1. ‘My Way’ killings: Sinatra’s hit strikes a deadly chord
If you didn’t already know this, a very popular pastime of Filipinos is karaoke and all ages from young children to old folks love belting out tunes with a karaoke machine or at KTVs. Even in the rural villages it’s not uncommon to see a very old machine that is shared among the villagers. Despite the fact that karaoke is a leisure activity for most, the Filipinos take it very seriously – too seriously, in fact, when we consider the frequency of “karaoke killings” in the country. With one million illegal guns and counting, the number of crimes committed with firearms are on the rise and have been used at several karaoke joints by enraged listeners.
In a sinister twist, what was considered a harmless and popular song – Sinatra’s “My Way” – sparked off a series of murders, causing much consternation amongst the karaoke-loving population. Many have puzzled over why this particular song caused so much trouble. Is it the firearms problem? Or an alcohol and violence issue? Could this song really be cursed for karaoke? In a New York Times article, Onishi explores the various reasons why Sinatra’s hit single could possibly cause that much trouble:
“Filipinos, who pride themselves on their singing, may have a lower tolerance for bad singers.
Indeed, most of the “My Way” killings have reportedly occurred after the singer sang out of tune, causing other patrons to laugh or jeer.“The trouble with ‘My Way,’ ” said Mr. Gregorio, “is that everyone knows it and everyone has an opinion.”
“ ‘I did it my way’ — it’s so arrogant,” Mr. Albarracin said. “The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights.”
It’s up to you to decide why this particular tune has sent many a karaoke singer off mid-song but one thing’s for sure: Filipinos are staying away from it, with certain bars banning it. Give the song a listen today and see if chills run down your spine.
2. Three brothers murdered and ate parts of their mother raw
A very gruesome murder that involved the mutilation of a middle-aged woman living with her three sons in rural Philippines. According to news reports, Brothers Dante, 35, Paroy, 21, and the youngest Ibrahim, 18 deny killing their mother but police investigations show the three to be the main suspects. Over a course of a few days, neighbours heard strange sounds coming from their family home in a family farm at Purok Nabadtog in Barangay Kamasi in Ampatuan. According to the Daily Mail, the brothers claim that they were “trying to drive away an illness they believed was brought on by a bad spirit”. The village has come under scrutiny after the 2009 massacre of 58 people. Community leaders have condemned the deplorable actions of the trio of brothers, saying that they behaved like “wild animals”. Drug abuse and mental illness have been considered as plausible push factors for the gory incident.
3. Vizconde Murders – Father still lives in home where wife and two daughters were murdered
A multiple murder case with loose ends yet to be fully tied up. Years have passed since the incident but a permanent shadow has been cast in the Vizconde family home. As documented in Wikipedia, “The Vizconde murder case, colloquially known as the Vizconde massacre, was the multiple homicide of members of the Vizconde family on 30 June 1991 at their residence in BF Homes, Parañaque City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Estrellita, 49, had suffered thirteen stab wounds; Carmela, 19, had suffered seventeen stab wounds and had been raped before she was killed; and Jennifer, 6, had nineteen stab wounds. Lauro Vizconde, Estrellita’s husband, and the father of Carmela and Jennifer, was in the United States on business when the murders took place. Jessica Alfaro, a self-confessed former drug addict, came forward on April 28, 1995 to shed light on the killing of the Vizcondes. Alfaro implicated the children of wealthy and prominent families including Hubert Webb, Antonio Lejano II, Hospicio Fernandez, Michael Gatchalian, Miguel Rodriguez, Peter Estrada, Joey Filart and Artemio Ventura”.
In this NewsInfo article, Yamsuan says that “Vizconde never considered renovating the house with the grisly memories. In fact, nearly all the furniture in it at the time of the murders is in use to this day.” The interview sees Vizconde recounting details of his dreams with his wife and children and describing certain strange events in the house “I always lock the three bedrooms whenever I leave the house. But sometimes when I come home late at night, the air conditioner is on. Sometimes this candle beside my Sto. Niño statue is already lighted when I enter the room. There are instances when I am in a hurry and I don’t have time to fix my bed because of an early engagement. But when I return, the bed sheets and blankets are well arranged. How does that happen when the door is locked??”
Getting justice is Vizconde’s main concern and we hope his family rests easy knowing that he tries his best and thinks of them all the time.
4. Death over Dota 2
The online game Death of the Ancients or DotA, is extremely popular in the Philippines, with many players enjoying the team based game in LAN cafes. The country’s obsession with the game has had a dark twist as two murders have occurred because of extreme anger on the part of the players.
One of the victims is a 11 year old child, who was stabbed repeatedly by his alleged 16 year old murderer in Malolos, Bulacan over a hacked DotA account.The victim was found with 40 stab wounds, according to Daily Dot, and the accused was purportedly found with “heavily blood-stained shorts” and “drops of blood leading up to his house”. The minor ages of the involved have incited heated debates over the negative influence of the game, with many pointing out the increase in violence, rage, jealousy and irascibility as reasons to call for a ban.
In another DotA rage case, a young man of 17 who is convicted of killing his own grandmother who singlehandedly raised him because of her persistent nagging and interruption of his game. This techinasia article reports that “The teenager said he could not remember what actually happened, but his grandma was found dead at the scene with wounds to her head, neck, and chest, with additional wounds inflicted from defending herself on her arms. Bloodstained ceramic, likely a vase, was found in a dustbin in the house’s front yard, while a washbasin, presumably used to clean up the house, was found next to the grandmother’s body.”
More than just sinister, the murder cases have raised so much outcry that a village has actually banned the game from LAN shops. The village of Salawag chose to enact this Dota ban after government officials met with computer cafe owners and determined that the game was making their children more violent, according to a writeup on Kotaku. While not everyone might agree that such measures were fair or necessary, it’s hard not to see the parallel between in-game killing and murder in reality.
5. Urban Legend or Legit Serial Rapist on the loose?
The story of Warlito Toledo, better known as Waway, has terrified women all over Philippines because of the insane rumours that circulate around his crimes. Waway is a well-known rapist who has been said to rape and kill up to 40 women a day. He has been elevated to supernatural status, with many creating stories about him possessing powers from a special amulet. In this article, Waway’s modus operandi apparently involves him “[spitting] on the slippers of the people who live in the house and come back at an opportune time to finish his task. Despite a foolproof manhunt, it is said that the police couldn’t catch Waway because of his talisman which enables him to change his hairstyle at will and prevent detection.”.
While much of the details and information known about Waway is compiled from hearsay, his story has deterred many women and children from being out of home late, which is a good form of safety observance, in any case. As of now, this man is still recognised as a fugitive and the thought of him roving around at night in search of victims is definitely not a comforting thought for any women who have to travel home late at night.
– Joey likes makeup, dogs, food, and horror stories. She also likes writing about them, which she does constantly for local discount site ShopBack.