SPEAK YOUR MIND
By Noah Faye Andres
How does “flip-top or modern balagtasan” affect young people’s way of expressing their feelings through speaking? Thesis Statement: Modernized “debate” or balagtasan or now known as flip top has motivated youngsters to communicate themselves to others articulately and creatively. Introduction
It is not surprising to know that Flip Top rap battle was and is continuing to become viral not only in the social media but it also becomes a “syndrome” to the Filipino fanatics particularly youngsters yesterday and today (Yap, 2012 ). But what is really a Flip Top rap battle? And what makes it so attractive among young people? These and other intriguing questions about Flip Top rap battle will be discussed in this paper. As we go on, let’s bear in mind that there are only 2 goals this paper would want to achieve. First is mainly to inform. If you started to search Flip Top on web, watch some videos, read magazines related to this, and think some “pangbanat” while facing the mirror-this paper’s second goal is achieved: to plant a seed of interest and love to Flip Top within you. So, let the battle begin!
Flip Top: What is it?
Flip Top (Filipino Rap Battle League) is defined in many ways. According to Alaric Yuson – more popularly known as “Anygma”, son of poet and writer, Krip Yuson founded Flip Top in the Philippines– “Fliptop is a rap battle league that puts two people in a match to have bthem insult each other with the cleverest punch lines and sharpest rhymes”. Some would say that Flip Top is “tila pagsama-samang pagkanta, debate at balagtasan” (Crespo, 2011) Nevertheless, whatever meaning they would give, the fact remains that Flip Top is a battle of mind through an exchange of rhythmic and clever lines delivered in an impressive tongue-twisting manner (Yap, 2012 )
Is Flip Top the modern Balagtasan? How is it done?
But considering the opinion that Flip Top is somewhat a modernized form of balagtasan, let’s try to answer this: Is Flip Top the modern Balagtasan? Maybe. Here’s the definition of Balagtasan, “Ang Balagtasan ay ang patulang pakikipagpalitan ng kaisipan sa pamamagitan ng paghahanay ng katuwiran ng magkabilang panig… Isa pang kapuna-puna dito ay ang paggamit ng kantiyawan o pabirong parunggit ng magkabilang panig.” (Decal-Mendoza, 2000) We could noticeably see that Balagtasan is just a tagalong version of Flip Top with respect to its meaning. Fliptop and Balagtasan have great similarities. Aside from the use of the mother tongue, both are also under the purpose of entertaining an audience with at least two individuals engaged in a conversation that follows certain meters and rhymes. (Crespo, 2011) Flip Top is similar to Balagtasan in which the participants compete in a free-flowing articulation of rhyming thoughts. The extemporaneous verbalization is in “rap” form without the music. Instead of calling themselves master poets they consider themselves Master Rappers. The free-style rap battle is also being mediated by a moderator similar to Balagtasan’s Lakandiwa. A typical battle goes like this: Anygma, the sole organizer of Flip Top opens up the matches as he introduces the two battling emcees. There are three rounds consist of one minute per emcee to speak up his a cappella rhymes. No bars held, all-out, raw, explicit lines can be thrown at the opponent with lines that are either freestyle or written. The battle is done within the cipher (the crowd that forms around the battle). But unlike the Balagtasan in which the poet who received the loudest applause from the audience wins, the winner is determined by selected judges based on the challenger’s verbal flair, brilliant wisecracks and dynamite cleverness. (Langit, 2010). In case of a tie, the judges may ask for one OT (overtime). In the end, one has to win the match judging on the wordsmiths’ punch lines, delivery, flow, rhyme scheme, cadence, swag, or timing. Videos are taken by cameraman Kev and after...
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