Posts tagged ‘television’

Filipino singing sensation Rhap Salazar wows Ellen DeGeneres

The Mindoro Post

MANILA, Philippines–“Wow!” “You’re unbelievable… unbelievable.”

Emmy-award winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres was in awe as studio audience sprang to their feet following a powerful performance of 12-year-old Rhap Salazar on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

“Your voice is incredible,” DeGeneres told Salazar, the singing sensation from the southern Pinamalayan town of Oriental Mindoro in the Philippines. “So much power and emotion. We can feel everything.”

Salazar’s live performance on the syndicated talk show on November 17 was his debut on US television. His voice seems seamless even as he hits the high notes in his rendition of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself.”

The Star Magic talent was chanced upon by Ellen DeGeneres on YouTube, exactly how she found the now world-famous Charice Pempengco. Aside from Salazar and Pempengco, Filipino singers Arnel Pineda of Journey, and Rin on the Rox guested on DeGeneres’ show.

Just recently, Salazar also wowed his international audience when he bagged two titles—Junior Grand Champion Solo Vocalist of the World and Junior Grand Champion Performer of the World—in the prestigious World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA).

Salazar, who got the 2005 Brightest Star award in the ABS-CBN’s “Little Big Star” singing competition, began belting out tunes when he was three years old. Then at seven, he was already joining music contests.

Today, the child singing sensation has his self-titled album already out in the market.

During a brief interview after his song number on DeGeneres’ program, Salazar told the visibly moved host: “I’ll never forget this.” To which DeGeneres, who replaced Paula Abdul as a judge of the ninth season of American Idol, responded: “I’ll never forget it either.”

So after The Ellen DeGeneres Show, will Oprah be next?

Read more news about Mindoro on The Mindoro Post

15 December 2009 at 11:49 pm Leave a comment

‘American Idol is dumbing down pop music’


KUKUL KHAN, YouTube Review

That’s how Conrado de Quiros, a known columnist in a leading English daily in the Philippines, puts it in his commentary on American Idol’s popularity in the former American colony.

I was able to watch the 7th season of the American Idol and I will disagree with some of his observations (italicized below):

“Idol is dumbing down the pop music.” 

I don’t think so. It actually celebrates great pop music from the Beatles to Queen to Whitney Houston, and yes to Dolly Parton, etc., and even the music of Andrew Lloyd Weber. What is interesting is that sometimes, some contestants’ brilliant interpretations are even better than the original. What attracts many Filipinos to watch American Idol is that the viewers are not treated as stupid unlike in most of the local TV shows (including Pinoy Idol) where mediocrity is the norm. In Am Idol, many contestants are really damn good that, as judge Randy puts it, they can sing anything, even the phone book and get away with it.    

“Idol is dictating passivity if not lethargy, and conformity if not uniformity.” 

On the contrary, Am Idol is very interactive and revolutionary—a people power at work. The viewers decide what is good and what is not, most of the time in direct rebuke of the judges’ and the industry’s preconceived notion of what a good artist and performance should be. (In fact, if only the impeachment process in the Philippines can be done American Idol way, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the rest of the corrupt government officials had been booted out of office a long time ago.) Watching American Idol is also a revolt against mediocre local TV shows.

“Idol has the potential to stunt local (Philippine) pop music.” 

The behavior of TV networks in this country is the greatest threat to Filipino music. The warring networks have been trying to redefine the music culture by unleashing their “talents” (if you can call them that) who can barely sing. For them, form not substance is more important. They are the ones who are stunting the development of real great musicians who happen not to be mestizos or mestizas.

When was the last time you see Joey Ayala, Gary Granada, Grace Nono, or Pinikpikan, to name some, on local television? The real talents are left in the margins—performing in the bars, in small provincial gigs, or in the fundraising activities for various causes.

Our local TV programs are reeking with racism, stereotyping, and prejudices. Take for example the case of Arnel Pineda, the ordinary looking Filipino rocker who is now the lead vocalist of popular American band Journey, he was discovered through YouTube and not through our local networks.

So don’t blame the Filipino viewers if they will rather watch American Idol than endure long-term psychological trauma being inflicted by the local programs. Idol is actually teaching us Filipinos a lot (and hopefully our TV networks will also learn) in reexamining our distorted values. In Idol, you can see all hues and cultures. It doesn’t matter if you’re horizontally or vertically-challenged and you don’t need a “Hollywood” face to qualify in, after all, this is a singing talent search competition.

Yes, “some idols are worth worshiping and others are not.”

We should in fact stop idolizing and rather just appreciate what is good in them. We need to support our real artists in defining and celebrating the different faces of Philippine music. We are a very diverse culture finding musical roots from traditions as well as from various outside influences throughout our history. And like in the past, those who are in the “margins” will always be the potent force in the reshaping of our music.

But it also doesn’t hurt to celebrate great foreign music and musicians. Our music has gone a long way in securing a niche in the heart of every music-loving Filipino. As foreign observers note, the Philippines has one of the most, if not the most, vibrant local music scenes in Asia. Foreign music, and yes even American Idol, won’t do harm to Philippine music but they can even enrich it. Ask any great Filipino artist of his/her musical influences and he/she will cite foreign acts as among them.

Great music and great musicians know no nationality and border. They are just that: great music and great musicians.

7 December 2008 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

MoymoyPalaboy: And who are these two crazy boys?


KARLOS RANSA, YouTube Review

The cyber populace is going gaga over a duo that has become known by the moniker “moymoypalaboy”. A search on Google shows their intercontinental appeal — creating waves in their home Asian region, and making ripple effects in Latin America, North America, Europe, and even in Africa.

