Sinatra’s ‘My Way’: The Unexpected Anthem Fueling Tragic Karaoke Incidents in the Philippines

Frank Sinatra’s song “My Way” has been linked to a series of tragic incidents in the Philippines.

Over the past decade, more than a dozen individuals have lost their lives while performing this popular karaoke track, earning it the title of the ‘world’s deadliest karaoke song.’

The song was released in 1969 and quickly became one of Sinatra’s most celebrated hits. It became a favorite choice for karaoke enthusiasts worldwide.

However, in the Philippines, this seemingly harmless pastime took a dark turn, as several individuals were murdered while singing this very song.

One such incident occurred in 2007 when Romy Baligula, a 29-year-old man, was shot dead during his rendition of “My Way” at a karaoke bar in San Mateo.

The assailant, a 43-year-old security guard named Robilito Ortega, reportedly became enraged over Baligula’s off-key performance, leading him to shoot Baligula in the chest with a .38 caliber pistol.

Another tragic event unfolded in 2018 when 61-year-old Jose Bosmion, Jr. was fatally stabbed by his neighbor, Rolando Cañeso, 28, in Manila.

The altercation began when Bosmion seized the microphone from Cañeso during a birthday celebration and refused to give it back. The disagreement escalated into a violent confrontation, resulting in Bosmion’s untimely death.

These are just two examples of the numerous fatalities associated with the song. By 2019, the death toll had risen to over 12. This alarming trend prompted many karaoke bar owners in the Philippines to remove “My Way” from their song lists.

There are various theories as to why this particular song has incited such violence. Butch Albarracin, the owner of a singing school in the Philippines, suggests that the song’s lyrics, which convey a sense of pride and arrogance, may provoke tension among listeners.

Others, like Roland B. Tolentino, a pop culture expert at the University of the Philippines, argue that the incidents reflect the country’s broader societal issues, with karaoke merely serving as a trigger when certain social norms are violated.

In response to the increasing violence, the government implemented a 10 pm curfew for karaoke bars in 2018. However, it remains unclear whether this measure was directly related to the so-called “My Way Killings.”

As the world continues to enjoy Sinatra’s timeless classic, let’s hope further measures will be taken to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.

This article appeared in The Patriot Brief and has been published here with permission.

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Written by Western Reader

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