Thursday, September 23, 2010


“Mi si nuff a dem a natty up dem head fi get exposure, But a real Rasta Man nuh run down riches like Dover, Dem impersonating Rasta, But mi Rasta friend dem seh bun up a Rasta imposter Natty up dem head fi ketch a hype up, Seh dem a rasta, but Rasta livity dem nah hoist up, Wha’ kind a food that dem a bite up, Dem seh dem a Ras, what kind of girl that dem a wife up” - Konshens

A documentary of ABS CBN's The Correspondents entitled Pinoy Rasta which tackles the so called Rastafarian culture in the Philippines. This was banned by the MTRCB for featuring the actual smoking of marijuana of a young man in the presence of his father who, in turn, confessed that he smoked marijuana with his son occasionally.

The documentary was about a movement called Rastafari, a Jamaican religious practice adopted by some Filipinos as a way of life. Those interviewed were reggae artist from Budoy of Junior Kilat, Papadom, Reggae Misstress, Brownman Revival and Eurasia. They say that reggae goes hand in hand with the Rastafarian culture which was founded in Jamaica in the 30s.

At the course of the documentary people were interviewed randomly in reggae bars. and it clearly shows that they are misguided. These individuals doesn't knew what Rasta really meant they just went there to experience the vibe. Eurasia the first Filipino band to play reggae music in the late 1970's said that there are some misconceptions regarding this movement. Some people think that rastafari is all about Bob Marley worshiping and ganja smoking. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Most shallow minded folks took it as a fashion statement and wear wristbands the color of the Jamaican flag without even knowing what it meant. The colors of the flag meant that red stands for the blood of the martyrs in the black struggle for liberation, gold for the wealth of their African homeland and green symbolizes Ethiopia's beauty and lush vegetation. These individuals also uses ganja under the religious justification defense and all the monetary benefits one may get from this has caused it to become a fad and had given the rastafari movement a bad reputation due to these misguided rent a dreads.

When some of them were asked why they are sporting a dreadlock the reply was that they just wanted to look cool. Rastafarians grow their hair into dreadlocks because it is a part of the Nazarite Vow. though not universal among, or exclusive to, its adherents Rastas maintain that locks are supported by Levicticus 21:5. To them the hairstyle symbolizes the mane of the lion in the Lion of Judah.

The most famous practitioner of this movement was Robert Nesta Marley of The Wailers. This monotheistic new religious movement that arose in a Christian culture in Jamaica in the 1930s is said to believe that Jah is a being in the form of the Holy Trinity they say that Emperor Haile Sellassie I of Ethiopia is a manifestation of Jesus Christ. They hold that the smoking of cannabis enjoys Biblical sanction, and is an aid to meditation and religious observance.

Most people used rasta as an escape goat to use cannabis and this is in fact true. Some of the people in our country use that excuse without even knowing the ideology behind it. If they believe they are "rastas" then they should be strictly vegan and rejects the use of alcohol kinda like a punk rocker that adheres to the straight edge lifestyle, but unfortunately most of them are carnivores and drank like a fish.

Reggae music was the voice of the people a voice coming from the heart as they say. This music shouts for change in our society not only in Jamaica but the whole world in general. It is quite disheartening that some had misused reggae as a fashion, Reggae music is what took Rastafari to the world and Rastafari took Reggae music to the world. The people who have used rastafari as an excuse to abuse cannabis reflected a negative image for the movement but for Chang of Reggae Mistress she was optimistic and glad because of the boom in the scene telling the interviewer "that it is good that the music is here rather than not having it here"

Even though the sound and the message is different, referring to old OPM songs that were revived and turned into reggae versions. Brownman's front man reacted to that and said that they are just going with the tide and are just doing songs that the masses wanted to listen to, "if people wanted love songs so be it, let us give it to them." All of the personalities behind the music agreed in one point that there is no such thing as a real Pinoy Rasta, that devoutly follows what the rastafarians do all over in Jamaica.

Dino of Brownman Revival confessed that he is not associated with the Rasta, movement Papadom of Tropical Depression said "i tried but i really couldn't do it". All these people who are associated with reggae and rastafari movement all wanted one thing, and that is they don't want the people to forget what the true message and purpose of the music is which is peace, love and social action. So to the guy who sports a dreadlock and lights up a big spliff and think that rastafari is a fashion statement think again don't pretend to be what you are not. Rastafari is cool a poser is not. If you wanna bun a one just be yourself and make sure to pass that kutchie.