Font Size


By Noel Vera

Movie Review
Directed by Alberto Monteras II

RESPETO, a hip-hop movie which tackles the effects of the violence wrought by martial law which has echoes today, follows Hendrix (played by hip-hop star Abra), a 17-year-old aspiring rapper who meets a crusty old poet (Dido dela Paz) who turns out to be an activist and survivor of a brutal past. It premiered in Cinemalaya and bagged all the major awards including Best Picture, NETPAC Prize, and Audience Choice.

The film will be screened on Sept. 19, 7 p.m., at the UP Film Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City, kicking off the University of the Philippines’ commemoration of 45 years since martial law.

Respeto goes on general release on Sept. 20.


Film swaggers all pissed off all kissed off
Staggering while dragging a pair.
Has the grit of an 8 Mile rip-off at kickoff
Midway a Karate Kid flair.

Despite the borrowed feel borrowed beat
We confront a whole other creature
With its own look its own meat its own heat
Pitched like a hundred-five fever

Old man meets young buck shit out of luck
Old will teach young some wisdom:
Words that stun as if head had been struck*
Set to the young buck’s rhythm

Cuz rap is no stranger to Philippine shores
We been battling for near a century**
The rhymes the pulse the lyrical wars
The struggle to inflict verbal injury

But young buck too the old man fuel
Remind him of a past all scarred
The pains of living under Marcos rule
(The cruel the ghoul the red-tipped tool)
The ghosts whose memories die hard

All swept aside the new reality
This “drug war” our mayor declared;
What’s two lives in a fascist totality
(Mortality bestiality immorality)
Deaths ‘tween generations shared?

Film has its flaws can’t be denied***
But lands with a ‘FUCK YOU!’ thud
Speaks truth to power to arrogant pride
To the lust to spill all our blood


* (With shout-outs to Bien Lumbera, Frank Rivera, Vim Nadera, other carnivora)

** (It’s called Balagtasan, yo!)

*** (Would a man with a gun stop if confronted? Wasn’t the man attempting multiple EJKs (Extra Judicial Killings) at the finale the wrong man? ****)

**** (Meaning — those who plan to watch DON’T READ — shoulda been a cop not a drug dealer?*****)

***** (Still a worthwhile film)