Despite being one of the poorest nation in southeast Asia, Filipinos are still the happiest people on earth. These collection of videos from the popular website YouTube is a testament to the Filipinos unending search for happiness. They might be inside a prison cell, or a tricycle driver (Ronaldo Lapuz), they will never forget how to find that speck of happiness, no matter how small.
These are the top 10 Filipino sensations on YouTube. Enjoy!
10. Cebu Inamates “Thriller Dance Exercise”
Author-creator Byron Garcia is the brother of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, GSIS General Manager, Winston Garcia, and Congressman Pablo John Garcia. Their parents are Deputy Speaker Pablo P. Garcia and Judge Esperanza “Inday” Fiel-Garcia, who had 8 children (4 sons).
Garcia originally wanted to introduce a program at Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) where inmates would exercise for an hour each day. He saw waves of prisoners in the exercise yard and thought it looked good.
He introduced an exercise program where the prisoners marched in unison, starting out with marching to the beat of a drum, but moved on to dancing to pop music; he began with one of his favourite songs, Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)". He chose camp music such as In The Navy and Y.M.C.A. by The Village People, so macho prisoners would not be offended at being asked to dance.
Garcia's first upload of prisoner choreography was the Algorithm March, but this was almost entirely ignored. Thriller was uploaded on July 17, 2007.
9. Edu Manzano’s “Papaya Dance”
Edu Manzano-popularized "Papaya Dance" has become a hit to Filipinos here and abroad. It was so popular that the American morning news show “Good Morning America” did a segment about it.
8. Single Gaydies (Single Ladies by Beyonce)
I don’t really know what to make of this video, but you can’t deny that these Filipino gay kids are hilarious. I think their own version of the dance is better compared to other Filipino celebrities. They really know how to shake it and groove it.
7. Charice Pempengco – Singing the “Star Spangled Banner”
After being featured on the popular day time TV talk show “The Ellen Show”, Charice has become a global phenomena. She was even invited to sing the national anthem of the United States of America.
6. Ronaldo Lapuz – "We’re Brothers Forever" song at the American Idol Finale
Lapuz was a native of the Philippines. His mother was of German descent and lives in Wisconsin. Lapuz immigrated to the United States in 2004, and worked as a janitor at Greyhound and Wal-mart. Lapuz regularly sang as a member of the Filipino Choir at Immaculate Conception Church in Reno, Nevada.
In 2007 Renaldo Lapuz auditioned for American Idol in Dallas, Texas. For his audition, he sang his own original song, "We're Brothers Forever", while wearing a handsome wide-brimmed, winged, marabou feather-covered white hat with the word "SIMON" printed on it and a metallic silver cape. During his audition, which aired in January, judge Simon Cowell complemented him but gently rejected him by saying of his performance "I'm going to make a prediction here. I have a horrible feeling that it's going to be a hit record. You're very entertaining. I actually like you... but it's going to be a no." Lapuz returned to the show to sing his song during the Finale of American Idol Season 7 in May 2008, supported by the University of Southern California marching band.
5. ‘Keys Me’ – Alyssa Alano
Alyssa was entangled in an internet meme in the Summer of June 2006. Alano performed the song Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer on an episode of GMA Network's late night show Master Showman Presents. Alano sang the English song in a heartfelt, cheerful way, but with a heavy Tagalog accent, which was then mocked in a mondegreened video posted on YouTube posted by "calimanok". The video contains subtitles, containing such mondegreens as "Keys Me". Toward the end of the month, the clip had been viewed over 500,000 times.
Apparently, Alano had no idea that her YouTube video became an Internet meme until it was shown to her during an interview on the show Chika Minute.
Interestingly, Alano has been a good sport in her reactions to the sudden popularity of her singing video, even publicly thanking the anonymous prankster who created the clip, saying it got her a lot of attention/publicity, and that it has truly helped her showbiz career take off. She has since appeared in a few TV talk shows to jokingly re-sing "Keys Me" along with the clip's audio track.
Alano's pranksters have also broadcast another karaoke-style video of her singing "Whenever, Wherever" by Shakira and "Crush" by Jennifer Paige.
4. Charlie Green – Britain’s Got Talent
I first saw this video while watching primetime news. His voice was so awesome that I immediately googled him . Now, he is one of the most promising young singers in the world, in league with Charice Pempengco herself. His mother must be so proud of him.
3. Madonna Decena – Britain’s Got Talent
Her audition to the popular British talent search competition brought tears to one of her judges eyes. Her powerful performance even awed Simon Cowel.
