2013/07/22

An Initial Reading of Kaleidoscope World and Kaleidoscope World Forever More's Political Line

Francis Magalona's Kaleidoscope World first hit the airwaves in 1995, the same year peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines (or GPH, formerly known as GRP or Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) formally began. It was also in this year both parties signed the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), aiming “to create a favorable atmosphere conducive to free discussion and free movement during the peace negotiations, and avert any incident that may jeopardize the peace negotiations.” (NDFP, n.d.)

In the 1995 version, the Master Rapper made a list of obvious contradictions and/or over-generalized dichotomies present in Philippine society:

Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most 

In a very simplistic manner, the song presented a dichotomized image of Philippine society. Based on this premise made in the first few verses of the song, Francis Magalona managed to come up with an arresting statement about peace vis-a-vis the armed struggle: “You can't talk peace and have a gun.”

It is also interesting to note that in one of the scenes from the original music video directed by Raymond Red, the Master Rapper held a newspaper bearing an editorial titled “International Terrorism” as he uttered the words “You can't talk peace and have a gun.”

(Read full text on Discussion Lab.)