Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Songs in a Gay Bar: Pinoy Band Love Songs

Last weekend, I decided to forego my usual gay-bar going night out and do something more wholesome with my ex-gaybar-going friend, Mary. No, we didn't go to church and confessed one year of lusting after various macho dancers. And if we did, what if the priest instructed me for my penance to pray one Hail Mary for each macho dancer I've tabled? In that case, I would have finished an entire rosary... wait, hindi pa pala aabot.

So we went videoke-singing, and not in those KTVs where customers can also get hostesses to join them in their group. 

In the middle of our singing session, I got surprised about myself when I tried to remember the title of one particular song I wanted to sing. I knew who the singer was, but I couldn't recall any of the song's phrases nor its melody. So I texted a friend for a favor: 
"Rico*, favor. Pwedeng paki hanap yung isang kanta ni Eric Santos? First single nya ata. Kung hindi mo makita, punta ka sa blog ko. Nandoon sa post abt OPM Love Songs (Can you search for this song by Erik Santos? It was one of his first singles. If you can't find it, go to my blog, then look at the post about OPM Love Songs)."  
It seemed to be a silly favor at first. But that was when I realized, shucks, why did I want to sing something that I heard in a gay bar. After going through the repertoire of songs we played in the videoke place, I also realized that a lot of those songs we chose are those we heard in the gay bar. Kahit wala na kami sa gay bar, mga kanta pa rin ng gay bar ang naririnig (at kinakanta) namin.

It's been months since I last posted about songs heard in a gay bar. Four months to be exact. I've written already three types of songs that's usually danced by macho dancers. These are (click the link to read again):
  1. The Power Ballads - hard core love songs from rock bands
  2. The R&B Slow Song - the seductive serenade from R&B acts 
  3. OPM Male Love Songs - ballads by contemporary OPM male artists
This time, I am listing songs which are related to that last type. They are still from OPM artists, but in this list are Love Songs performed by Pinoy Bands. These slow, romantic songs can either be their original or a cover, either in English or in Filipino, either power ballads or mellow songs.

If you notice, the tempo of the songs danced by macho dancers is often slow, while the themes are mostly about love. The combination of the slow beats and romantic lyrics is a perfect fit for the Philippines's very unique macho dancer routine, especially if its primary objective is to seduce the gay bar customer. And given that the most romantic songs spurned by the OPM industry in the past decades were from Pinoy bands, then it's no surprise that these macho dancers or the resident DJs would choose these songs to play in the gay bar. 

So here are the romantic ballads from OPM bands, that are usually played or heard in the gay bar. Again, when you click to listen to the songs, just close your eyes and imagine a naked guy gyrating slowly in front of you. Best if you also turn off the lights in your room while listening.

1. "Half Crazy" and "After the Love Has Gone" by Freestyle
One of the most soulful bands in the country performed two of the most soulful songs heard in the gay bar. I particularly have fond memories of the second song, as this was the signature song of our  group's favorite macho dancer. As he dances to this song, we could not take our eyes off him, especially when his tall, dark, lean, sweaty body starts to grind beside the pole. I can imagine an orgasm coming out from the lines "Oh, oh, oh, and OH!... after the love has gone!"

2. "Set You Free", "So Many Questions", "Tell Me," and "Hold On" by Side A
Perhaps, the greatest Pinoy band that produced the most romantic love songs in the late 80s and 90s. And what was popularly danced in the gay bars back then are still being played in the gay bars nowadays. Interesting to note though how their songs revolve mostly about break-ups, heart aches, and loneliness. I guess those themes resonate with the usual gay bar goers. And that includes me.  

3. "Makita Kang Muli" by Sugarfree
Memorable song? Because it was the theme of one teleserye adapted from a popular and iconic comic book turned movie series, about the lowly blacksmith who turned into this handsome muscular sword-weilding hero. Sounds familiar? Imagine this song then danced by the lowly city lad turned hunky stud on the gay bar's stage.

4. "Sabihin Mo Na" by Top Suzara
Sung by the former lead singer of Freestyle. Okay, noted. Was this song also a theme song from a local TV show? Can't remember. Basta, what I am sure of is hearing this played inside the gay bar.

