In the Philippines, We Take Karaoke Seriously

Joey deVilla doing accordion-assisted karaoke at the Rivoli nghtclub, Toronto.
Me singing some accordion-enhanced karaoke.

Unlike here in North America, even the toughest bar in the Philippines — even the ones with real-life pirates — are likely to have karaoke. That’s how hardcore we are about it. In my immediate family alone, we collectively own 4 karaoke machines (6 if you count my PlayStation 2 and XBox with their karaoke-based games).

And believe me, that’s nothing. Here’s a story from ABS-CBN news…

Man slain for singing off-key in videoke bar

For singing out of tune, a jobless man was shot dead by a security guard of a videoke bar at the height of an argument in San Mateo, Rizal Tuesday night.

The victim, Romy Baligula, 29, was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead on arrival in a local hospital.

Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas, acting Rizal police director, said the suspect, Robilito Ortega, 43, was arrested by responding policemen and yielded a caliber .38 revolver with five live bullets.

Rojas said Baligula and his companions were having a drinking spree at the Jullives KTV bar where Ortega worked as a security guard.

Prior to the incident, Ortega approached the table of Baligula’s group and shook hands with each of them, apparently in a show of friendship.

When Baligula started to sing, Ortega even danced to the tune. But when the song progressed, the suspect reportedly commented that the victim was out of tune, triggering a verbal tussle.

At the height of the argument, Ortega pulled out his service firearm and opened fire at Baligula before fleeing.

Rojas said policemen patrolling the area heard the gunshots and responded to the scene and eventually arrested Ortega.

Dave, who sent me the link to this story, wrote “I will never do karaoke in the Philippines,” to which I responded “Lightweight.” They should try to incorporate firearms-assisted judging into American Idol.


Staircase Drawers

Here’s a clever space-saving idea: a staircase with drawers embedded in the steps:

Staircase with drawers embedded in the steps
Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.

Of course, the drawers can pose a safety hazard: you’d better be the type of person who closes drawers — if not, you’d be setting yourself up for a nasty spill one night when you go downstairs, half-awake at o-dark-thirty.


Latest Articles on "Global Nerdy"

Let's go to prison

In case you missed them, here are the latest articles from the tech blog I do with my buddy George, Global Nerdy:


"The Difference of Love"

Photo titled 'Difference of Love'.
Click the photo to see the original at full size.

The photo above, titled The Difference of Love is getting a lot of discussion on Reddit.

My own feelings on the matter are best summed up by this musical number from the television series American Dad:


God’s Business Plan

All the best business plans got started as scribbling on napkins…

God's business plan, written on a napkin.
Click the photo to see it at full size. Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.


Virgil Could Use a Hug Right About Now

Photo courtesy of Miss Fipi Lele.


100 Words Every High School Graduate Should Know

According to the folks at Houghton Mifflin, every high school grad should be familiar with the words in the list below. I’m not surprised that I was unfamiliar with the word abstemious given its meaning, and moiety is now part of my vocabulary.

  1. abjure
  2. abrogate
  3. abstemious
  4. acumen
  5. antebellum
  6. auspicious
  7. belie
  8. bellicose
  9. bowdlerize
  10. chicanery
  11. chromosome
  12. churlish
  13. circumlocution
  14. circumnavigate
  15. deciduous
  16. deleterious
  17. diffident
  18. enervate
  19. enfranchise
  20. epiphany
  21. equinox
  22. euro
  23. evanescent
  24. expurgate
  25. facetious
  26. fatuous
  27. feckless
  28. fiduciary
  29. filibuster
  30. gamete
  31. gauche
  32. gerrymander
  33. hegemony
  34. hemoglobin
  35. homogeneous
  36. hubris
  37. hypotenuse
  38. impeach
  39. incognito
  40. incontrovertible
  41. inculcate
  42. infrastructure
  43. interpolate
  44. irony
  45. jejune
  46. kinetic
  47. kowtow
  48. laissez faire
  49. lexicon
  50. loquacious
  51. lugubrious
  52. metamorphosis
  53. mitosis
  54. moiety
  55. nanotechnology
  56. nihilism
  57. nomenclature
  58. nonsectarian
  59. notarize
  60. obsequious
  61. oligarchy
  62. omnipotent
  63. orthography
  64. oxidize
  65. parabola
  66. paradigm
  67. parameter
  68. pecuniary
  69. photosynthesis
  70. plagiarize
  71. plasma
  72. polymer
  73. precipitous
  74. quasar
  75. quotidian
  76. recapitulate
  77. reciprocal
  78. reparation
  79. respiration
  80. sanguine
  81. soliloquy
  82. subjugate
  83. suffragist
  84. supercilious
  85. tautology
  86. taxonomy
  87. tectonic
  88. tempestuous
  89. thermodynamics
  90. totalitarian
  91. unctuous
  92. usurp
  93. vacuous
  94. vehement
  95. vortex
  96. winnow
  97. wrought
  98. xenophobe
  99. yeoman
  100. ziggurat

If you’re a Simpsons fan, the word chicanery should be familiar to you (“Oh, Mr. Homer…What has reduced you to such cheap chicanery?”). If you remember your Phil Hartman-era SNL, you might recall his use of the word jejune (“Compulsion” by Calvin Kleen). Monty Python fans will have run into a form of expurgate (the bookstore skit), lugubrious appears in both Lou Reed lyrics (The Original Wrapper) and an old Zippy the Pinhead comic strip and I recall the word sanguine being used in an 80’s-era X-Men comic.