Fliptop Battle: the Modern Balagtasan

Topics: Philippines, Sociology, Filipino language Pages: 13 (4076 words) Published: January 12, 2013
Chapter 1
As a developing country on a contemporary period dominated with diverse influences, different sectors and government organizations as well as the non-governmental organizations anticipate on how to elevate and preserved the most powerful tool for communication – Language. Language is used to express inner thoughts and emotions, make sense of complex and abstract thought, communicate with others, as well as to establish rules and to preserved culture. It is used to inform people of what a person might feel, desire, anticipate, and communicate effectively with words, gestures, and tone of voice in a multitude of situation. Language is a special gift from God to mankind; if language doesn’t exist, human civilization would be impossible. Apart from being a means of communication, it is also a source of thinking as well as an expression. This is the reason why it is termed as “species uniform” possession of human beings.1 Language change and shifts as time passes by for a variety of reasons responding on social, economic, and political pressures. History records many examples of language changed and shifts fueled by invasions, colonization, and migration. Even without these kinds of influences, a language can change and shifts dramatically if enough users alter the way they speak.2 Media is a general form for modern channels of public information. Traditionally, they are radio, televisions, films, newspapers, and internet. These disseminate information and entertainment on a wide scale and their powers of manipulating public opinion are the subject of much discussion and research.3 Media are changing the terms of our engagement with language and social semiosis in late modernity, and with linguistic variation and dialect as part of that. Media made a great impact on language change by means of word adaptation as well as familiarization of words especially on Filipino people as shown on television, internet, radio, or even newspaper. Multimedia serves as a pathway for manifesting new ideas on preserving languages like the newly formed Filipino rhythmical poetry debate known as “Fliptop Battle” popularized through “Youtube”, a very popular video sharing Web site that lets anyone upload short videos for private or public viewing.4 Fliptop Battle is a rap battle league in the Philippines partake by young Filipino rappers or popularly called as battle “emcees” considered as geniuses on a contemporary Filipino language and made to help Philippine rappers promote and train both rap skills and abilities as well as to educate the masses both on a hip-hop cultural level and on a commonsensical level. The league places these rappers in a pit against each other in a battle of lyrical creativity and innate musical rhythm.5 Balagtasan is Filipino art of publicly arguing in extemporaneous, scaled and rhymed poetry manner formed by a group of Filipino poets in April 6, 1924 to commemorate the birth of Francisco Balagtas. Similar to the Fliptop Battle of contemporary period, this were fought by two different “Makata”, has a moderator, and has jurors that will decide whether who among the two excelled. 6 Balagtasan is a prominent type of literature from the time when is was discovered in 1924 until the world war II started. Balagtasan brightens the popularity of lots of makata. Well-noted theatres such as Opere House, Olympic Stadium, and Teatro Zorilla as well as the different theatres in the Philippines were fulled by public. A very expressive battle of discourse on Magazines, Newspapers, and even on the Radio were labeled before the world war II started. Different versions of Balagtasan pop-up in every regions of the language, as well as adopted language like English and Spanish. Being a form of national literature, it is still part of the lives of every filipino not just the whole form balagtasan but every piece of it as a cultural expression.7 Fliptop Battle and the conventional Balagtasan are both...
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