5. "Dahil Ikaw" by True Faith
Oooh... Another theme from a soap opera on TV. When I was hanging out at East19 (not a gay bar) with a macho dancer who absented himself from work to watch True Faith, the band played this song. I didn't really know this song, but I was wondering why the hook and melody were so memorable. When I looked at the guy with me that night, he smiled at me and then asked "sayaw kaya ako? (Why won't I dance?)." And then I already knew where I heard this song. 

6. "Kasalanan Ko Ba" by Neocolors
Fine, they're not a band-rakista-band. They may be a "vocal group", which is the predecessor of the boy band. So they're still included (the group plays band instruments such as guitars and drums, so pasok na yun). Anyway, this song has a special place in my heart. It was dedicated to someone from a hosto bar... someone whom I'd like to forget now. 

7. "With A Smile" by Eraserheads
Arguably, they're the most popular band in the mid-90s, when today's 20 year olds were still growing up. What's so interesting about this song is that whenever this song is played in one gay bar, we could hear the entire bar singing to this song. Syempre, the band and this song were uber popular when most of the macho dancers were in their adolescent years.   

8. "Magbalik" by Callalily
One of the most recent songs by the youngest band in this list. The song has a very sad music video, about couples who can't be together and are forced to be apart. Is this the same situation why gay bar goers can't be with their enamored macho dancers?   

9. "214" by Rivermaya
Another song that became popular in the 90s, the song that launched Rivermaya, when Bamboo and Rico Blanco were still in the same band. Whenever this song is played, I do hear some of my tabled dancers, especially those in their late 20s, claiming this as one of their favorite songs as they sing along to it.   

10. Songs by South Border: "Sa 'Yo", "Kahit Kailan", "Love of My Life", "Habang Atin Ang Gabi", "Ikaw Nga", and "May Pag-Ibig Pa Kaya
With lots of their love songs played in the gay bars, I dub thee, South Border, as "OPM band king of gay bars." I don't think I've gotten past a weekend without hearing a South Border song being played in a gay bar. Fine, that was a bit exaggerated. Anyway, I'll post three videos out of the six (or even more) songs of South Border that are usually heard inside gay bars.

That's it. I know the list is more than 10 songs, but I just grouped them according to the band performer.   If you combine this list with the past three entries on songs frequently heard in the gay bar, then you actually have a playlist of around 40 songs, which you can entitle as "gay bar songs" or "macho dancer songs." And to be honest, my lists are not yet over. I still have around 3-4 more lists of songs, which I will write about in the future.

Just a final note, something I learned while singing videoke in the past year and doing all these lists in my blog: You'll know you're going to the gay bars too much, when the songs you choose to sing in the videoke are mostly macho dancing songs. Worse, if you play the same songs in your iPod. 

GB Goer
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila
email: char.affairs@gmail.com
twitter: @gbgoer


  1. bakit or shall we say you excluded/forgot the natinal anthem of most macho dancer..celine dion's/ ssrah geronimo's TO LOVE YOU MORE.. then and now fave pa rin ng md sa sayawin...

  2. hi kamote ibang classification of songs naman yun. sa ngayon, si celine dion naman ang queen diva of gay bar songs.

  3. thanks..ngayon malapit ang Halloween or sometimes di naman halloween..knows mo ba yung title ng sinasayaw nila..parang gregorian chant yata ..

  4. that gregorian chant has been around
    since early 2000, there is also a
    song (or songs) with german lyrics,
    does anyone know the title of that

  5. The first time I went into a male strip club in Montreal it was the late 90's and almost every dancer used the song, "Truly, Madly, Deeply" by Savage Garden as their slow, totally nude, dance song. To this day, I can't hear that song and not think of hot, naked men.

    The guys currently working in MNL macho bars are too young to know the song. I bet if they hear it, some might use.

  6. Hi Almundos! The German song? Do this search: Rammstein, Du Hast.

  7. Hi Bill. I've heard that song played quite often, but not regularly enough to be considered a top choice among macho dancers. =)


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