A night or two ago I was on the express train, either the 4 or 5 (they run the same track), heading to Union Square, and this guy announced that he was going to give us a performance. He reached into a plastic bag on the floor and turned on his radio. Then he did some gymnastics and dancing using the bars in the train that you’re meant to hold onto. I was a bit worried that he might accidentally kick someone in the head, maybe me since I was sitting so close. He pulled it off without incident though, and it was definitely entertaining after a long day, so when he asked for a handout afterwards, quite a few people gave him some change. I gave him a dollar.
I never hand out money to beggars, because it annoys me and there are plenty of social programs to help them get a job, but I don’t mind handing out a little cash to someone that’s working for it, even if it’s just a minute long show on a subway train.
One of the things I like about the Philippines is how unrestrained people seem to be, though this is sort of a special case. There’s a stereo equipment store on a particular street in Antipolo that we walk down regularly and there’s almost always a guy standing in front of the store, in the street, dancing to the music that they play. This guy isn’t all there upstairs from the way it looks, but he’s having a good time doing what he’s doing, and that’s cool. At least he’s doing something that makes him happy, and it’s definitely entertaining to watch.
Today, my wife suggested I record him dancing. She said he’d probably like it, and she was right. When the guy realized he had not only an audience, but a camera on him, he really went all out. He seemed incredibly happy to be acknowledged.
Here’s the video:
A fellow spectator.
Jollibee is a fast food chain in the Philippines that’s reminiscent of McDonald’s. It’s a burger joint, but it also serves a lot of traditional Filipino foods. I’ll go more into that later. What I wanted to show in this blog post is the mascot dancing. I don’t remember ever seeing something like this in another country, but apparently Jollibee (the mascot) likes to dance at birthday parties and do ‘dance-offs’ with other mascots. I don’t mean cheesy dancing either. Here are two examples:
I used to wonder why people seemed so excited to have their kids’ birthday parties at a Jollibee, but I guess this explains it. I bet your average Ronald McDonald can’t pull off those moves!
There are also a few Jollibee franchises in the US in California and I think New York, due to there being a lot of Filipinos in those areas. I don’t know if the Jollibee mascots there dance like this though. This might be a uniquely Filipino thing.
This video came to my attention through Twitter via a friend (@LaiSan_C (sorry, locked profile!)).
Apparently, this older guy got so into the music by this local Singapore band that he jumped up in front of the stage and started dancing. The short of it is that none of this was organized or choreographed and just goes to show that being cool and having a good time doesn’t have an age restriction!
Here’s the information excerpt from the YouTube page:
That’s the spirit! A senior audience got up and jumped in front of KKJ’s stage at the Esplanade and started dancing to their original composition ‘Lemonade’. The choreography and the dancing was all improvised as he grooved to the song, to much cheers from the crowd of more than 500.
King Kong Jane was named “Best English Local Act” by The Sunday Times in 2008. In the same year, KKJ was crowned the Champion of Power Jam, one of Singapore’s biggest band competitions. In 2007, the band was chosen to perform for Baybeats, the largest indie music festival in Southeast Asia.
KKJ is: Jianping (drums), Renquan (bass), Colin (vocals), Ian (guitar) & Ruishen (guitar). For more information, email the band at email@example.com or follow them at
Facebook: King Kong Jane
And here’s the video itself!