I come from a university where a lot of people have their own cars to take them to school and back home. Because I share car use with my sister and my mom, these days I always end up being the most exposed to the unpredictable world. It’s only in college that I learned how to ride the train, jeepney and FX (short for Tamaraw FX, the public vehicle in the Philippines that functions similar to a jeep but air-conditioned) by myself. Almost half the time, it’s the FX I ride when commuting, and it has given me a glimpse of the Filipino radio culture.
When I first rode the FX, I felt silly listening to the radio. With all the corny jokes and overly-repeated catch phrases, I sometimes just plug in my iPod, but only when I think no one will attempt to take it from me. But then the catch phrases of some FM stations have really embodied the meaning of being catchy, and I’ve become immune to hearing them. There’s the famous “Kailangan pa bang i-memorize yan?” Then there’s “Hi pangga, may energy ka pa ba?” I initially thought it was bangga, but I overheard someone saying that pangga means love, and it made more sense.
If you’re not updated with the latest catch phrase, then read this: To-to-tot, love radio. You don’t say it like some pretentious English-speaking Filipino, you say it like a true Filipino driver does: To-to-tot, lav-rey-jo. Say this about ten times to the tune of do-la-fa, and you’ve got it.
They aren’t so different from last-song syndromes. Over time, I found them quite funny, and even funnier when I discovered that a number of my friends knew how the lines go. It makes me wonder, “Where the heck did they learn it?” I know where I did. Maybe my friends listen to Energy FM before bedtime. Perhaps Love Radio. I never know. I never bothered to ask.