Monday, July 6, 2009

Live and Direct from Manila: Part IV: Mestizaje Talaga!

"Fusion" banner for the "Looking for Juan Outdoor Banner Project" that addresses the complexity of Filipino identity displayed across the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

"Shoes ko po!" a playful corruption of "Dyos ko po," or "my God!" This sign succinctly illustrates the English, Spanish, and Filipino remixing in everyday Philippine language. (Dr. Seuss Maryosep!)

Throughout the Philippines
, it is not hard to see the mixture of various languages ranging from Philippine varieties, American English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. From the store names at the extravagant SM Malls, to the ever-popular spoof t-shirts, to the fuming jeepneys, language play and remixing is integral to everyday life in the Philippines. Simply talking to Filipinos, they like to invert and restyle not only Spanish/English words, but also Filipino words (like "astig" for "tigas" and "yosi" for "cigarillo"...there's much more, maybe you can think of some).

With language play such a central part of Philippine society, why is hip hop continually relegated to the margins? Language creativity in hip hop seems like a complimentary fit in this society. Why is it "jologs"-- I guess a rough translation would be "ghetto"?

So, maraming props para sa mga Filipino hip hop artists doin tha damn thang. Keep up the noble struggle!

Yo, global Filipino society is such a turntablists' psychodelic dream...diba?


Leo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leo said...

great stuff mark, I'm glad to hear your connecting with our folks and the sounds of home is pumpin in your veins. I hope our Fil Am artists can connect more to the Philippine scene and vice-versa. That LDP track is hot. Please cop some beats for me! U know I got u, I'll pay in Viet Đong.

one question on your observations, if Hiphop being relegated to the margins, what is the force thats keeping it in the center?

is the term "jologs" like class identification with hiphop? wouldn't that be keepin it real?

and how is the bboy/bgirl scene?

on aside, I finally ran into some bboys at a park in saigon this week, its funny, I saw a dude with a decked out "tribal" shirt and started the convo in viet, kids got nice styles. they're leader is a locker who straight up cuts up this james brown song. the hiphop dancers take after jabbawockeez and kaba modern...very kool kids, there's a lot of bboys out here apparently

Leo said...

another question, where are these artists comin from? certain part of manila? who do they look up to?

MV said...

what keeps hip hop in the center in the U.S.? Man, its called media consolidation, marketing, and the historical fascination with black culture in the U.S. Plus, black music has always been the center of creativity, subversion, and transgression. Add that the desire and performance for a specific black masculinity, then no wonder hip hop is in the center in the U.S.

Yes, jologs does have a class component. As for keepin it real, hmm, that has a different context here compared to states i think pare.

Don't know much about b-girl and b-girl scene. Its here, but dunno exactly where. I was breakin with some dudes Sat night at a club, i kicked some girls.

Oh the Philippine All Stars are hot right now, and they are very talented sa b-girl/b-boy too.

The artists are based all over Metro Manila. Many in the "south" in Las Pinas, Cavite, etc. Others in Mandaluyong, Makati, etc. Depends bro.

Who do they look up to? Ask them yourself. Prolly everyone you look up to, plus the artists here sa Pinas!