Spoken word poetry has been happening in the Philippines for a very long time, but it wasn’t until recently that it became so huge that everyone from all ages got infected by it.
In 2013, the now-defunct Sev's Cafe opened its doors to slam poetry and spoken word open mics having only four regulars coming in to compete with each other. Among those four people was Slac Cayamanda—one of the founders of Speak Philippines, then of Words Anonymous, and now White Wall Poetry.
Fast forward to May and June 2016, Slac—being labeled as The Mayor of Spoken Word Poetry for helping a lot of people find their footing on stage and bring out the best in their writing and performance—found himself in Malaysia, working as a volunteer in the Pink Triangle Foundation. He was sent there to take part in the ILEAF Program of ISEAN-HIVOS—doing volunteer work for the foundation by helping them in providing care and protection for transgender women and people living with HIV.
One of his goals also was to find a place where he could perform his spoken word pieces, and he happened to have found that there is a huge following on spoken word in Malaysia. He wanted to build a network and so he did.
On June 25, things have taken a very interesting turn. He got the attention of one of the organizers of the Singapore slam poetry contests and poetry festival, Stephanie “Dogfoot” Chan. Stephanie told him that they read one of his pieces before—the one he sent in via email and they have really been eyeing him from the beginning. He got invited to perform for the upcoming Contradiction XII Poetry Festival, it is one of the longest running poetry festival in Asia. (Check out the event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/113972309049624/)
After a few email exchanges and discussing the event, they also told him that they will be doing another event and they want Slac to be one of the two performers (here’s the event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1758876431037636/). Now here is the perfect opportunity to share Filipino Spoken Word with the rest of the world, and to open doors for future collaborations between Singapore and Philippines.
So here we are right now, doing a crowd sourcing event to make sure that the Philippines is fully recognized in the world’s vast spoken word scene. Making sure that we make an impact and that we will be remembered. Join us on August 20, 9pm at Saguijo, Makati. Let’s all be there and send this one helluva spoken word packin’—and represent our Motherland for this magical art form that we all learned to love.
See you there!