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Unlike my fellow Offender Roger, I didn’t fear Filipina girls when I was growing up, but I don’t think I personally knew too many of them either (or I simply assumed they were Latina). So when this Filipina girl I liked (let’s call her Holly) agreed to go to a movie with me, it was my first real exposure to anything Filipino. Which is to say I expected them to be like the other Asians I knew at the time—studious, repressed, etc… Man, was I wrong.

The first sign that my preconceptions would be smashed took place as I was walking up to Holly’s house to pick her up. I could hear the sound of music—Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” to be precise—blaring from inside. When I knocked on the door, I was greeted by a 50-year-old Pinoy gentleman (Holly’s father) who grabbed my arm and implored me to come in and join in the “family dance time.” I entered to see Holly and her family—siblings, mother, grandparents and various cousins, aunts and uncles all singing and dancing to Stevie Wonder in the living room for no apparent reason except…they wanted to. I had never met another family who did anything like this, but I have to admit it was pretty cool.

I later asked Holly if that was a common occurrence in her household. “You mean do we break out into song and dance for no reason?” She asked. “Of course, we’re Filipino.”

And that was the first time I was introduced to one of the most common stereotypes pertaining to Filipinos—that they are naturally musical and have great musical ability. Or to put it simply—they can sing and dance better than the rest of us. Today, I present some of the “evidence” I’ve collected including comments that you sent us via email, Twitter and Facebook so you can decide for yourself if this is Chinky or not Chinky?

On the surface the “evidence” seems to support the argument that Filipinos are musical and take their music very seriously. A majority of the Asians who have made a mark in the world of music or dance in the U.S. do indeed appear to be Filipinos. They include:

Dancing With The Stars’ Cheryl Burke:

Journey lead singer Arnel Pineda:

The Black-Eyed Peas’ apl.de.ap:

The mostly Filipino dance crew JabbaWockeeZ:

Tony Award-winning star of Miss Saigon Lea Salonga:

(Note: Even though the lead female character in Miss Saigon is Vietnamese, the role is frequently played by Filipina actresses. In fact, East West Players’ latest production of Road To Saigon features three of the actresses who starred in that play and guess what…they’re all Filipina)

If this weren’t enough, we also have stories like this one I wrote a few months back about how singing the wrong song when you karaoke in the Philippines could get you killed. If that’s not a culture that takes its music seriously, then I don’t know what is. However, when this question was posed to you, our readers, we got a wide-range of responses; ranging from ignorance:

Min Joo: Hmm.. never even heard of that stereotype. thought it was Japanese and Koreans who were more musical at least in terms of instrumentals.

To a repudiation of the stereotype:

Linda: OMG so racist! Koreans are musical too lol

Phong: It’s like saying all blacks can play B-ball, all Asians all smart etc..u know…

To a validation of the stereotype:

Bill: In my personal experience, yes! Ha, no one can’t call me a racist since I wrote “personal experience”.

Eunice: We are naturally musical 😀 we have these regular weekend shows we call “concert TV”, and they’re all about dancing and singing for almost 3 hours 🙂

What I did find interesting from the responses was that almost everyone who said the stereotype was bullshit were non-Filipinos and almost all of you who said the stereotype was pretty accurate were Filipinos. Make of that what you will.

But if indeed it is true and Filipinos are more musical, why might that be? One of our Korean readers offers this possible explanation:

Hj Joo: I think there may be a cultural reason…I think Koreans consider the pursuit of arts a disgrace. I think most Korean parents want their kids to major in something pragmatic like econ or computer science and become that doctor/lawyer. I sure as hell know I’ve been a disgrace to my family for my creative pursuits. I wonder if the same discouragement exists for Filipinos or to a lesser extent, which would allow them to pursue singing and dancing without shame.

But as another reader reminds us, even if the stereotype is mostly true, you can’t apply it across the board:

John: I only know a handful of Filipinos, but none of them are tone deaf. I cannot attest to their dancing as I’ve not witnessed it. However, I don’t doubt that there are tone deaf rhythm-lacking Filipinos out there.

