Before a cheering audience of thousands, the full-blooded Filipino member of the world-famous Black Eyed Peas, introduced his latest solo composition, aptly called "Balikbayan." Here's an excerpt:
00:00:48 - Apl.de.Ap introduces his latest solo, "Balikbayan"
Since late 2011, the Black Eyed Peas has been on a voluntary and indefinite hiatus after years of hectic touring and recording. The break, according to its leader, will.i.am, allows each one of them to "pursue solo projects and get [their] personal lives in order" before returning to the public arena.
For Apl who has never lost sight of his humble beginnings, the break enabled him to focus on the Apl.de.Ap Foundation whose goal is to provide educational opportunities and facilities to poor children in the Philippines. In an interview with Fil-Am media, including Positively Filipino, last June 14 in San Francisco, the hip-hop artist talks about his vision of promoting education in his home country:
00:03:03 - Apl.de.Ap Foundation
The Apl.de.Ap Foundation partners with the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation in pursuing the "We Can Be Anything" educational advocacy campaign. Apl in fact has been officially designated special ambassador of education of the Iamninoy-Iamcory Movement, a role that he takes very seriously, drawing on his celebrity, his contacts and his resources to achieve his goals.
On the personal front, not many people know that Apl has been legally blind for most of his life because of a rare condition called nystagmus. Last year, he finally submitted to eye surgery, which resulted in partial correction that now allows him to see people and situation in more detail where previously they were all a blur. But Apl being Apl, he has not allowed his disability to limit him. Here he talks about how he has transformed his vision problem into an asset:
00:03:37 - Apl.de.Ap talks about how he copes with his eye disability
World-class performer, break dancer, composer, education advocate, philanthropist. Despite all the labels bestowed on him, Apl.de.Ap remains proudest of his being positively Filipino. Here he explains why:
00:06:04 - Apl.de.Ap is Positively Filipino
Video by Raymond Virata. Feature photo of Apl.de.Ap courtesy of Michael Rosales.