2. Arnel Pineda on the ‘Ellen Show’
In 1982, when Pineda was 15 years old, he became the lead singer of the Filipino musical group called Ijos Band. He used to sing in Shakey's Taft. In 1986, some members of Yjoz formed a group called Amo. Amo entered and won the Rock Wars contest in the Philippines.
In 1988, Amo entered and won the Philippines leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion. They went on to the finals in Hong Kong, but were not qualified to win due to a technicality. The rules stated the winning song had to be an original composition. However, they also stated that the song entry in the finals had to be the same song with which the band won their country's leg of the competition. Amo's winning song in the Philippines was Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", obviously not an original. After the contest, the band continued as Amo, performing live. They opened for Robert Palmer in Manila in 1989. Amo played in clubs in Quezon City, Olongapo City and Makati City, which are located in Luzon, the biggest island in the Philippines. Amo was very popular in the renowned Chinese-owned California Jams club in Olongapo City, which was frequented by United States military personnel.
In 1990, Pineda and other members of Amo formed another band called Intensity Five and once again entered the Yamaha World Band Explosion. Pineda won the Best Vocalist award and the band came in as first runner up.
Later in 1990, five of Amo's original members split from the band leader, Ulysis Ablang (Uly) and formed another band behind Pineda, "New Age". This occurred prior to the release of Amo's one-and-only album released in 1990 titled Ang Tunay na Amo ("The Real Master") on BMG records which spawned one popular radio hit called "Running Away". (The song was popularized again in 2006 by another Filipino artist Erik Santos, who won an American Idol type Filipino TV show, Star In A Million.) The remaining members of Amo went on to become "The Boss Band", while Pineda's band, New Age, played regularly at Fire and Rain in Makati City.
In 1991, during one of those performances, a talent agent spotted Pineda and New Age and asked them to move to Hong Kong to perform at a very popular entertainment restaurant called Grammy's. With New Age, Pineda performed six nights a week, Tuesday through Sunday, for several years thereafter. After a long-term serious relationship failed in 1994, Pineda suffered health problems, which almost destroyed his voice. He returned to the Philippines. After six months of recuperation, he was able to sing again. He returned to Hong Kong and resumed singing with his band. In 1998, the owner of Igor's, the premiere theme restaurant/nightclub in Hong Kong, asked New Age to perform there. Dressed in skeleton outfits, they called themselves "The Rolling Bones".
In 1999, Pineda caught the attention of Warner Bros. record label and flew back to the Philippines on his days off to record a solo album, the self-titled Arnel Pineda. Most of the album’s ten original songs were slow ballads, with only two upbeat numbers, one of which carries a Latin style. One of the songs, “Iiyak Ka Rin” (You Will Cry Too) became a karaoke favorite in Asia, while another song "Sayang" (Too Bad) became a radio favorite. Pineda wrote and arranged several songs. Pineda continued to perform with New Age while making his album and for several years thereafter. In 2001, Pineda sang one song with Filipino band, South Border’s album The Way We Do. The song is called “Looking Glass”. In 2002, Pineda's band changed their name to 9 mm and played at “The Edge” in Lai Kwai Fong, Hong Kong.
In 2004, three members of the New Age band reformed with a female singer sharing lead vocals with Pineda and called themselves “Most W@nted”. This band played 3-4 hour sets Monday through Saturday at The Cavern Club in Hong Kong. On their only day off, Sundays, the band often performed at Filipino community events.
In 2005, Arnel recorded the theme song of the short-lived Filipino radio show "Dayo". A band named The Visitors was briefly formed for promotion purposes of the "Dayo" soundtrack consisting of three members from Ijos/Yjoz, Amo, New Age and Most W@nted.
Christine Gambito, better known by her screen name HappySlip, is an American Internet personality, actress, and comedian. She maintains one of the most-subscribed-to channels on YouTube, a popular video sharing website. On January 25, 2008, Gambito, who is of Filipino ancestry, was appointed ambassador for Philippine tourism by the Department of Tourism.
In March 2007, Gambito's video Mixed Nuts was nominated for the 2006 YouTube Video Awards for Best Comedy, resulting in the second place. In May of the same year, she became one of the first users accepted into YouTube's revenue sharing program.
Gambito's performances typically include comedy sketches in which she impersonates members of her family. She also sings and plays the piano and guitar. As Gambito has stated repeatedly in her videos, she is notably one of the very few top users acting, filming, editing and producing her shorts completely on her own.