Sep 14, 2023 | Press Release

The Cultural Center of the Philippines launches the Kanto Kultura: Baraptasan 2024, a national competition that promotes Balagtasan, a poetic joust attributed to literary master Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar, but with a modern twist.

Coined from two Filipino words Balagtasan and rap, the competition is open to all Filipinos, aged 18 and above. Interested participants have to form a group of three individuals; two playing as the opposing sides in the verbal joust (Unang at Ikalawang Magbabaraptas) and one mediator (Lakandiwa).

Each group has to submit a video of their verbal joust performance following the traditional Balagtasan, debating on specified topics, and building their arguments using rap.

Topics given include: (1) Sa pagsusulong ng kaunlaran ng bansa, aling paraan ang dapat gamitin – makabago o makaluma?; (2) Nakakatulong ba ang social media sa pag-unlad ng kaisipan ng mamamayan – oo o hindi?; and (3) Kailangan bang mangibang-bayan upang higit na mapaunlad ang sarili?

Since the Baraptasan aims to promote Philippine literature and languages, the verbal joust performance must be in Filipino, Ilokano, Hiligaynon, or Cebuano.

Deadline for the video submissions is on October 31, 2023. Submit entries via For inquiries, email

From the submissions, 10 finalists will be selected who will be invited to perform in the national competition, slated on April 6, 2024 in Manila, as a celebration of the centennial anniversary of the first-ever Balagtasan.

Each participating group will be judged based on their effectiveness in discussing the given topic (35%), their proficiency in rap and Balagtasan (35%), and overall performance (30%).

First prize wins Php300,000, while the second and third prizes will get Php200,000 and Php100,000, respectively. The other finalists will receive Php50,000 each.

To know more about CCP Kanto Kultura: Baraptasan 2024, follow the official CCP social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. You may also visit the CCP website for more information.

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