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While the Philippine Allstars may be the current buzzword for hip-hop and dance—understandable, given the international awards they've won in recent years—it is the low-key fella JayMasta that actually broke breakdancing into the the local mainstream. [firstpara]

Not very many people know JayMasta or what exactly breakdancing is, or how a dude can dance like that. And so, for the education of us all, a Q&A with the premiere breaker of the Philippines.

How did you get into breaking dancing?
Hindi ako talaga into dancing. As a kid, I was more into Martial Arts, skateboarding. But in 1982, my auntie took me to the movie, Flashdance. May scene duon where the kids were dancing, doing the moonwalk, breandancing in the streets.

Duon ko nakita sarili ko. Duon ako nagka interest sa sayaw. After that, dumating yung pinsan ko from the States, from New York and California. Laban sila [ng sayaw] kasi iba ang style ng East sa West. Nag-exchange sila ng styles, I was caught in the middle.

Then in 1983, I went to California. Duon na ako nag-aral ng breakdancing. Aral, as in latag ng cardboard sa streets. After that, I went to New York to watch the Rock Steady Cru and the New York City Breakers. I stayed in the States for a month and then when I came home in 1984, [may eksena na].

How was the breakdancing scene then?
Ang sacred battle ground ng breakdancers nuon was in Makati, sa Quad. Sina Darwin Tuazon, Jerry Lingnam yung nag-ba-battle nun. They were popping, Electric Boogaloo. Yung Knapsnacks, sila na yung naging Maneuvers.

Francis M was with Solar Eclipse and they were battling it out with Body Shocks. Naruon din si Michael V, may mga taga-Clark, mga Pinoy na may halong Amerikano. May point system: kids and girls have higher points.


INTERVIEW: LOU ALBANO
PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL MONDOK

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