EXCLUSIVEYou don't go to Italy and not eat the pasta, you don't go to Japan and not try the sushi ... and Dwight Howard knows you can't go to the Philippines and not hit up the karaoke nightclubs.
The 6'11" Houston Rockets star has been in the Philippines to play a couple of NBA exhibition games ... but a few nights before he hit the court, Dwight blew off some steam at one of the country's most famous karaoke clubs.
But the karaoke joints over there aren't like the karaoke joints over here -- Filipinos take their karaoke VERY seriously and the clubs are the epicenter of the nightlife.
In fact, roughly SIX people have been MURDERED in the Philippines over disputes stemming from someone botching Frank Sinatra's version of "My Way" during a karaoke sesh.
Fortunately, Dwight didn't have that problem .. and emerged unscathed after spending his Monday night in the V.I.P. section of the Liberty Island karaoke bar in Manila.
We're told Dwight had a blast -- with dancing and full bottle service. We're told Howard was very cool inside the club and even signed some autographs for some of the staffers.
Dwight didn't play ball until Thursday ... and put up 9 points and 3 rebounds in 24 minutes against the Pacers.
Don't judge, it's only pre-season.