Philippine Society. Politics. Rants. Critiques.

Panaghiusa Mindanao Rap: The Voice of Mindanao

| Sunday, August 8, 2010

Last week, I had the opportunity of shooting a music video with the Rapnophobia Clan (Iligan City's top rap group). We shot the video at Initao-Libertad Protected Seascape and Landscape.

The setting was just so amazing, a forest overlooking the rich Misamis Oriental shores. It was last week when we released the video but the song was recorded two months ago.

The word, panaghiusa means "unity" in Cebuano. Last dry season (not summertime); I told Spyx of my intentions of making a rap collaboration with him which he replied positively.

Then, last May, I went to their crib and recorded this song at his home studio. It was my first personal contact with the Rapnophobia Clan. Spyx was my student in Philippine History last year and, it was also last year, when I found out about Rapnophobia's cybersuccess as well as Spyx's Youtube videos that has tens of thousands of views already.

Spyx was our director for the shoot. He chose for the location of the shoot as with the concept.
The whole point of the vid was simple: Mindanaoans letting their voices be heard about the so-called "Mindanao Conflict".

The problem here is quite internal and was from age-old conflict between the Spanish and the Mindanao Muslims and Lumads. Definitely, we can not point out some of the many reasons for the wars' continuity.

The Mindanao conflict is not because of a religious issue. Of the many factors; we can blame it to the sensationalized "bombing and terrorism" news of the media (99% of TV news about Mindanao are all about bombings, terrorisms, etc. according to the UP undergrad thesis of Miss Quebee Dusaran and Rawnna Crisostomo), the inability of the government to address the basic necessities in the region, the deaf ears of the central government to the Muslims and minorities, as well as the age-old psychological biases and prejudices held off against both the Lumads and Muslims.

The video tells the world of our small voices. I, JR Lopez Gonzales, represent the voice of the Ilonggos (although, I've only two lines of Hiligaynon dialect and with the rest in Tagalog); Zeff represents the Muslims (he used his native Maranao dialect), and Spyx rapped in Bisaya-Iligan. The song was not just a simple rap song about the war, but a song that aimed to enlighten each Filipino's mind about the causes and probable solutions to this problem.

We stand against wars as aside from being costly, would never kill ideologies. We advocate peace and lasting harmony between the Mindanaoans by eradicating the psychological barriers as well as the prejudices that we have against each other.

We believe that any ethnic group is capable of loving and caring. We aim for love to reign in the Mindanao Island. We are advocates of cultural understanding and equal treatment. We despise how the media treats the whole island of Mindanao as the place where evil terrorists lurk. We love our heritage; we need the government to work for peace and development here in the place where we're born. We firmly believe that unless understanding be fostered; there will never be genuine peace

As such, we ask for your support; we ask for your participation for change. This video may be a small contribution yet we aim that our message would get across every viewer's heart and soul. (If you're with us, we would be happy if you'd share the video to other people).

We are the voice of Mindanao. The key that would open up understanding and peace lies in our very hands. One Mindanao, One Philippines. Love and faith has no religion. We all want peace and we are one.