#throwbackthursday: Remembering Yoyoy Villame

Let’s listen again to the immortal songs of the King of Philippine Novelty Songs
posted on: Thursday, May 15, 2014
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Digital Agitator

I always hear old songs played on the radio every Sunday – some are boring, some good yet still boring and there’s Yoyoy Villame’s classics.


When you talk about classic novelty songs, it’s always Yoyoy Villame, the king of Philippine novelty songs.

Together with Max Surban, he redefined the meaning of novelty songs and added a humorous twist.

Who else would teach you an interesting lesson about Philippine history like this?

What about doing exercise?

Among other classics he immortalized are:

Philippine Geography – teaches you about the Philippine cities and provinces. Memorize this song and you’ll never get lost while in vacation!

Hayop na Combo – Better than Eraserheads, you should hire them during your barrio fiesta.

Tarzan at Barok – A better love story than Twilight.

Granada – A nonsensical song about everything. Still a better song than Justin Bieber’s.

Before we get carried away by the magnificence of Yoyoy Villame’s songs, let’s delve a bit about his life.

Yoyoy Villame, whose real name is Roman Tesorio Villame, was born on November 18, 1932 and a native of Calape, Bohol.

The youngest of 10 children, he was a bus driver when his boss took notice of his singing talent.

His first recording was ‘Magellan’, a humorous parody about the Portuguese explorer’s failed conquest in the Philippines. This was the beginning of the long list of songs and albums he produced in his lifetime. He composed more than 100 songs, spoken in Cebuano, Tagalog and English.

There was also a song, probably his most popular creation, which was spoken in “Chinese”:

It was said that this song pissed the Chinese community so much that they planned on bringing Yoyoy to court but they soon dropped it because they couldn’t identify a single Chinese word in the lyrics.

Yoyoy Villame lived a colorful life. He even had a career in the movie industry. He appeared in over 30 movies and his last appearance was in the 2003 indie film ‘Babae sa Breakwater’. Later in his life, he stayed in Las Piñas City where he served as a councilor for 10 years.

Yoyoy Villame died of cardiac arrest on May 18, 2007.

He may have passed away, but the name he left and the immortal songs he created will never be forgotten.