Singing My Way has again proved a dangerous choice in the Philippines with a fatal shooting in Manila.
A barangay chairman was gunned down after making the fateful decision to sing the Frank Sinatra classic at a Christmas party in Tondo.
A video broadcast by ABS-CBN shows Randy Bong Reyes dancing around wearing a blond wig before deciding to sing the deadly song — despite joking of the danger.
Moments later, the final curtain came as two men on a motorcycle arrived and called his name. As soon as he glanced at the assassins, he was gunned down.
Emmy Roque, a friend of the victim, said: “We heard three gunshots, then we hid… Then someone shouted ‘Si chairman’ and another victim was also shot.”
Reyes died on the spot, while the other victim, an unidentified boy, remains in a critical condition at hospital.
The gunmen were caught on CCTV fleeing the scene. Police are investigating a possible link to the drug trade, which the victims family strongly denies.
Nobody knows exactly how many people have been shot while singing My Way in the Philippines, but there have been enough to merit a separate subcategory of crime known as My Way Killings.
One example was reported by GMA News in August 2014 under the headline ‘My Way strikes again?’ In this case one man was killed and other was stabbed in Legazpi City after arguing over who should get to sing the song. The report noted: “While a beloved classic, many karaoke and videoke patrons dare not touch My Way, which seems to be linked to a number of killings in bars across the Philippines over the years.”
Nobody knows why choosing to sing the song so often proves fatal. Some maintain it is simply statistics — the song is so widely sung, it stands to reason that it’s more likely to feature when videoke and murder collide.
Other say there is something in the nature of the song that projects a confrontational arrogance.
Butch Albarracin, owner of Centre for Pop, a Manila-based singing school, backs what he calls this “existential explanation”.
“I did it my way — it’s so arrogant,” he said. “The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody, when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights.”
Whatever the reasons for the phenomenon of My Way Killings — whether it’s the song itself, simple statistics or some sort of curse — it’s probably not worth the risk of facing the final curtain.