MoymoyPalaboy is composed of Filipino siblings James Ronald Obeso, a.k.a. Moymoy, and Rodfil Obeso, a.k.a. Roadfill.

Their biggest hit, Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”, has 3,851,882 views as of this posting. And still counting.

Since they uploaded their debut “single” “Dirty Pop” of Nsynch on March 21, 2007, Moymoy and Roadfill have uploaded 21 videos on YouTube.

But a search of moymoypalaboy on the video sharing site shows 1,360 video results. They include versions made by their inspired fans from across the globe and re-uploaded videos by other enchanted YouTube users.

So they must have extraordinary voice?

Naah! All that all that they do actually is lip-synching.

Just lip-synching? What’s the big fuss?

Moymoy and Roadfill are no ordinary duo doing song parodies.

Oh well, they’re ordinary boys doing unordinary musical stunts, to be more accurate.

So who are these two certified “lunatics”?

Moymoy and Roadfill, like many YouTube afficionados, are just uploading videos on YouTube for fun. Their studio? Their house.

They live in an apartment unit along F.B. Harrison St. in Pasay City, in the capital region of Metro Manila. And that’s where all these madness began. 

“Funny”, “hilarious”, “crazy”, “brilliant” are the common reactions of viewers on their gigs. 

Their life story however may not always be as happy as their music videos.

After a long bout with breast cancer, their mother died in 2006. Moymoy and Roadfill are left in the care of their auntie they fondly call “Mama Auntie.” Her unauthorized appearances in almost all videos (mostly seen in the background while in the kitchen cooking and doing other chores) gave “Mama Auntie” her own legion of YouTube fans.

Interviewed later on TV, she said she didn’t even have a slight idea the camphone recordings of her two “crazy” nephews would be seen by millions of net citizens. Had she known it, she would have asked the two boys to expunge them. Tsk, tsk, too late “Mama Auntie.”

Moymoy and Roadfill are no vagabonds as their YouTube name suggests. Palaboy is a Tagalog term for vagrant.

Roadfill, 22, is a graduate of Business Management at the state-run Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). He now works as sales representative of telecommunication giant Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co.

Moymoy, a broadcasting major in PUP, quit school to work and help his ailing mother. He would later join Passionista, a local band performing in bars and nightclubs in Manila, Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. He turned 25 last July 17.

As they became YouTube sensations, the Obeso brothers joined the largest television network in the Philippines, GMA-7, where they appear in weekly sitcom “Bubble Gang” doing what they know best — music parodies. They also signed a contract with MTV Philippines, where they teach bizarre dance steps.

Not much could be heard about the two. Their official website and social networking sites (Facebook, Friendster, Multiply, Myspace) are tight-lipped as fans crave to know more about them.

Meanwhile on YouTube, people from across the globe viewing their uproarious videos are increasing exponentially. And they are begging for more.

30 November 2008 at 6:44 pm 1 comment

Who the hell is Moymoy Palaboy?


KARLOS RANSA, YouTube Review

Moymoy what?

“Palaboy,” my brother, as he tries to convince me to see this duo on the web, who is causing a frenzy among net citizens.

“moymoypalaboy. Just one word,” he adds.

A quick search on Google returns 106,000 results!

“No, not on Google. See them on YouTube,” my brother again, a certified YouTube addict who works as some kind of a turtle eggs auditor (or at least that’s my impression as he described to me his international conservation work on Turtle Islands).

Ok. Ok. Hang on.

moymoypalaboy, enter! Oppppps. 1,360 video results!

“Dancing Queen”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Low”.

I clicked on Alicia Keys’ “No One.” Hmmmm. Hehe! That’s cool.

Okay, let me try this one: “Papa omm mow mow.” It’s a 1962 novelty nonsensical doo-wop song by The Rivingtons. Bwahahahaha!!!

And then “Pump it” of Black Eyed Fish (yes, FISH) and “Wannabe” and “The Ordertaker” … Woooooowww!

So that’s what makes the duo a YouTube sensation.

MoymoyPalaboy — two Filipino siblings belting out song parodies on YouTube. The videos are raw. The setting: an apartment unit where the kitchen and dining area can be seen in the background. Nothing glamorous. Nothing grand.

But there’s something in those amateur videos that compels viewers to click on the next. And the next. And the next…

What could that be? None, really.

Only that they’re just being themselves. And having fun. Lots of fun, actually.

Hey wait, there’s something more. Their talent. Their organic talent. Theirs is a gift — raw but not amateurish, calculated yet not canned.

Everything seems fluid, they flow naturally. And when they do, there’ll be a burst of laughter.

Among their gigs, what really brought the house down is their rendition of “Marimar,” the theme song of a popular Mexican telenovela with the same title. As of this posting, it got 3,818,881 views and 6,208 text comments. And still counting.  

“Marimar” and “Volare” made them a big hit in the Spanish-speaking world, especially in Latin America. In fact, reactions from Spanish viewers outnumbered the comments of MoymoyPalaboy’s legion of Filipino fans.

“Ja ja ja ja… Chidos estos weyes… Por lo menos una canción mexicana es conocida por allá… Me encanta la señora detrás… Seguro después les dijo: ‘ya pónganse a limpiar los frijoles para las quesadillas, que hay que pagar el internet’… Saludos,” says a comment of YouTube viewer Atahsacv.

(I think Atahsacv said something good. Isn’t it?)

So, who are these rising YouTube stars?

Find it out in my next posting. 

30 November 2008 at 8:12 am Leave a comment

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