The Hey Joe Show is a multi-platform group on social media who gained love and appreciation by sharing their experience of Filipino culture to the global audience. The Amerikanong Bisaya (Cebuano American) members: Sumner, Connor, Davis, Tylan and Jake, provided wholesome entertainment using Bisaya or the Visayan language.
They started out as missionaries who resided in the Philippines for two years before becoming an online sensation. For months, they studied the Visayan dialect and eventually became fluent with it — surprisingly, including the vernacular slangs! And because of their deep love for the Filipino’s way of life, they created comedy skits on Americans reacting to Filipino customs and traditions, and even translated some English songs to Bisaya.
Apparently, these men can sing! How talented can they get?
Social Media and Popularity
So far, their Hey Joe Show YouTube channel now holds 226K subscribers and 23M total views, including their first video posted on October 2014 with 1.25M views.
Their most popular videos include their first upload, Amerikanong Bisaya; then, Amerikanong Tindero (American Vendor); meeting the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte; signs you are a Filipino; American jeepney conductors; and many more.
One of the members, Sumner, also joined a singing competition on Philippine television called I Love OPM, where foreigners from all over the world sang Filipino songs. His confounding voice caught everyone’s attention which garnered him the judges’ approvals. His rendition of Yeng Constantino’s Pag-Ibig and Daniel Padilla’s Simpleng Tulad Mo became so popular and well-received by fans.
However, Hey Joe Show’s popularity didn’t stop there. In 2017, they released their hit single, “Morena Girl” (Tanned Brunette Girl), which was a Bisaya song of a foreigner who fell in love with a Filipina, and was willing to travel halfway around the world just for this Morena Girl.
If that’s doesn’t sound romantic, I don’t know what is.
Their music video was also shot in the different streets and remarkable locations of Cebu City, Philippines, where they also had their missionary service.
Where are they now?
In an online interview on Instagram, Davis said that they are all spread out across their country, the USA, right now. Some of them are miles away from others. But while they don’t get to see each other face to face as much as they would like, they still keep in touch and reminisce about their extraordinary adventures in the Philippines.
Missing the Philippines
Just like any other country, the Philippines has a lot to offer when it comes to food and tourist attractions. But if they can get good food and visit more beautiful destinations elsewhere, why miss the Philippines?
What’s in the country that the Hey Joe Show terribly miss?
Imagine eating your favorite food in two different scenarios: one, alone; and two, with your dearest families and friends. Which scenario would you likely remember?
The Hey Joe Show misses having meals with Filipino families and friends while chatting about how their day went, or stories that are worth sharing — talking just about anything! The feeling tied to having a very simple meal is what gives an impact to the memory.
Far and away, the thing I miss the most about the Philippines is the people. Through our travels and time spend in the Philippines, we met people who became our friends and practically our family. I miss being able to “bless” nanays (mothers) and tatays (fathers), sitting down to a nice meal with Filipino families, and chatting with people on the street.Davis, July 2020
Also, being able to show respect to elders by “mano po” or “bless” (the act of touching one’s forehead to the back of the hand) is such a loving and humble gesture Filipinos are accustomed to.
When asked about the Filipino foods that they crave from time to time, Davis seem to have quite missed a lot.
I would have to say munggos (mung beans), halo halo (Filipino cold dessert of shaved ice and various fruits), mangoes, durian, pork adobo (Filipino dish of pork and soy sauce) and Mang Inasal (barbecue fastfood chain) — walay unli rice diri sa states 😦 (There’s no unlimited rice here in States)Davis, July 2020
Filipinos love rice. And unlimited rice is everyone’s favorite. For the Hey Joe Show to love rice as much as Filipinos do, only proves that they’ve acquired the Filipino appetite.
Next visit to the Philippines?
So, when will they visit the Philippines again?
… going back to the Philippines is something that is always on our mind.
That said, going back to the Philippines, even as tourists, is something that all of us would love to do soon.Davis, July 2020
The Philippines is indeed considered home to many natural wonders, unique cuisine from savory to sweet, vibrant festivals, and very friendly locals. These are just more than enough reasons why foreigners would want to keep coming back.
But the Hey Joe Show is definitely no stranger to the Filipino lifestyle. They are definitely Americans with Filipino hearts.
When asked about uploading new content and new videos on YouTube, Davis said that getting together to film is something they would love to do. However, he also wondered whether people would love to see them again. But in my opinion, many Filipinos would be delighted.
Besides, it’s not every day you come across five Americans who can speak Bisaya fluently. They left a huge impact on many Filipinos as much as the Philippines did on them.
We miss the Philippines so much. I think about it constantly. The people, the food, the language. Grabe! (Really!)Sumner, July 2020
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