EIGHT RAP TEAMS fought it for the bragging rights of being the ultimate winner in Levanta: The 1st Zamboanga Encuentro Rap Battle held on February 27 at the city’s Paseo del Mar.
The event was Zamboanga City’s satellite activity for the 2014 TABOAN: The Philippine Writers’ Festival –an annual feature of the National Committee on the Literary Arts (NCLA) for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts’ (NCCA) National Arts Month.
The Languages Department of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University with funding from the NCCA, organized the tilt as a response to this year’s theme: Art on the Edge. Further, the department believed that rapping or fliptop was making elements of poetry and the art itself within the reach of, and more importantly, comprehensible to the masses and the current generation of the Zamboangueño youth.
Though punctuated with sarcasm and innuendo, the rap battle highlighted a modern take on joust poetry with impromptu rhyming patterns, humorous allegories and allusions to social issues and realities, and laughter-inducing litotes and ironies, in Chavacano, Cebuano, Tausug and Tagalog –all to the delight of the audience that gathered at the city’s seaside park.
After four rounds of elimination and the finals match, emerging as champion with a trophy and cash was the pair from Hermanos Familias, rappers Atuntao and Hydro. Ruratz and Zinc from Haraya and Verbal Threat’s Castigo and Garan were runners-up.
For her part, department chair, Ms. May Lilian Temple-Maravilles, saw the occasion as an opportunity for the Languages Department to explore means and ways on making its programs and activities more accessible to a wider audience.
Ms. May Lilian Temple-Maravilles, chair of the Languages Department, with the winning rap pair of Levanta: The 1st Zamboanga Encuentro Rap Battle, Hydro and Atuntao (right) from Hermanos Familias
Rapper Castigo from Verbal Threat (right) engages Ruratz from Haraya (left) in a round of fliptop.