Matanglawin: Sikat sa kalye!

By Grace Sucgang, Multimedia Producer, Matanglawin

Posted at Oct 08 2011 11:18 AM | Updated as of Oct 09 2011 06:47 AM

”Yo! makinig kayo sa aking sasabihin. Ngayong araw na ito kayo’y bibilib sa mga istorya namin. Mayroon akong mga kasamang henyo, handa nang ibato ang kanilang mga kuwento!”

(Yo! Listen to what I have to say, because you won’t believe the stories I have today! I have here geniuses, two; and they are ready to share their stories with you!)

Who would have thought that Kuya Kim could rap? Then again, on Matanglawin, anything is possible! This time around, Kuya Kim goes out into the streets not to search for animals nor escort an alpaca around, but to try out the latest trends in the streets: fliptop, rap, longboarding, fingerboarding, planking, owling, koalaing and even horse manning!

Kaya makinig makining kayo sa aming sasabihin! at maging mapanuri, mapagmatyag, mapangahas! Ito po si Kuya kim… Matanglawin!

(So listen to what I have to say, be inquisitive, vigilant and adventurous! This is Kuya Kim for Matanglawin!)

Wordplay is the name of the game.


Rappers Harlem and Dello in the lead.

And where else would he begin but by tracing the origins of fliptop and rap battles?

The world’s first rap icons were McHammer and Vanilla Ice. In the 1980s, however, pinoy rap artists Dyods Javier and Vincent Dafalong made their mark in the music industry by releasing their rap singles in the States. The influence of rap invaded Filipino culture through American soldiers based in the country. From there, the icons of the 1990s such as Andrew E. and Francis M. emerged and rap gained attention in the Philippines.

Rap came from the word repartee which referred to people who could talk fast…something that can easily be related to what rap really is. The word rap is also an abbreviation of Rhythmically Applied Poetry, something that is similar to the traditional balagtasan of the old days where debates were done with rhyming arguments. Which brings the question: would the icon of balagtasan, Jose Corazon de Jesus also known as Franciscoo Balagtas, be a rapper if he was born in this day and age?

So where did fliptop come from? Fliptop’s main characteristic is the “flipping” of the other’s statements, or using your opponent’s own words or features against him or her. It was made popular in 2002 by Marshall Matters, also known as rapper Eminem, in the movie 8 Mile.

In 2010, the First Filipino Rap Battle League was established by people like Mike Swift, Anygma and Loonie, rappers respected in their own right. Fliptop was not a competition for prizes or for money as freebies such as shirts, free tattoos and the like were of lesser value compared to the prestige winning a fliptop battle could bring in the rapping community.

It’s Dello versus Harlem with Kuya Kim in between!

As seen in the movie, a toss coin determines who goes first. The two contenders in fliptop are called emcees and they are refereed by a mediator. In the fliptop battle between Harlem Ty a.k.a Harlem and Wendell Gatmaitan a.k.a Dello, Harlem got to go first with lines such as:

“Kung manlait ako, habam-buhay- endless. Si Dello, akala niya sa monkey-eating eagle, sentence. Sa laki ng labi mo, parang laging namamaga! Ah kasi hindi ka pala tao, isa kang labing tinubuan ng mukha!”
(When I criticize, it’s endless. With Dello, he thinks “monkey-eating eagle” is already a sentence. His lips are so large, they look swollen, but hey, he’s lips with a face in the first place and not a person!)

And of course, Dello retaliated with:

“Sinasabi mo, yung skills mo sa rap- endless? Para ka lang lapis na walang tasa... sinabi niya- pointless!”
(You’re saying your skills in rap are endless? Well, you’re like a stubby pencil...your words are pointless!)
A perfect example of fliptop where what the other says can be used against him!

The words used are simple and colloquial. Rap is the language of the street, no doubt about that! And as early as 13, as in the case of half-Pakistani and half-Filipino Omar Qureshi, one can do fliptop as long as one can think fast and can spit out witty remarks in a matter of seconds!

But if speed is what you’re looking for, look no further because Kuya Kim has found it for you. Introducing the longboard, a skater’s dream for his or her desire for a faster and more stable board to ride on.
Don’t get it wrong, skateboards are fine and actually better still, at tricks and stunts. The longboard was made for people who liked to ride fast on a longer board for more maneuverability. Be warned though because longboards come at a price. Decent boards with complete fittings would cost around 12-50,000...more stylized and personalized boards, would, of course, cost much higher than that!

Longboarding with Kuya Kim.

A cheaper alternative that Kuya Kim found brings quite a surprise. If longboards are to feet, fingerboards or techdecks are to hands! Fingerboards, which were made popular by Cam Fox Bryant in tne 1970s, are simply smaller versions of skateboards, and like their original counterparts, the tricks that can be done with them are endless as long as the person wielding them has a sharp and creative mind and very flexible digits.

If flexible is needed for this sport, the next street trend requires a person to be as stiff as a...well, a board, or more specifically, a plank.

Members of Planking Pinas doing their thing.

Planking has made waves in the Internet and on television because of the crazy places that plankers use as their playground. While some do it for exercise, or for demonstrations as a form of protest, more often than not, planking is used as an art form for self expression, or simply for the fun of it.

Even stars like Justin Bieber and Katy Perry are in on the trend!

All it takes is for a person to challenge his or herself to remain as stiff as a piece of wood in the most unusual places possible. Just a note though, great care should still be practiced unless you want to take after Acton Beale, who accidentally fell seven floors down when he attempted planking.

Planking And owling.

From this evolved other poses, which took leaves out of nature’s book. Koalaing and owling, anyone? All it takes is to hang from somewhere or perch someplace like koalas and owls.
Another growing trend is horse manning. At first it seems like something taken out of photo-editing software but it takes much more effort and imagination than that! Horse manning, which takes after the Headless Horseman character of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, takes two or more people to simulate a head decapitated from its body.

What other poses can you think of and do you think these will become the next big thing in the streets?
Don’t forget to comment on !