. It is a 500-page song book. If you are the unfortunate neighbor, better pray for a power blackout.

This is also the reason why I stay away from family destinations when traveling within the country. You can almost guarantee, karaoke/videoke will be among the hotel amenities. Oh and just because I said Filipinos are great singers doesn’t mean it accounts for all karaoke singers. Oh no.

A funny story:

In one of my diving trips, I and my fellow divers partied all night which resulted into going to bed in the wee hours of the morning. A few hours later I was awoken by a very loud music across the market where my room happens to be facing, accompanied by very bad singing/yelling. Waking up to that and the eventual hangover that followed, I was really cranky. I stumbled into the bathroom muttering a string of curses that will make a sailor proud. The guy staying on the room next to mine apparently heard me and was so amused by the ‘neighbour’ using such colourful language so early in the morning that he decided to investigate. That led to us being introduced to each other. A brief romance followed.

Okay so that was the one time I might have benefited from bad karaoke singing. Mostly, it is bad news for the eardrums. And the sanity. The country’s tourism board is currently pushing the theme, ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’. Karaoke certainly ain’t one of them.

sun. yay!

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