"Glee" vs. Filipinos

Posted by Prince Gomolvilas
ON Thursday, November 18, 2010
Yesterday I was at Eagle Rock Plaza (also affectionately known as the "Mall of Manila") because I was shopping for a new scale to replace the one that Pork Chop broke. The Christmas episode of Glee was being shot there, and I wondered, via Twitter, "How many Filipino shoppers will try to jump in and out-sing the cast, ruining take after take?"

To understand my question in context, I'm cutting and pasting a post I published last year, titled "Filipinos and Their Damn Karaoke Obsession":

Remember when I declared that I could "karaoke to 'Bet on It' like a 13-year-old Filipino girl?" And remember how that comment elicited fury unlike the world had ever seen? Somebody actually wrote this in response:

uhm. excuse, but who the f*ck are you to say that? did you hear what happened when desperate housewives talked about the philippines' doctors? all the filipinos who heard complained and were going to sue. what youre saying when you said that is, "come on SUE ME!" let me tell you something there are a lot of filipinos in the united states. many of the teens and tweens, as you call them, have AIM. most of them read this. they will report this to their parents. you will get notified and will probably have to apologize, AND MEAN IT! youre an effing racist PERIOD. sure people think its gay, but who was this show created for?? sure its called high school musical, but the people on disney wernt really aiming for high schoolers, THEY WERE GOING TOWARDS YOUNGER KIDS! and finally (for now anyways) WHY DO YOU STILL POST BLOGS ABOUT HSM AND HSM2 if you HATE it soo much?!?! give me a straight answer to that. and your answer better not be, 'people keep telling to talk about it.' or any bs like that because thats BS! i want a straight answer. and remember youve been warned what filipinos can do. adios Prince Gomolvilas...if thats your name

My statement was grossly misinterpreted, of course, something that somebody else so deftly pointed out:

That comment about angry Filipinos was hilariously ignorant. The poster obviously has never seen a 13-year-old Filipina karaoke singer. If they had, they would have understood the intensity, passion, and pure joie de vivre that your comparison conveyed. Karaoke is an important part of Filipino culture, and so is being able to have fun and joke about it. It's something I love about my Filipino and Filipino-American family.

Well, today I was at the Eagle Rock mall, which I like to call "Little Manila" because it basically is. I mean, c'mon, there's a Jollibee and a Goldilocks bakery there.

In the middle of the mall is a cart that sells karaoke machines. I saw a petite young woman confidently march up to the cart, ask the salesperson to throw on a song, and proceed to belt out a powerful rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," filling the entire echoey mall with the sweet sound of her voice.

I was fully expecting every single mall patron to burst out in raucous applause after she finished, but only the salesperson bothered to clap. You see, singing Whitney Houston passionately as if you were performing at the American Idol finale is just part of a typical day in the life of a Filipino.

And to the person who wondered, via Twitter, "Is Charice there?," I am sad to say that I don't know what that means. Yup, folks, the excitement of all this was totally wasted on me.
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  1. Howard Ho Said,


    Charice is an 18-year old Filipino singer who became a Youtube sensation before that Taiwanese dude.

    And yes, she's a recurring character on Glee.


  2. Peter Varvel Said,

    I want Charice to recur - she's only been in the first episode of season two (unless I missed her return . . . ?).
    Maybe adding a third Asian perfomer to the cast made the show's producers too nervous about a "majority takeover" . . . or would that be a 'minority takeover?'


  3. Howard Ho Said,

    I stand corrected...although the other two Asians on Glee are mostly seen and not heard. Like that quote from Casablanca, if Harry Shum Jr. gets a word in edgewise it'll be a major Asian victory.


  4. Cheryl Said,

    I would be happy to see and hear more Mike Chang, but I think we've reached our Tina quota. Stutter does not equal acting.


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