And if you need first-hand documentation of one of those tone-deaf, rhythm-less Filipinos. Remember this brotha from American Idol a few seasons back:

So what do you think? Can Filipinos sing and dance better than the rest of us? And if you think the stereotype is true, any theories why? Chinky or not chinky?

Let me give the final word to another Filipina reader:

Leonora: Is it a stereotype? In my part of town, we would shrug it off and punch in the code for the next karaoke song.

41 Comments

  1. In the Philippines, there are certain regions that take music and/or dance more seriously in their daily lives. For example, I know in Cebu, people learn how to play the guitar before they can speak (just a mild exaggeration there).

    To respond to HJ Joo’s comments; there’s varying degrees of that in the Filipino community. Overall, pursuit of the arts as a career is still largely frowned-upon by Filipino parents (yet not quite to the same degree as Korean parents), but leisurely appreciation and enjoyment of music and the arts is encouraged (the operative word is “leisurely.”)

    That being said, all three of my siblings and myself are working artists in different fields, so go figure 🙂

  2. I also recently found out that Bruno Mars, the R&B singer who sings the chorus of B.O.B.’s current hit, “Nothin on You,” is a Pinoy-Boriqua from Hawaii.

  3. Can Filipinos sing and dance better than the rest of Asians?

    Generally? Yes. lol! That’s not to say that Koreans can’t sing and dance ’cause they’re AMAZING w/ their pop culture. Their B-Boys? SICK! But in terms of quantity to go w/ the quality? Filipinos FTW.

    Why is the generalization true? I can’t speak for other Asian cultures, but our forms of musical entertainment has just been so deeply rooted in our culture. On top of that, I think America’s colonization of the Philippines magnified that affinity exponentially. Filipinos like variations of what Americans like. Song and dance make us feel good. In a country where there is such poverty, political corruption, and lack of opportunity, singing and dancing are much welcomed low-cost diversions from harsh economic realities. Emotional power ballads are passed down from one generation to the next harkening back to sentimental times that tend to repeat. XD This just makes the karaoke sessions all the more heart-felt.

    So it’s a cultural, nurtured thing. However, I wouldn’t rule out nature’s hand in the whole deal.

    As a former dancer (LOL!), I readily identify the difference when dancers are born w/ a natural groove or if they were formally trained to dance. Ask any dancer, this disparity exists. Filipino dancers tend to be natural in their movements. Most are born to groove. There are HELLA Filipino dancers.

    Having said all that, I don’t wanna disregard the Pinoys/Pinays that can’t throw down vocally or on the floor. And they exist. Oh, mang… do they exist. XD The question was posed generally so I can only answer in those terms.

    I wanna address Hi Joo’s question about how it’s like w/ Filipino parents. It’s the same. Our parents are just as bad, overbearing, judgmental, and self-righteous w/ their “hopes” that we become white collar in our professions. In fact, I think there is a conspiracy among them to have us all become nurses @ worst, if not doctors. Xo The difference, I guess, is that if fame and celebrity are instant and certain, they’d support such endeavors in the entertainment field as much. Keyphrase: if fame and celebrity are INSTANT and CERTAIN (… and they have something concrete to show off and brag about to their peers about your accomplishments and, in turn, their success in parenting). Otherwise, expect an emotional uphill battle.

    Okay… I think I wrote way more than I intended to on this topic and I’m gonna stop now ’cause I myself run away from lengthy posts. lol! In the end, I’m just writing stuff out my ass, albeit somewhat passionately. 😀

    If you need more nuggets of Filipino American insight, I’m here for you, Offenders!

    Peace.

  4. Haha yeah and they can also apply for Latino scholarships better than the rest of us. Well that’s what they’ve said. Not chinky.

  5. you guys forgot:
    chad hugo from N.E.R.D. and the neptunes
    joey santiago from the pixies.
    oh and kirk hammett from metalica is half filipino.

