Yes, the term karaoke is Japanese. Yes, they claim to have invented it first and yes, Filipinos are very fond of Karaoke.
Karaoke is a japanese portmanteau meaning “empty” orchestra. As to who invented the machine, there’s a bit of a confusion as to who invented the machine:
- The Japanese- a man named Daisuke Inoue claimed to have invented a machine that when you insert coins in it, it plays a recording of a song that you could sing to
- The Filipino0 a man named Roberto Del Rosario who was famous for his inventions which included a machine that is basically an accompaniment to a song
As to who really did it, we’ll never know. After all, wikipedia didn’t exist then. (how ever did they live?) This kinda reminds me of the Apple vs Samsung patent case but that’s a story for another day.
So, on to the third point, Filipinos do love karaoke. Wherever they are, they are never afraid to belt out albeit sometimes out-of-tune renditions of popular songs. Karaoke or Sing-along is always present at big events such as birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas parties and even New Year’s. Also, the microphone is never left all alone. Usually, the brave ones go first and the more timid ones try to pass the mic to others. Inevitably, as the night winds down, someone hogs the mic and in turn belts out their version of “Please Release Me”, “Dancing Queen”.
I’m not saying we’re all great singers. We can’t all be Sharon Cunetas, Sarah Geronimos and Christian Bautistas. Filipinos, however are great critics. In the Philippines, you could actually be executed for having a poor singing voice. But that’s a bit extreme.
If you’re a foreigner invited to a predominantly Filipino party, I would advice preparing a song or two. You might need it.
Basically, our love of karaoke can be traced to a love of music, a love of fun and a love of life all in all. After all, in a country where there’s a lot to be depressed about, the one thing you should never lose is your sense of humor. 🙂