I thought I was going to have a peaceful evening catching up with some reading on the net, but I was wrong. Suddenly I heard the unmistakable sound of cheesy electronic music coming from our living room TV. It seems that Mary Ann’s cousin Alvin has managed to fix our Magic Mic.
Relatively unknown in the UK, in the Philippines Magic Mics (that’s mics as in ‘mikes’) are hugely popular. Basically a Magic Mic is a karaoke machine built into a microphone. It comes with a little cartridge loaded with hundreds of songs. Unlike the karaoke VCDs and DVDs from SE Asia, which usually feature background movies of attractive girls in bikinis not far short of soft porn, the Magic Mic features wholesome photographs of famous Filipino landmarks.
Fact is, a family get together in the Philippines is not a family get together without karaoke. Everybody has a go at singing, no matter how indifferent their voice. And just to make it more fun, at the end of each song the Magic Mic awards the performance with a percentage score, often laughably at variance with the actual quality of the rendition. Not much different from X Factor, really.
Along with playing bingo and drinking beer, karaoke is the number one form of entertainment in the Philippines. Even the lowliest bar in the poorest barrio will have a karaoke machine, often booming out till two in the morning.
Mary Ann is delighted that the Magic Mic has been restored to working condition, because the entertainment after our early Christmas Dinner (scheduled for Friday evening) is now sorted. In the meantime I better get practising – after all, I can’t let anyone else beat me to that perfect 100% score.