    I’m sure there’s more but I mean the pixies, metalica and the neptunes? pretty huge.

    here’s a simple reason for filipino musicality.
    indoctrination into the roman catholic church by the spanish and the U.S. using the philippines as their pacific navel hub.

    getting filipinos into church and having them sing every sunday goes a long way in creating a musical culture. mix that in with a steady diet of american pop music and television and blam you get a 40 year old filipino man named arnell singing songs about being “a city boy born and raised in south detroit.”

    another thing to consider is that the philippines is hardley homogeneous. apl.de.ap is half black. there are huge amounts of islamic filipinos. families have roots that go back to china or spain or the u.s.a.

    a diverse culture such as this has the ability to attach itself freely to anything, including… medias that are sensational pop spectacle that promote being entertained and entertaining.

    oh and one last reason filipinos can sing and dance?
    it’s dat filipino ass

  6. So, I guess I’m one of those tone-deaf people mentioned above. ‘-.-

    Now, I’m Filipino. (All or almost all) Filipinos can sing and dance. I can neither sing nor dance. Therefore, I am not Filipino. Am I?

    On-T:

    I once watched this Korean variety show called “Star King” on youtube. They feature talented individuals in the show every week. What surprised me is that they had Charice Pempengco as a guest before. Now, (I think) we all know Charice. She’s that petite girl with strong vocals on Oprah and Ellen Degeneres’ shows. Going back, when Charice sang her signature song (can’t remember the title), these famous singers/musicians/popstars/producers were TOO amazed and awed by her performance when, in fact, Charice is not the only one with such strong vocals in the Philippines. Her talent is considered TOO COMMON here. I mean, there are children far younger than her who can sing the songs with the same prowess. And, not to offend Sung or any Koreans here, when they had her sing with a “veteran” singer, my reaction was: ‘VETERAN?’.

  7. And by the way, Charice’s song “PYRAMID” just topped the Billboard Dance chart, beating Rihanna’s “Rude Boy”. Just sharing.

  8. I’m Filipina, and I can sing and dance well. But to say that my singing and dancing is BETTER than that of all other Asians is simply an opinion, not a fact. Asians’ skills at singing and dancing should be considered positive across the board. Please, no yellow on brown (or brown on yellow) beef! Philip, can we talk about the OTHER stereotype of Filipinos that you mentioned? That everyone thinks we’re Latinas???

    Also, @Hj Joo: You are generalizing and stereotyping Filipinos for being more tolerant of pursuing a career in the arts than other Asians are. For a lot of Filipinos, myself included, this is simply not true. There are actually a lot of creative/artistic/musically gifted Filipinos here who’ve been reprimanded for following those career paths instead of becoming a nurse or doctor like our parents want us to. Please make some more Filipino friends so you can stop “wondering” about us. Also, rent the movie The Debut. You’ll understand everything.

  9. What the Filipinos have over all our other asian counterparts in my opinion is raw talent. Kids that can sing a tune or dane their ass off without any formal training whatsoever. There really arent many performing arts schools in the Philippines and yet the talent that comes out of that place is world class! Filipinos are heralded as the Blacks of Asia!
    Also, it is cultural in a sense that no other Asian country mimicks Western counterparts as much as the Filipinos- Theres a Filipino Elvis Presley, Mariah Carey etc. Big problem why Filipinos havent emerged as much on a global level is because its so difficult to categorize a filipino. They can look Latin, Chinese, Malay..you get what I mean.
    The national past time of the country has been watching the daily noontime varieties (Like ASAP, SOP, etc) that have people crooning and shaking their humps.

  10. I’m a Julliard alum and my best friends while at school were Pinoys and Pinays — all incredibly skilled and gifted classical musicians and singers as were the Chinese, Sansei, Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian, Thai and Hapa Haole classmates who made up our social group. Great times, great people.

    Stereotypes, no matter the variety, suck. That said, it’s safe to say that there are far more talented singers and musicians than Min Joo and George. The intelligence level goes without saying.

    Mahalo.

  11. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Filipinos are generally better musicians and dancers than other Asians, but I do think that music and dance are very strongly tied to Filipino culture and identity in a way that may not be true for other Asian cultures.

    For instance, during the Spanish colonization Filipino martial arts, songs, and stories were banned and consequently these forms were preserved by incorporating them into tribal dances to fool the Spaniards. Music in the Phillipines has often been associated with resistance to oppression.

