Allan Pineda: An Apl of the Pearl of the Orient Seas
“I'm proud of my culture.. I'm always proud of who I am”- Apl.de.Ap
WHEN PEOPLE WOULD SAY that someone famous internationally has a Filipino blood, I was often disinterested. At the back of my mind, I can’t help but think “Totoo ba yan? Sus. Makikisawsaw na naman tayo. ” My reaction was the same with Allan Pineda, more commonly known as Apl.de.Ap.
Back then, I always thought that if someone is a Filipino, just let him say so himself. Sometimes I feel as if we’re just forcing them to admit their roots, when in fact, they don’t really want to acknowledge it. However, this man did more than I expected. This man showed me what a real Filipino is like. He is even more Filipino than most of us. Let’s get to know him more, shall we?
1. Real Filipino Roots. He was born in Bario Sapang Bato in Angeles, Pampanga with a Filipina mother and African father. However, his father left shortly after his birth. (Wikipedia)
2. Humble beginnings. A single mother, Cristina Pineda, raised him together with six siblings. To help his family, he farmed crops. An American family adopted him through a foundation, yet he never forgot his family and continued writing letters to them. (MMK: The Allan Pineda story)
3. A journey to fame. He started off learning break dance in the streets of Pampanga. Starting off as a break dancing duo with his childhood friend, will.i.am, they founded Black Eyed Peas. Through hard work, their abilities were recognized and they became famous worldwide. (Wikia, WikiPilipinas: Apl.de.Ap)
4. A Reunion. As Black Eyed Peas became more famous even in the Philippines, he was more recognized to have a Filipino blood. Instead of hiding or shyly “embracing” that fact, he was very proud to proclaim it to the world.
5. Through his Songs. Traces of his love for this country can be found even in his songs. He surprisingly wrote some of his songs in Filipino language. Some of them are “Bebot” and “The Apl Song” which are also included in Black Eyed Peas’ album and ranked high on American Billboards and Charts.
6. Filipino Ambassador. Allan also became a Filipino Ambassador when he sang “Take Me to the Philippines” in 2009. This is in collaboration with the Department of Tourism for the “Take U to the Philippines” campaign. (Wikipilipinas: Top 10 Filipino Inspirational Idols)
7. A Heart to Give Back. The most heart-warming work of Allan Pineda is probably his Apl.de.Ap Foundation. Experiencing hardships and poverty himself, he built up a foundation committed to improving children’s life through education, technology, and music. In partnership with the Ninoy and Cory Foundation, an education advocacy campaign was born with the slogan “We can be anything”. (wecanbeanything.com)
8. With great pride. One of Apl’s heart-rendering performance was on Mnet Asian Music Awards 2011. There, on the final part of his performance, he sang “We can be anything” with children filling up the stage holding yellow balloons. The children sang the refrain part which is in Filipino. Hearing that, several emotions bubbled up inside me and I really felt like tearing up. (MAMA 2011)
9. Continuing on. Right now, Apl.de.Ap is a coach on “The Voice Philippines”, showing great promise in sharing his talent on other parts of the show.
10. Feet on the Ground. Even though Allan has already achieved a lot of accomplishments, he never fails to keep his feet on the ground. He is still a very simple man filled with love for the country and its people. His twitter account is one of the proofs. One interview account even said that they were impressed by his politeness, sense of humor, and humility. (Twitter (apl_de), The Philippine Daily Inquirer: Apl.de.Ap:You can be a hero, Don’t be a zero. By: Kayla Uytengsu)
Perhaps, nationalism is already an inborn trait of a person. However, only a few has the courage to express it freely and proudly. Apl.de.Ap was one of those persons. Despite the factors affecting his life, he still served as a reminder to Filipinos that we should celebrate who we are and be proud.
Personally, I really am very grateful to Apl. Thank you for reminding me how a Filipino should be. It’s not just by being proud of your roots but also, by giving back to your fellow citizens. I have always been fascinated by people who can give most of what they have to others. In this materialistic and selfish world, people like them serve as light in the dark. It inspires me to strive hard and one day, also become a light myself. Though it would take a lot of courage and heart, I hope that I too can leave warmth to the lives of many.
SHAINA ELLYCE S. BATAY is a high school alumnus of Rizal Technological University. Having been influenced by her high school computer programming teacher, she decided to take up Information and Communications Technology in the same school. She is currently on her 4th Year with high hopes of becoming a game/software developer. The author believes that rather than sharing a piece of your mind, it is more important to share a piece of your heart. Which is why even though her writings lack composure, she humbly hopes that she could impart a little something on everyone’s hearts. (E-mail: email@example.com)
Question for Discussion:
Nationalism is an admirable trait—it promotes love and support between the people of a nation. It gives each one of us confidence in raising our heads and becoming proud of who we are. However, if we think more closely, it sets a boundary between different countries. Doesn't that mean that it's bad for world peace and harmony? If this was the case, do you think Nationalism should be promoted or not?
Tags: Sociology, History, Philippine History, Araling Panlipunan (A.P.), TLE (T.L.E), Philippine Culture, Filipino, Kasaysayan, Ethics
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