Cutout Bin: Filipino Icon Yoyoy Villame's Yoyoy Is Barok

Yoyoy Villame

Yoyoy Is Barok (Plaka Pilipino, 1978)

Cultural icons can be discovered in the most unusual places, such as the dregs of the dusty record piles at a Houston thrift store. It took this record to introduce Cutout Bin to the legendary Philippine entertainer Yoyoy Villame.

On the cover, we see Barok the club-wielding caveman in his star-spangled skins dragging a bored blonde back to his cave. How could you pass this record by? The song titles hint at the English/Tagalog/whatever bizarreness to be heard within: "Bus Driver Boogie," "Pangako Ng Boy Scout," "Kaming Mga Waiter," "I'll Never Love Again."

Who the heck was Yoyoy Villame??

Roman (aka Yoyoy) Villame's first record in 1972, "Magellan," was a goofy ditty about the infamous explorer's failed attempt to conquer the Philippines, from the native's point of view.

"When Magellan visited in Mactan

To Christianize them every one

But Lapu-Lapu met him on the shore

And drive Magellan to go back home

Then Magellan got so mad

Ordered his men to camouflage

'Mactan Island we could not grab

Cause Lapu-Lapu is very hard'"

It was a hit. In 1977, another hit cemented his celebrity and reputation as the undisputed King of Filipino novelty songs. "Mag-exercise Tayo" became the official song for the morning exercise program for Filipino schools and factories. Another hit, "Philippine Geography," lists off 77 Filipino towns and islands.

Yoyoy went on to many more hits and character roles in Filipino films, and eventually was a City Councilor for the city of Las Piñas. He died of a heart attack in May, 2007, and was memorialized on several websites with this very album cover "borrowed" from Cutout Bin's Web site.

It turns out Yoyoy has recorded over 25 albums. We've only managed to find pictures of a few, and they hint at the bizarreness to be found if someone wants to bankroll Cutout Bin's record-buying trip to the Philippines. Fortunately, many of Yoyoy's hits are on YouTube, lip-synched by an aging Villame, seemingly in one marathon session for a karaoke disc. Others are covers of his songs by mainstream artists, and even DJ "remixes" of his hits.

Here's Cutout Bin's favorite, and it's said to be one of his most famous songs. The words of "Butsekik" are entirely gibberish in any language; it was apparently written to mock the local Chinese-speaking population:

And here's a totally straight-laced cover of this same song by a Filipino diva:

And here's "Magellan," Villame's first hit complete with karaoke readalong. See Cutout Bin's vast archive of weird album covers and more at BizarreRecords.com.

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Nick DiFonzo