    Then of course, there’s the notion of the romantic Filipino guitar playing “serenader” who woos his love interest with a song.

    I also think that Filipinos possess a characteristic that might be considered unusual when compared to our cousins in north-east Asia, and that is the desire to stand out – often flamboyantly. I think in north-east Asian cultures, the focus is on fitting in and remaining in step with family, community and society. Filipinos (at least the ones I’ve known) like being different and think it’s great to not be like everyone else. I think this flamboyant quality lends itself to the music and entertainment industry.

  12. Bill may have hit a nail — flamboyant is not a word you will hear in re to the Japanese or many other Asian cultures. Taking the nail analogy further, you get pounded down in Nikon land.

    In high school the Flip kids — don’t get excited, we all had names for each other and we were pals — were extroverted and full of life, more so than the JA and Chinese kids. A generalization, sure, but I think it’s fairly true. (At this time Koreans and Vietnamese were yet to appear in numbers in the U.S. Pleistocene.)

    But they do like to grab a mic and sing over there in Rising Sunville. I had a guy forcing a mic on me after a large dinner. I’m not a big karaoke man, but I later understood that he was being polite, honoring me with the mic. I demurred. My Flip pals woulda grabbed that thing and belted.

  13. I think some are confusing the premise “Filipinos can sing better” with something that Phil did NOT say, which was that “Filipinos are better at music.”

    Being good at music, namely playing a musical instrument, requires years and years of technique training. People in every culture can be great at playing piano, cello, violin, drums, etc., but only if they are schooled in it relatively early and continue on as adults. Singing, however, is something that everyone natural can do and does. It’s connected deeply to expressing not just musical notes and phrases, but words, ideas, and the story/character behind the person uttering them. Totally different, IMHO.

    So the question remains why do Filipinos often out-sing their other Asian counterparts? I’m gonna go with Catholicism, because that’s probably how generations of young people first get introduced to singing great music that means something.

  14. I beg to differ. East Indians can sing and dance better than Filipinos. Seen a Bollywood movie lately? Ever seen an Indian guy dance at a club?

  15. I guess it’s just in our culture to dance and sing very well. Why? Accounts of early Spaniards say that Visayans sing a lot. As in, a lot. Have you ever been to Visayas? They have a rich culture of music there until now. They sing all the time. And it’s a communal thing. They learn with everyone else.

    And, it’s not just the Visayans that are fond of singing. The different kinds and types of precolonial music includes songs (or chants) for different kinds of activities which include sending a baby off to sleep, rice planting, harvesting, calling for the rain, and many more. These songs and chants may vary in location but they almost have similar themes, throughout the Philippines.

    As for the dancing, the earliest form of the dance that we can consider are the rituals the precolonial Filipinos perform. Also not just rituals, they have story tellings which are like less than theater but more than ordinary story telling. They uses hand and body gestures partnered with facial expressions and vocal plays (which can be considered as a free form of singing :P).

    That’s what I think why we Filipinos are just into music like that. I mean, I haven’t studied the Islamic Philippines yet but I know they have a very rich knowledge of music too.

  16. in my experience, filipinos aren’t as shy/reserved as the other asians I know… that’s why they always dominate the karaoke machine (tone deaf or not) and therefore practice more. sadly, this trait doesn’t rub off to us non-filis…

    have you noticed that pinoys are brilliant at singing while other asian countries are good with instruments? my wife mused that it is cheaper to use one’s voice rather than buy/rent a musical instrument: a theory that suggests why filipinos are good at singing. the same can be said with dancing: you don’t need anything else but a place to dance in and a music source.

    also, i am amazed that many Pinoy parents try their best to get their children to do extra-curricular activities after school. most of them try to get their kids to do an instrument and a sport if they can afford (my wife, a filipina, was ‘required’ to do acting, singing, violin lessons which she skipped to go archery and boxing).

    also, lessons such as singing, acting and dancing are very traditional: most parents think that these things are SUPPOSED to be learned. I ask my ‘tatay’ (father in law) why they ‘forced’ my wife to do such lessons when she was young and he said “because she’s a girl”

  17. Fillipinos are not even real Asians so this is all moot.

  18. I’ve been lucky to have traveled all over the world throughout my life and to have been immersed in many different cultures. I’ve been all over Europe, Africa, Asia, Micronesian Islands, U.S., Canada, Mexico, and South America.

