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Why Filipinos are so good at singing

Among the number of stereotypes associated with being Filipino, it is the ability to sing that many Kababians proudly embrace.

To be fair, there is no shortage of evidence that Filipinos are actually among the best singers in the world. Home-bred talents (Lea Salonga, Arnel Pineda and Jake Zyrus) and stars of mixed ethnic heritage (Bruno Mars, HER and Olivia rodrigo) all seem to exemplify that vocal skill comes naturally to those with Filipino blood. But does it?

A star is groomed

Whether intentional or not, Filipinos are literally used to being pop stars as children. Many people grow up watching talent shows, which can be found on almost every TV channel in the Philippines.

“Tawag ng Tanghalan”, which began in 1954, produced many of the early singing stars in the country, according to Manila Times. It continues to enjoy viewership to this day as a segment of the dinner show “Showtime”.

In addition to locally produced shows, the Philippines also has its own versions of popular talent shows such as “The Voice”, “X-Factor” and “American Idol”.

Exposure to these shows develops not only young Filipinos’ affiliation with music, but also their instinctive dreams of becoming future singers or celebrities.

While many Filipinos see such competitions as an outlet for their talent, others also see them as their ticket out of poverty. In some cases, parents with limited opportunities train their children to become good singers for a shot at a better future.

The Filipino singer and TV personality Jake Zyrus (then known as Charice) once shared with Oprah that he entered over 80 competitions as a child to help support his family.

“I really want to[ed] to help mother, “he was quoted as saying. “When I entered singing competitions and I won about $ 50, she said, ‘Okay, we’ll have some food for a month, and we’re very happy.”

Born with a silver microphone

While Asians generally love their karaoke, Filipinos take it to a whole other level.

In the Philippines, the karaoke machine has become a staple for those who can afford it. Family bonding time on the weekends? Karaoke. Friends arriving for an unexpected visit? Karaoke. Little Junjun wants to show Lola her hidden talent? Karaoke.

Those who do not have a “Magic Sing” at home will still not mind postponing a few thousand pesos to visit a karaoke place or rent a laptop for gatherings, for it is true that no Filipino party is complete without a karaoke showdown.

It does not matter what type of gathering it is. Whether it’s a birthday party or a funeral, you can expect a passionate Tito to deliver an acceptable Air Supply ballad or a compelling Sinatra song. Since each family has its own “pambato” (master), do not be surprised that someone’s Tita has already queued her song code for a Whitney Houston belts without even looking at the list of karaoke songs.

Musician David DiMuzio, who has worked with several Filipino artists, noted that Filipinos take their karaoke seriously and mostly practice songs from strong vocalists from the 70s and 80s, such as Bryan Adams, Michael Bolton and Whitney Houston, among others. .

“Filipinos generally just go to that music, and that’s the music there they practice singing over and over again, ” DiMuzio said in a YouTube video. “Whatever you practice, that’s what you get good at.”

Even Pacman does

While it’s not necessarily a good singer to be bombarded with singing competitions or karaoke sessions, such exposure to music instills some confidence behind the microphone, and sometimes it’s all one needs to get started.

An example of this is Manny Pacquiao. Although the boxing legend is not really known for his song, it can hold itself with a microphone (as shown in this video with singer Dan Hill).

“I like to sing, I love music. But I do not think music loves me,” Pacquiao admitted in an interview with TMZ.

Miss Universe Queens Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray have also shown their singing talent on TV shows. Even President Rodrigo Duterte has beaten one get songs on certain occasions.

We have also seen a number of amateur singers burst up on social media from their impressive renditions of international hits. Zendee Tenerefe achieved star status on social media after knocking out Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and Jennifer Holliday’s “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” at a karaoke kiosk inside a mall. Meanwhile, Maria Aragon earned online fame after recording her own version of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”.

Both viral stars attracted further international attention after appearing on the “Ellen Show”. Ellen DeGeneres, who has invited several Filipino singers to her show, even took to Twitter to post: “I learned 2 things about TV. It’s always easier with vodka, and some of the best singers are from the Philippines.

Killing at International ‘Idols’

A further reinforcement of the stereotype is the fact that Filipinos have consistently impressed audiences at international singing competitions. It’s almost a guarantee that an upcoming appearance on “American Idol” or “X Factor” is worth seeing when a contestant is revealed to be Filipino.

Among the most captivating performances that viewers never get tired of re-watching online are those from 4th Impact on “The X Factor UK”, Jasmine Trias and Jessica Sanchez on “American Idol”, Marlisa Punzalan on “The X Factor Australia”, Peter Rosalita and Angelica Hale on “America’s Got Talent”, Mig Ayesa on “RockStar: INXS” and Marcelito Pomoy on “America’s Got Talent: The Champions”.

Singing costs nothing

Many have attributed Filipino singing talent to their culture, as song has always played an integral role in Filipino customs. Almost any traditional ceremony involves singing or musical performance. Others say Filipinos have better song diction than most, which helps refine delivery and deepen emotional expression.

Out of the many other possible reasons, our favorite is the Philippines’ inherently positive attitude, which stems from the idea that Filipinos have developed their singing talents in an attempt to remain optimistic while dealing with their problems.

That, or there is something magical in the lumpia.

Featured Image via All About PageantsPH, Revil O, Gary Valenciano, The Voice Teens Philippines

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