Versus Verses FlipTop as Counterculture

The University’s long and rich tradition of celebrating while studying the arts has allowed its sons and daughters to carve out their niche across art forms. UP has made its mark in mainstream and popular music, but it is also in these spaces where countrerculture has thrived. One of these emerging forms is rap battle, the modern Filipino balagtasan.

How did scenes in the film Heneral Luna rekindle our patriotic and nationalistic sensibilities? Or how did a line in the song “Bituing Walang Ningning” draw the Filipino audience to that showdown moment between Dorina and Lavinia in the movie of the same title? Most moviegoers probably don’t know it, but it’s the music that gives depth to cinematic storytelling.

Now on its 40th year, the UP Jazz Ensemble continues to swing as a band which does not only perform great jazz but also promotes the genre through its performances and collaborations with other organizations. Nearing his retirement from the university, the group’s bandleader, Prof. Rayben Maigue, looks back with fondness at what the ensemble has become in four decades.