    I spent two years in the Philippines (not all at one time). There are many things I enjoy about the culture. One of them is the upbeat attitudes. One of the ways Filipinos stay upbeat is through music and dance. I would disagree completely with those who say that Filipinos are born with the ability to sing and dance. The same has been said about African Americans. It is really through constant exposure and repetition that people develop. Almost everyone on the planet would appear to be natural dancers and singers (even from the time they are 3 years old) if they are constantly exposed to good dancers and singers and if they are encouraged (usually for fun) to always sing and dance. Even babies bounce to the beat and throw their arms and legs around. Most Filipinos were probably forced by their parents to learn an instrument and constantly saw their parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, neighbors, friends etc. etc. singing karaoke or dancing.

    There are many Filipinos in the world, and Filipinos tend to keep their culture wherever they move. In U.S., Europe, and Japan, I made friends with Filipinos, and I noticed that even the second generations (those who weren’t born in the Philippines) kept a lot of the culture going whether they did intentionally or not. Besides Filipino food and Catholicism, music and dancing are still a big part of their lives.

  19. One has to understand the musical culture of the Philippines first. Very early on in its history the Philippines was exposed to western music through Spain and the United States. The musical influences are much less “Asian” than in East Asia and other parts, so their ear for music is different from much of Asia. Second, the Philippines is big on ballads. Ballads (and bands) are a staple there, which necessitates being able to sing pretty difficult songs at all the numerous gatherings that are commonly held. Third, singing and eating are the two national past times. So its a very natural part of growing up for them and exposure to starts early, which lessens that “fear” of singing that so many Americans (particularly Caucasians) seem to have. Singing competitions at the grassroots level are prevalent, though not necessarily organized. Oftentimes what happens is that talent is not cultivated at the grassroots level because musical training is not widespread due to a lack of resources. But because of that, real raw talent surfaces first before it is refined and packaged. This can differ from other countries where artists are trained for years first before being released for public consumption. It’s similar to the billiards culture in the Philippines, where raw talent surfaces due to the local system and lack of formal training.

    I just also wanted to mention how dominant a force the Philippines is in international choir competitions. The choir culture their is incredibly developed, yet still not mature in terms of public awareness. But the accomplishments of Philippine choirs internationally relative to their Asian brethren is astounding. There is a veritable goldmine of musical talent there.

  20. I think one huge factor why Filipinos sing well is because of having good English skills. Their pronounciation is very clear and can immitate accents. I travelled Asia and one example here is Korea and China. They tried singing English songs but you cant understand it well.. it is so heavily accented with their own mother tongue. Theyre eating the words thats why most of us cannot appreciate it but then, many Asians can sing pretty well.. China for example got tons of tenor and sopranos. India also has good singers but westerns and rest of us cannot appreciate it, again due to accent.
    I am not a good singer but im defintely not a tone deaf. I had once a Karaoke night with Chinese group somewhere near Shanghai and they have this girl with really great great vocals. When she sang English, she got lost.
    Another thing with FIlipinos is that they can create full lenght English songs that are very interesting and very western. Take for example Jose Mari Chan with his english love songs and christmas songs. He is well known in Indonesia. Neighbors on the other hand mix it with local language and thus it is hard to market their talents outside. Also when they try to imitate western style, they become corny and sometimes when watching it, I want to run away.
    Talentwise, Asia is very rich of it. Filipinos edge is the English ability. Korea, Japan, China – they got great instrumental supports. Modern musical equipments for presentation. Opera is even popular in them.

  21. I tend to agree with Jamie. The Filipinos’ musical talents are appreciated in Europe, North America and South America because they have traces of the western culture – Spanish and American.

  22. I think daying that all filipinos are greater at music is very exaggerated, any person of any culture can be good at musical arts.

