noise-textsThis post is about my observations about noise, sounds and music in the Philippines.

  • Have you ever wondered why Filipinos in general speak in loud voices?
  • And why they all speak at the same time?
  • Have you ever attended a real Filipino party where many Filipinos are?
  • Did you notice that TV and radio are always very loud?

For sure you have noticed all of the above and if not you might be:
* A Filipino yourself
* or Deaf

A few examples:
noise-pollutionHave you ever seen one of the Filipino TV shows like Happy Yippee, Yehee or any other TV show? Have you noticed that there are often multiple hosts and that they all like to talk the same time? And that they almost shout to be understood even if they have a microphone?
And on Filipino (Birthday) parties, where all guests like to say something the same time and do that in a loud voice? { I often jokingly refer such gatherings as being in a hen-house: all the talk, talk, talk, tok, tok, tok…. ;-) }
loud-noiseAlmost all Filipinos walking in the street have earphones connected to a cell phone or mp3 player, but all playing music, loud music, very loud music ….

When I am observing something in the Philippines I always try to find a reason for that specific behaviour.

Have you ever been in a mall in the Philippines? In a weekend? And have you noticed that there is so much noise coming from:

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  • general sound system, playing music and interrupted by many kinds of announcements
  • every store has its own music system, often with very loud music (or noise what they like to call music)
  • stores where they sell sound systems and TV’s have different music or sounds coming from every single working apparatus
  • the sound from those music systems have heavy low tones, trembling everything, which makes your stomach uncomfortable
  • and if you are lucky (or unlucky if you like) there is something going on on the central stage of the mall with even louder music
  • shops selling karaoke machines have such machine installed where employees try to sing their favorite songs
  • shops with gambling and playing machines, where a true cacophony of sounds comes into the passage way
  • children playgrounds with lots of sounds and shouting children

To me it looks like the music, played in stores, is not to amuse the customers but to please the most young employees. In SM malls and SM supermarkets from time to time interrupted by a lady speaker wishing all customers ‘happy shopping’ and at the same time all employees have to drop everything to clap their hands yelling: ‘at your service’ (but when you ask them something they often have to ask someone else….or they do not know, and the easiest answer is: ‘out of stock, sir!’).
Some malls and also large shops and supermarkets suddenly start prayers at 12 noon through their sound system, but loud music or sound doesn’t stop. And mostly in weekends a catholic mass is celebrated in a public area in the mall where the priest makes his sermon through a sound system very loud, because the nearby music systems of shops do not lower their music for a short while…

sound-picSo when you are visiting a mall sometimes you are forced to listen to more than 10 different LOUD sounds and songs and music at the same time. And not only you, also the Filipino people.
When you use public transport like jeepney there is a lot of noise as well: not only the traffic in the street, but also the loud belching engine of the jeepney and often a very loud sound system with heavy basses in the jeepney itself.
Karaoke or Videoke singing is one of the favorite things Filipinos do when they are at home. Of course the sound should be loud, low tones extra loud so whole neighborhood can (= has to) enjoy / dislike. If you have such neighbors: I wish you strength.

stop-noiseAs a person who can easily live without music, radio, TV or other mechanical sounds I need my ears only to listen to silence, sounds of nature or to spoken words. Personally I do not need sound systems, radio, TV and the like. I am happy that I have a choice if I like to go to a mall or not and that we live in a house in a very quiet neighborhood with few neighbors and only once or twice a year a karaoke party.

In and around our house I can still enjoy the sound of birds, or during the evening the call from one botiki to the other, or some crickets outside in the trees. I realize that this is rare in a city, but it is true where we live.

Conclusion: Due to the heavy load of sounds, in their houses, in the streets, malls and almost everywhere Filipinos have to speak with a loud voice and have to put their sound system louder because they might have hearing problems…?????