Songs from the Jukebox - The AMBOS MUNDOS RESTAURANT Anecdotes - Fifth of a Series

7:17 AM


Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

My nostalgic travel in time that started in the first of May continued when I spotted a jukebox standing on one corner of a business establishment a couple of days ago. I believe it wasn't working anymore but functioned more as a decorative item to represent a certain era when it was very popular. All too suddenly, I was brought back to a time in my childhood when my father would give me a handful of coins to while away my time while everyone in our restaurant was busy serving the customers. I listened to many songs from the jukebox in one corner of Ambos Mundos Restaurant.

In awe and In Wonder of the Jukebox

The intricacies of the workings of a jukebox captivated me from the moment I set eyes on this machine that produced music that filled the restaurant. I would peer through the jukebox glass as I wait for the clink of the coin I have dropped in the slot and see how a contraption  similar to an arm would get a "45" vinyl single and play the music it contains. Song selection is done by pressing a certain combination.

People of today may not be familiar with a "45" or the "33 1/2" rpm gramophone records since they are very rarely used today except perhaps to represent a bygone era. These are actually the black-colored circular things with central spindle holes. A "45", which is the smaller one between the two would usually be the most popular song lifted from the "33 1/2" Long-Playing album. 

Photo credit: arclients

Music and the Filipino Culture

Long before the karaoke and the videoke came and occupied the time of fun-loving and music-loving Filipinos, there was the jukebox. Unlike the karaoke and the videoke however which are now found even in private homes, the jukebox was generally found in commercial eating establishments like Ambos Mundos Restaurant. The singing along was done sans the microphone but still all the customers had to "suffer" through a personal song choice of one customer and wait for their turn.

I remember "fights" arising from the use of the jukebox similar to the common story we hear today about the curse in singing "My Way" in karaoke and videoke establishments. I am pretty sure though that the jukebox occurrences were much milder than what we often read in the newspapers today that sometimes lead to unnecessary deaths. These untoward incidents usually result from the deadly combination of music and too much liquor but I digress...

My Say

The jukebox represents a certain time which I associate with my childhood and Ambos Mundos Restaurant. To see one and hear music coming from one transports me to a time of innocence and dependence on my parents for everything I needed. Like in any other child, I wanted to grow up quickly so I can conquer my world, only to find out that I would be longing for the safety of childhood every so often in adulthood.

That said, some people may think that I am too sentimental for my own good and that is a possibility. Being sentimental is a part of me and I have learned to accept that in myself. My connection with my past stays and lingers. I tell stories of them to my children, hoping to give them a glimpse of how my childhood was like and how their grandparents were like. These stories are the stuff in which family legacies are made of and continued.





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