Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Noise: Squatters Village

Previously I have written about loud church noise and loud barangay fiesta noise but today I want to tell you about something a little more sinister:

Loud bass-heavy music blasting out of stacks of speakers in the yard of some poor shanty in a squatters village.

What's up with this anyway?  How can these poor people afford these sound systems?  And why are they sitting around listening to loud bass-heavy music?  Do they really find BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM-BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM to be relaxing? Who listens to techno outside of the club?

Karaoke and awful pop music is very popular in the Philippines it's a wonder they don't listen to that.

I think I know the answer why. The Philippines at heart is a deeply pagan nation which worships idols and is superstitious beyond many other peoples.  Despite the Spanish Catholics sowing their religion the Filipinos never became Christians.  They simply appropriated the trappings of Roman Catholicism and blended it with their native animistic religions.

We can see this with Sinulog which is supposed to be a religious festival where they worship the idol Santo NiƱo but it's really a dance festival!  They are dancing to loud music just like they did before they were civilised and just like the tribes in the mountains of northern Luzon do to this day.

So when the Filipino turns up the bass loud enough that it can be heard miles away its more than just loud music.  The loud music touches the deepest religious impulses in the Filipino psyche.  It fires up the collective unconscious allowing him to participate in the memories of his ancestors who danced naked around bonfires to the sound of loud drumming before the hunt or after the hunt or when propitiating the gods.

Or maybe they are just rude people who don't care about the well-being of their neighbours and who cannot comprehend the consequences of their actions.  Who wants to hear loud bass all day?  But no one complains and that just compounds the problem.  If enough people complained and said turn it down then it might just get turned down.

And if they still refuse to listen?  Well just go on over there and turn it down yourself.

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