Karaoke Machine

In Fun
A karaoke machine with two microphones
A karaoke machine with two microphones

 Waking up on the first day of living in America as a five-year-old; I groggily trudged my way into my living room to find my parents and siblings crowding around what seemed to be a karaoke machine. My parents explained to me that it was a housewarming gift from our relatives back in the Philippines. I remember it had this fresh Styrofoam scent, where it held two microphones. In the first few years of living in America, this karaoke machine was our lifeline to our Filipino culture since music was one of our main ways of expressing ourselves. At first, I was reluctant to participate in my family’s karaoke sessions due to my insecure nature, but after a few months of temptation, my five-year-old self started using it as a way to vent. I sang a variety of genres from American pop, to Filipino love anthems as a way to bridge the gaps between the many cultures I was exposed to. It became a means of catharsis for me.
This karaoke machine became tethered to the structure of my family, following us like a shadow when we moved to Las Vegas. The combined forces of the karaoke machine and the gargantuan Filipino population in Las Vegas helped tie the countless threads of friendships between our family and other Filipino families. I gain a certain feeling of jubilation sitting between my two parents as they release a variety of emotions onto their microphones on Christmas day, filling the air with their joy for what seemed like an insurmountable amount of time. As time went on, singing prevailed through storms of conflict, permanently solidifying its spot in the structure of our family.

Place(s): Missouri
Year: 2010

– Arjay

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child