The Throwback: 6 Beloved FlipTop Venues before Tiu Theater

Let’s take a look back at some of the most iconic venues that hosted FlipTop events.

Dante Romero
April 04, 2024

Almost every Philippine battle rap fan knows that Tiu Theater in Makati Central Square is the current “home” of FlipTop. It’s where the majority of the league’s events are held since 2018 and plenty of unforgettable moments took place here. How about before Tiu Theater? What were the famous spots for rap battles? Do you remember the place where the legendary Dos Por Dos match between Loonie/Abra and Shehyee/Smugglaz happened? Where did Batas win back-to-back Isabuhay Championships?

Let’s take another trip back in time as we look at six venues that remain part of FlipTop’s history. For the day-one fans, you will certainly remember them, including the significant matches that occurred in each one. 

Cap Center Cebu

Cap Center is where the first ever main stage FlipTop battle event in Cebu took place and became the home of Gubat from 2014 to 2019. The auditorium could accommodate over a thousand fans, making every occasion have that exciting “big fight feel”. Not only did we see epic battles here, but also the rise of some of the Visayas Division’s most beloved emcees.

San Juan Gym

In 2011 and then, from 2014 to 2017, everyone knew San Juan Gym as the home of Ahon. With a capacity of over 2,000, it’s the biggest venue FlipTop had so far. The place was packed each time the league held Ahon here, which shows just how renowned the battle emcees are. Thanks to the big crowds, you could feel the loud reaction even by watching it online.

Guerilla Radio

Only one main stage battle event happened here, but it was still very special. Guerilla Radio was the host of the inaugural Ahon, which celebrated the meteoric rise of FlipTop and the resurgence of Filipino hip-hop. It drew the biggest crowd for the bar, making way for other events such as Mindfields and the second Process of Illumination. Sadly, Guerilla Radio, as well as the next three spots, is no longer operational. 

Freedom Bar

Freedom Bar will always be remembered as the venue of the first ever Bwelta Balentong and Process of Illumination. The spot could only accommodate around 150-200 people so when FlipTop came in, they were surprised to see it so packed. Nevertheless, the audience enjoyed every second of the two historic events. Apart from Bwelta and the tryouts, the league held a few Mindfields Hip-hop nights here.


If you’ve been a solid FlipTop fan since the beginning, then you should know the significance of Quantum in Makati. It’s where it all began! The first Grain Assault (aka the very first FlipTop event) happened here and the rest is history. It started with a crowd of around 150 people, with everyone in attendance having no clue how big FlipTop would turn out to be. Quantum also hosted other epic events such as the first anniversary (Grain Assault 2), Zoning 1, and a few Mindfields nights.


Many would say that you’re not a real supporter of FlipTop if you don’t know B-Side. From 2010 to 2018, B-Side hosted tons of FlipTop events, most of which produced historic matches and moments. It’s been called the unofficial home of the league so when it was announced that it was going to close down in late 2018, emcees, fans, and the staff were devastated. It was a great venue that not only showed love to battle rap but also to Philippine hip-hop as a whole.

READ ALSO: FlipTop 2010: Where It All Started

Have you attended FlipTop events in these venues? Feel free to share your personal experiences and photos in the comments section. Thank you to each one for providing a home for the art form and its huge fanbase. We will forever cherish the memories. Two are still operational today (Cap Center and San Juan Gym), so never say never concerning a return. Fingers crossed!

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FlipTop battle rap throwback venue