Latest Stories

Apl.de.ap: You can be a hero, don’t be a zero


I had the amazing opportunity to meet Apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda Lindo Jr.), a member of the world-famous, multi-Grammy winning band, the Black Eyed Peas.

Apl. was born in Angeles City, Pampanga, the eldest of six siblings and raised by his Filipina mother (his biological father was an American airman who left soon before Apl. was born).

Not only did he come from a poor background; he was legally blind. As a result, he had trouble seeing the blackboard, making it difficult to take notes, causing him to struggle in school.

Later, his mother enrolled Apl. in the Pearl S. Buck Foundation (which helps sponsor and find better living conditions for  impoverished American children), where he would write letters to his sponsor Joe Ben Hudgens every month to let him know how he was doing.

When Apl. mentioned he had problems with his eyesight, Hudgens brought him to the United States for a medical consultation. Later, he was adopted, at the age of 14, by Hudgens and lived in Los Angeles. It was in Los Angeles where he met William James Adams (better known as will.i.am, later to become his fellow band member).

Apl. and Will then formed a breakdancing group, where they would perform at parties around LA, and eventually formed the Black Eyed Peas.

Songwriting process

I asked Apl. how their songwriting process works, and how long it takes them. He revealed that it varies, and they can sometimes come up with a song in an hour, while sometimes it can take weeks.

The Black Eyed Peas have gone on to be ranked 12th on Billboard’s Decade-End Chart Artist of the Decade. They have become one of only 11 groups to simultaneously hold the number 1 and 2 spots on Billboard’s Top 100 with “Boom Boom Pow” and “I Got a Feeling.”

Apl. also introduced Filipino hit songs: “Bebot,” “The Apl Song” and “We Can Be Anything.”

Now that he is financially stable, and one of the most famous Filipinos in the world, Apl. has decided to give back to his country by starting a foundation called the apl.de.ap foundation.

He chose to support the youth because he cherishes education. He also would like to give the youth opportunities and possibilities that he had. Apl. was quoted as saying, “Education is the ladder to life.”

The apl.de.ap foundation strives to help the youth achieve greater success through a stronger academic system. There are several projects ongoing in the foundation, such as We Can Be Anything, classroom construction, and also building libraries, music studios and computer labs in schools all over the Philippines. For more information on the projects, log on to WeCanBeAnything.com.

To go on to give so much back to the people who are in the same position he was in is truly inspiring.

From his humble beginnings to his extreme fame, he still retains the Filipino hospitality and bayanihan spirit. During my interview with Apl., I was impressed by his politeness, great sense of humor and humility. He remains a very simple person and is gracious to all his fans.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Allan Pineda Lindo Jr. , Apl.de.ap , Celebrities , Music , People

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Man found dead in Quezon City, alleged victim of summary execution–report
  • Aquino to lead Air Force turnover rites
  • Security in place for Obama as police hope for ‘peaceful’ visit
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician