A Quarter Century, Part 2

Once we got back from Philadelphia, we had one more birthday treat planned: a party! But not just any party, a karaoke party! Cake and drinks with my favorite people busting out in a litany of awesome pop songs and ballads?! I’ll take it!

It’s pretty typical in Filipino culture for every party to have karaoke. My parents and aunts and uncles all have machines, and we often break into song at any family gathering. I wanted to bring a little of that fun to my friends.

This particular place was not your standard karaoke bar where everyone is grouped together and you sing in front of strangers, like in My Best Friend’s Wedding. This place had private party rooms, which I knew would help all of my friends and family feel comfortable enough to get up and SING. And sing we did!

With a little liquid courage:


And neon lights:


It wasn’t long before we were all up on our feet creating our own cover versions of hits by Celine Dion, Hanson, *NSYNC, Queen, and Journey. And most everyone got into it! We even had rappers in our group! E surprised everyone and led the whole room in a rousing rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and we Redlands alums just had to jump and belt out to “Don’t Stop Believin’.” My girlfriends from work all jumped into “Total Eclipse of the Heart” and my sisters and I all sand “Dancing Queen.” There were many many songs in between.


And of course, as every birthday party must, we had a delicious chocolate cake from Porto’s. The whole cake was eaten!


I’m so glad we threw a party because one of the things that I heard all night was, “I haven’t seen you since the wedding!” It’s very rare to be able to get all your friends and family together like that, and I’m so appreciative to everyone who took the time to come out and celebrate with me, and double points to everyone who sang!

I kept worrying that someone wasn’t having a good time. And at some point, I realized, I just had to take everyone’s word for it. It was awesome. I highly recommend you try to find a private karaoke place if you’re a little nervous about it. It’s definitely a little easier than singing in front of strangers.

Do you have any karaoke “must sings?” Mine are “Alone” by Heart, “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler, and “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by Whitney Houston.


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