Apl De Ap Inspires Youth in Independence Day Celebration

By Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

June 17, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO – Alan Pineda, better known as Apl de Ap of the Black Eyed Peas is bringing his pride for his Filipino roots to the next level.

Pineda headlined a free evening concert on Saturday night, as part of the celebration for the Philippines’ 115th Year of Independence.

The event, which started at noon, was called “Kalayaan 2013: Celebrating the Legacy of Filipino Creativity, Talent and Ingenuity.”

It was not only a treat for Pineda’s fans…it also showcased Filipino food, entrepreneurs and performing artists.

It was organized by various Filipino-American community groups, in partnership with the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco.

Pineda, who was born in Angeles City, Pampanga, is son of a Filipina mother and an African-American father, who abandoned him after his birth.

Not only did he grow up poor, Pineda, the eldest of seven children, is legally blind in both eyes.

This Grammy-award winner has said that until he discovered hiphop, he felt he was not going to accomplish anything.

One of his brothers committed suicide. another was murdered.

Pineda was somehow lucky. Through the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which helps orphaned American children, Pineda found his adoptive father, Joe Ben Hudgens. Pineda moved to the U.S. and lived with Hudgens when he was 14.

He says his tough life and humble beginnings made his appreciate his success in life…and he wants to use his celebrity to give other Filipinos hope.

“I’m proud of who I am. I’m proud to be Filipino. And I like to encourage the kids in the Philippines to compete against the world,” he said.

Pineda gives back to kababayans back in the Philippines through his “We Can Be Anything” Foundation, which raises funds to build classrooms and teaching materials in poor communities in the Philippines.

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