Filipino Students Hold Open Mic to Raise Awareness
December 13, 2006 2:24 PM
Hard-hitting hip hop erupted from SF State’s Rigoberta Menchu Hall last week, when dozens of students took part in “Flip Da Skript,” an open mic hosted by the League of Filipino Students.
The purpose of the event was to not only provide good entertainment, but to raise awareness about the current Filipino human rights struggle. LFS Vice Chair Charm Consolacion said 790 civilians have been killed since January 2001, simply for expressing their political beliefs, a right that “we Americans often take for granted,” said Consolacion. Flip Da Skript was part of LFS’s international campaign called “Stop the Killings.”
“It’s really sad to hear that there are all these innocent people dying, and there is no accountability for it,” said Consolacion, 24, an urban studies major with a minor in Asian American studies who joined LFS over a year ago. “This event is important because it broadens the issues, and gives the student body information about what is happening outside of the school and in the Filipino community.”
Although Thursday night’s open mic got off to a slow start – a little over an hour late – the event was successful with a relatively large turnout, and more than eight performances from MC’s, vocalists, and poets. Special guest “Power Struggle” performed to a packed audience and lead MC “Nomi” stole the show with his politically charged lyrics, and hip-hop beats.
“Supporting your community is important, and I’ll do whatever I can to help out as far as getting our music and our message out to as many people as possible,” said Mario de Mira, 27, aka Nomi of Power Struggle. “On the surface level you could call our music political; it’s influenced by poetry, and different genres of music. We try not to sound too mainstream.”
Members of LFS recently returned from a trip to the Philippines called the “Exposure Trip,” where they met with organizations that introduced them to members of the peasant class, the poorest in the Philippines. LFS also showed documentary footage from their trip, which captures the names and faces of victims of extrajudicial killings.
According to LFS, extrajudicial killings are politically motivated, and perpetrated by state agents without the sanction of any law or court. According to LFS member Brian Ragas, 21, the trip was funded by “income generating projects” like selling buttons, stickers, T-shirts, and fliers.
“It is merely a step in what we call organizing and educating our community,” said Ragas, an SF State student with a double major in Asian American Studies and International Relations. “Hopefully people will get inspired to join us in our struggle, educate themselves, and take action,” said Ragas.
Victor Eco, 24, said that it was important for him to come out and support LFS. He currently volunteers at the Liwanag Cultural Center, a nonprofit grass roots organization that focuses on Filipino culture, based in Daly City.
“I thought it was really informational, and the video they played was really eye-opening especially for Filipino Americans,” said Eco, an Asian American studies major. “It was a lot to take in, but this event is important because the more we learn the more it empowers everyone as a whole.”
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