    Ppl say that it has to do with a filipinos culture bcuz a lot of normal filipino households include a karaoke machine but dont most azns have that too! Some say its their will to stand out alittle more, ok this i kinda agree with because, orientals like japanese, koreans, chinese,etc. Have a disciplined culture, while western cultures are more layed back. The philippines absorbed some of these, but still, this us not so much the case.

    The reason why it seems like filipinos have a natural talent is because of their upbringing, and im not talking abt filipino-AMERICANS, i’m talking abt the ones who were raised in poverty who had to work for every crum or slice of bread. If these kids are born with talent than parents will build their child on this so they can get out of poverty, (ex:arnold pineda, cherice[kinda]) this is why they seem so natural, so raw. And if this is based off of 2nd or 3rd gen. Filipinos in america than this isn’t relly an accurate stereotype. America is a land of oppurtunity, most americans are likley to become interested in music at one point.
    This country invented several different music genres. Because theyre r given so much oppurtunties same with japan and korea. It’s not so much based of they’re culture, the bulk is based off of UPBRINGING. 🙂

  23. Haha, being part Filipina, Vietnamese and Indian, I definitely see the truth in this. My mom (who is Filipina) loves to sing and dance at the most random time. She would start to sing a Katy Perry song to a 70’s song. She’s even in a choir (and so am I.) And because we have such a big Filipino community here in Toronto, I have been exposed to many Filipinos who are musically talented! And I often get jealous haha.
    As for my dad, he IS less “crazy” (of course, crazy meaning fun and happy) but he does sing karaoke. Because he’s part Vietnamese, he loves singing Vietnamese and French songs.

  24. i find this topic a little absurd. sorry for the word. I am a filipino but I believe that singing and dancing just like other arts (painting, sculpting, etc…) are God-given talents to humanity without special preference for a particular race. The appreciation is subjective to every person. Filipinos are emotional people and we tend to express our thoughts and feelings through songs, we can relate with the lyrics so to speak. But to contest whether we are the best or not is a total waste of time and energy.

  25. It’s not a talent… It’s a natural identity of Filipinos… If the world will see, they could ever find out the World’s Greatest Nation…. Singing and Dancing is something that makes the Filipino a Filipino…

  26. It is because Filipinos celebrate many festivals all year round with folk dancing, street dancing, playing musical instruments, singing, parades, and partying on the street. Festivals are celebrated mostly to the Patron Saints of every village in the Philippines because most Filipinos are Catholics and all of the holidays are celebrated with street parades accompanied by marching bands

  27. Talents in singing and dancing is wrapped up by a matter of opinion. Well, it goes with the genetics and the environment. 50% inherited and 50% environment. I am a Filipina and i tell you, it’s not true that all filipinos are good in singing and dancing. many filipinos are also tone deaf and has two left feet. I think most people say that filipinos are great singers because of the how they sing the song with clarity. Say for a perfect example to that is Ms. Lea Salonga (GOD! I super like her). people tend to listen to songs that are meaningful and soothing to the ears and that’s a filipino singer’s advantage. Actually, I am really good in singing and dancing (i don’t care if you call us racist, proud and egoistic, but i am just telling the truth). Most of the Filipinos don’t go proper training but still they are good in singing and dancing. many nationalities said that we are really fast learners and very keen observers (thanks to our ancestors since we inherit their keenness).

  28. I would not say Filipino sings and dances better than the rest of our Asian friend. But there are factors that contributes why Filipino sings and dances “differently” and can be found everywhere.

    Geographically, Filipinos are Asian. Intellectually, western. Spiritually, Latin.

    Spanish and American colonization gave Philippines its “western” thinking and voice. Mixed with the Philippines dialects, the differences in the quality of the voice, pronunciation and distinction of vowels and consonants, stress, and prosody of each languages trained Filipino tongue and diaphragm to be more adaptable and flexible. It is not rare for Filipino to be trilingual or bilingual.

    Spanish and English gave us “global” accents. This accent which American calls the Filipinos “bland or neutral” accent when native Filipinos speaks English. The bland and neutral accent, I think, allows Filipinos to adapt and learn fully and faster the “accents” compared to most of our Asian friends, given equal time exposure to culture and language.

