The inspiring rappers from the Manila slums

Former gang members-turned-hip-hop collective Tondo Tribe tell Jason Lai how they found solace in music – and how it saved their lives

“I would not have got my life together if it wasn’t for rap,” a member of the Tondo Tribe, an up-and-coming hip-hop collective from Manila, tells Jason Lai.

The group grew up in the deepest slums of Manila – Tondo – and became gang members before they were teenagers.

But their lives took a more positive turn when, inspired by their love of music, they decided to form a rap group. Tondo Tribe now write and record their songs in their own self-built studio. Through their music, they aim to create a positive message that will inspire others.

Watch the video above to find out more.

Jason Lai is a musician and conductor in Singapore. His interest in Asia’s arts and cultural scene goes beyond music to the very core of what it reveals about the heart and soul of these countries.

Episode 4 of Heart of the Philippines screens on Friday 25 May 0655GMT and again at 0755GMT, 1155GMT, 1250GMT, 1350GMT, 1455GMT and 1655GMT on BBC World News.

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