Pimp my Jeepney, a.k.a King of The Road

Brace Your Ears for the Videoke Jeepney

It’s a global fact: Filipinos love videokes. Countless urban legends have emerged from our love for the sing-along. My favorite is the one about “My Way.” To illustrate:

Sometime in October, a Singaporean asked me, “Is it true that if you go to a videoke bar in the Philippines, you shouldn’t sing Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ or you’ll get killed?”

After a good laugh, I tried my best to explain the countless tabloid reports of ghetto drunkards killing each other after arguing about who sang “My Way” better or who “owns” the song. This Frank Sinatra classic has become one of the most popular—and deadly—videoke tracks for Filipino men. Even my own father loves singing “My Way” in videoke parties.

“You’re not going to die if you sing it,” I said. “Just make sure you don’t sing ‘My Way’ right after a drunk dude sings it. He thinks he owns the song, and he’ll think you’re trying to steal his spotlight.”

The next day, we headed out to Intramuros to shoot a scene for AXN Asia’s magazine TV show, Sony Lifestyle. I was co-hosting an episode with Oli Pettigrew, and it was my job to give him a tour of Old Manila. Part of the agenda was a ride in a videoke jeepney.

Pimp my Jeepney, a.k.a King of The Road
If New York has double-decker tour buses, Manila has Jeepney Tours.

Jeepney Tours started this clever tourism idea a couple of years ago, but unfortunately I had not heard of it until that day. The 20-seater customized jeepney takes tourists on city explorations or out-of-town day trips of their choice. An English-speaking guide gives you the grand tour in the comfort of this air-conditioned ride, and you can break into a videoke song anytime you want. I pity the driver whose job description includes listening to daily videoke parties.

Our pickup point: Intramuros, Manila

For the Sony Lifestyle shoot, we ditched the tour guide and enjoyed the sights on our own. The Singaporean crew had their taste of the Filipino videoke as we caroused around Manila while singing classic pop hits, overplayed ballads, and even ’90s rap, courtesy of the hilarious Oli Pettigrew.

Sony Lifestyle host Oli Pettigrew and I take a break after our jeepney ride.

If you missed the November 15 episode on Asian cable TV, watch it on Sony Lifestyle’s site here. Just click on “Season 5, Episode 15.” Good times!

And no, none of us dared to sing “My Way.”

To book a ride with Jeepney Tours or to see their rates and tour options, visit jeepneytours.com.
Telephone number: +632-994-6636, +632-545-8186
Watch Sony Lifestyle TV Magazine every Tuesday, 8:35 p.m. (SG/MYHK/PH) or 7:35 p.m. (JKT/TH) on AXN Asia.