I have been an Elvis Presley fan since I first saw him in a movie with Ann Margaret in a theater somewhere in Pasay which wasn't a city back then. That was in 1967, I was 7 years old. Perhaps, it was his high energetic ways in the film and his powerful singing voice that made me think of him as an unforgettable icon during the years I was growing up. I remember Eddie Mesa mimicking the voice, the manerisms, the style even the hairdo of Elvis and for that fine emulation he was known as the Elvis Presley of the Philippines. I also remember Boy Mondragon and other young performers who imitated Elvis on TV shows in the late 1960s.
I saw Elvis live concert from Hawaii on TV in 1973 which got me familiarized with such terms as 'live via satellite', I remember my father who taped the TV audio of the concert with a microphone connected to a cassette tape player because video recording devices weren't invented yet...we had our Betamax player in 1976. Not only are my parents big fans of Elvis but my brothers, uncle and grandfather as well, I remember the Elvis Presley vinyl records that were amassed by them, some came from China with the vinyls colored yellow, light blue and orange, I could only hint now that they were copies from original and it seems that piracy were already rampant in the early 1970s. Well anyhow, the music of Elvis Presley was a delight played on my grandfather's turntable during the Martial Law years of Ferdinand E. Marcos.
The popularity of Bruce Lee in the mid-70s dominated into Filipino culture and a number of Bruce Lee imitators in the form of the late Ramon Zamora and Rey Malonzo added to the share of other Asian imitators while Elvis Presley donned a karate suit and learned Karate which, I think, was influenced by the legendary martial artist Bruce Lee, heck even Elvis performed some karate chops during his live concerts in the mid-70s.
Then came the shocking news of Elvis Presley's death on August 16, 1977, I was in my second year of college (pre-med) and no one seem to be concerned inside my classroom except for my professor who managed to relate a story regarding Elvis instead of the class subject at hand.
DCRJ with a wax figure of a young Elvis Presley of 1956 at the Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in Hong Kong, taken December 2006
Elvis Presley is easily one of the recognizable icons even here in the Philippines, go dress up as Elvis complete with sideburns and visit some kindergarten classrooms here and in one way or another some kid will blurt out the name of Elvis, that's how greatly Elvis has influenced today's generation even in some remote impoverished areas here in the Philippines.
thanks to my brother Darwin (PinoyRastaman.Blogspot.Com) for the Elvis book 'Life: Remembering Elvis 30 Years Later) Sphere: Related Content