Text by: Kimmy Baraoidan
Photos by: Chris Quintana and Kimmy Baraoidan
It was drizzling when we arrived at Los Baños, Laguna-based lifestyle store Fam on the evening of October 1, 2015. Fam was packed with cyclists, their bikes parked along the store’s facade, as an alley cat race had just finished. Performers for Wordplay, a spoken-word gig to be held later that night, started to arrive, with hip-hop music booming from an amplifier. Curious passersby, holding umbrellas, stopped and peeked through the store windows, and supporters and friends of Fam owner David Villania III were passing out drinks to audience members. Moments later, Villania III announced that Wordplay was to begin in a few minutes. He invited people to come in and to make themselves comfortable.
A couple of members of the UPLB Writers’ Club opened the event and performed some slam poetry pieces. Werty Omambac of Word Domination gave samples of his slam poetry pieces as well. A common thread that ran through their works is social awareness—a breath of fresh air from all the noontime show/network wars, movies about exes and third parties, musical revivals, and television show remakes. Villania III, also known as Gnarrate, performed rap pieces from his soon-to-be-released album “Koronasyon.” Gnarrate raps about social issues, like the decay of the youth, corruption in the government, and patriotism. Fearless in his social commentary, Gnarrate hopes to break skewed beliefs and ideologies prevalent in today’s society.