    But eventually, most of our Asian friends will learned these “voice” as they continually absorbed western culture and language. But Filipinos are centuries ahead immerse in the western ways.

    But the Spanish, brought more than the western ways. They brought the Latin influences, the same Latin passion common to South American nations. In fact, the Philippines is the only Asian country member of the Latin Union. We may have lost the direct Spanish language (we still have Chabacano though),but our religion, culture, core values, tempers language are still enormously steeped with Spanish influence. In fact, if one observes closely Filipinos are Hispanics in more ways than Asians.

    In short, the global languages gave us a global voice, and Latin passion gave us soul.

    But one thing will separately Filipinos from other Asian friends: an Asian with Latin soul.

    Does it mean Filipino sings or dances better? I dont know,

    But its unique, being asian with latin soul, adds something to the music and dance. Tooled with a adaptive tongue and voice, we are equip to go everywhere.

    My take.

  29. since we’re taLking about Filipino musicaL taLent, i’d Like to share my co-Filipina singing “Let it go” in a maLL somewhere in Manila, Philippines.. this girL, was said to come from a marginaLized province in the Philippines and she’s 19 years oLd, by the way.. she made me reaLize that a person, no matter what the race is.. whether a better singer or not.. one can shine as Long as one chooses to shine… just Like how she chose to be heard

    (pLease pardon the Low quaLity of the video..but i stiLL hope you enjoy 🙂 )

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUX3ZA-20K8

  30. The Korean ex-girlfriend of Philippine President, Grace Lee, once talked about how many of her fellow Korean expats in the Philippines are surprised how people in Manila would sometimes sing while walking on the street or even shake to music in malls while shopping.

  31. Filipinos are just naturally musical! I agree to this. Filipinos just can’t resist singing or dancing with any musical accompaniment. Whether a person has a talent in singing or not, we sing. Whether we can perfectly dance or not, we dance. It just comes naturally!

  32. i am not filipino but i travel around the world and all i can say is definitely yes they are the best singer and dancer all over Asia cause even the street children can sing and dance without undergone in any lessons or workshops well don’t mind those celebrities in the Philippines they just based it by the looks but in talents and skills. In addition i’ve been watching several stage plays, cultural dances, and opera, what i noticed in the Philippines they imitate international songs aside in english like japanese, spanish, korean, and etc.

  33. by the way greetings from Japan

  34. All cultures from all nations have an innate attraction for music and dance. Songs and dances are an intrinsic part of cultures from uncontacted tribes in the Amazon to the global music we associate with America.

    I would say Filipinos are not unique in that sense, but having said that, here’s something to think about… when the Jota and the Fandango arrived in Philippine shores, Filipinos adapted them readily, so much so that there were several versions for different islands.Think also of the Kundiman and Harana, both of whom were influenced by the colonizers… as well as the banda of fiestas. Or even remember the Binukots who would sing the days-long Epic of Hinilawod from tribes who have not adapted writing and instead sang oral histories by rote.

    I would quote a British visitor in the late 19th century as having been impressed by the quality of the musicians who can supposedly outplay even those from his native Europe. Of course, I’m more inclined to think he probably was exaggerating because he’s in some new country in what was old Manila and its environs. I would guess Filipinos are a little bit more open to new cultures and adapting those.

    I digress, I would say that Filipinos are more exposed to western popular music. It has to be the way Filipinos adapt to new things that make them appear as having innate talent, the ability to mimic and adapt is the talent, rather than to extraordinary innate musical abilities, because music is universal.

  35. Hmm…I grew up singing and dancing and writing and sketching, everything about arts. My parents would always remind us to finish school but they would never stop us from being creative. In fact we were encouraged to take a sport or any type of art as a hobby. They would always say it’s a good way to occupy us during our free time. I read somewhere, observation from the former Spanish colonizer, that early Filipinos often engaged in singing and dancing. We have a dance ritual for was, harvesting, entertaining, among others. It was mentioned also that we often involved singing in our daily activities. The Cebuano Warriors before were dancing and singing while fighting off Magellan’s Crew in the Battle of Mactan.