The Filipino Invasion


You will find a bunch of Filipino bands around Saigon, from Hard Rock Cafe to Acoustic.

When the British rock bands gained noteriety in America back in the 60’s, the phenomenon was coined The British Invasion.

Now Vietnam is experiencing similar invasion by their neighbors.  They got the language (English), the look (still brown-skinned), and the connection (E2 in cross-cultural distance).

Acceptance rates have been high.

You will find in Saigon clusters of APEC (Japanese Alley, Korean district , backpackers district and Chinese district).  The Filipino bands just show up, when it’s their turn to play.

Rap and rock.

All with long key chains, tight jeans and wool caps.

Some Western faces were there in the audience. Beer choices are also varied, from Tiger to Heineken, Corona to Coors.

To see Saigon of the future, you need to tap into this crowd.

Kids who first are in step with the beat from strange shores, then to eventually be resettled there (Ivy League even). It happened to me with “California Dreaming”. Now, a bunch of my classmates are living there.

This Christmas will see a wave of Vietnamese from overseas back for a vacation.

Fuel to the fire.

Rock on.

The irony is the Filipinos who taught ESL in the refugee camps back in the early 80’s, kept staying put, while their Vietnamese students (the audience in this case, which often had a feel of a “repeat after me” English class ), moved on to America, where the British Invasion once took place.

For now, while the set last, nobody noticed if you were black or white.

Music unites. Especially when singers stick their mikes to the audience during the refrain “I try so hard, and get so far, in the end, it doesn’t even matter”.

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