Music on board

Music

During my voyages at sea, I always love to attend outdoor or indoor parties where a lot of music is sung, played or just listened to. Filipinos are very fond of music and most of them are really good at it, as well. At home, during vacations, and at work – at sea or everywhere – Filipinos always include music in their everyday activities because music is a very important part of their life. Filipinos sing along the karaoke machines in the privacy of their homes, accompanied by relatives or friends, or sing in the karaoke bars which are so numerous around the country.

Filipinos sing while they are at work – in the department stores, in the fish market and in the kitchen of a big container vessel – and music makes them feel good and alive, with a permanent mood of happy-go-lucky even if life does not treat them always very nice. On board, the karaoke ‘department’ always include a few good singers and one or two very good ones. During my voyages so far, most of the barbeque parties ended up with a karaoke session – where more or less singers showed their abilities to my greatest pleasure and content. Sometimes, when there were numerous singers involved, real karaoke competitions were organized where lots of applauses and real prizes were offered.

Music

Music

I usually do not sing – as my voice does not help me at all – but I sometimes take part in a duet or a group singing if I up to it. I did it a few times and I had a lot of fun. In the end, the real fun comes with sharing good vibes, not only with a high quality performance.

Music

Music

Apart from singing, Filipinos are very good at playing different musical instruments – mostly acoustic and electric guitars. They are doing this without a proper musical education, but with a great passion which helps them improve themselves through a lot of practice and also from teaching one another.

Music

Music

Music

For this reason, on all the vessels I have been so far there were always at least one guitar and at least one Filipino good at playing it – mostly strumming. On some vessels, there were different instruments – good enough to make up a real band – but not enough musicians to put the idea into practice, although some were trying hard.

Music

Most of the guitar players I met so far on board were good at strumming and playing along with other singers, like they did for a Christmas party two years ago, while playing Christmas carols.

Music

I can say that, in terms of playing the guitar, I had the pleasure of listening to some good songs played by some guys – mostly Filipinos – but nothing quite extraordinary, until last night, while attending our outside barbeque dinner, on board ALS Fauna.

My husband had already told me about two guys playing the guitar on board and I was looking forward to hearing them. I was hoping to watch them perform for our New Year’s Eve party, but this didn’t happen. After so many voyages at sea, I learned that Filipinos can sometimes be very shy and that they need at least one week to adjust to a new face on board, especially if that face belongs to a woman – a passenger or an officer’s wife. So, if the guitar performance was not included in our New Year’s party, it was surely included in our next barbeque party.

Unfortunately, the two guitar players decided to bring the guitar when most of the crew members had already left the party, leaving only a few of us there, but making the performance nevertheless beautiful and quite emotional, at least for me. Andrew and Dominique played some of our favorite songs – belonging to our favorite artists (Bon Jovi, Scorpions, and The Eagles) – and the rest of us accompanied them with soft voices, singing the verses we knew well or just humming the ones we didn’t. I really loved listening to these guys who were playing so passionately, with their bodies physically on board with us, but their hearts far, far away, together with their loved ones whom they miss dearly.  I felt happy and grateful again for taking part in such an emotional evening, among beautiful, kind and good people. Grateful for having the chance of breaking down cultural and language barriers through music. Two hours passed in no time and we would have stayed there for two more if rained hadn’t come to put an end to our party and send us all to sleep.

Music

Music

Thank you, guys, for another memorable evening which I will cherish forever.

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