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Sapang Bato Kids
Written by Cherry   
Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Allan Pineda, Black Eyed Peas' apl.de.ap, is currently preparing a music video for a fund-raising campaign that will contribute education for poor Filipino children. "People Power" is the title of the song that will be featured in the video wherein children from his hometown or the "Sapang Bato kids" will appear in the video. The kids in Sapang Bato, including Aetas, inspired him to write the said song. After 2 months, the shooting of the video will be started. "Sapang Bato kids" came from Barangay Sapang Bato located in the former Clark Air Base. The residents depend on the garbage of the base to earn a living. After the Mt. Pinatubo's 1991 eruption, the village was declared a no man’s land. The current population of Sapang Bato reached 11,000 since since it was revived in 1993. At present, more than 2,000 elementary students and 871 high school students are enrolled in the school located in the said barangay. Mayor Edgardo Pineda and local leaders will soon start the screening of "Sapang Bato kids" for the video. The story of the video incorporated in the song is about less privileged kids. Their need for support and education for their life improvement will be emphasized.   Last Wednesday, Pineda launched the apl.de.ap Music Studio and Library at the Holy Angel University where he studied high school from 1986 to 1988. The Music Studio and Library with a floor space of 63 square meters is open to young people, especially those from the Sapang Bato National High School. The international hip-hop star is hoping that the new facilities would improve the high school's National Achievement Test score.

Pineda shared his life story to the students of the university. There were no facilities for me and will.i.am (William Adams, a fellow member of Black Eyed Peas). We went to the malls so we could dance and perform]. Sometimes we were kicked out by mall guards, Pineda told his audience of mostly students, speaking in a mix of Kapampangan and English.

AF president Victoria Garchitorena stated that Pineda's projects are supported by the Ayala Foundation and Philippine Development Foundation. The earnings from the sale of the "People Power" music video will go to the "MyLibrary" project of the foundation's Filipinas Heritage Library.  During his visit at the Holy Angel on Wednesday, students performed a medley of songs by Asin for Pineda. They also sung Pineda's song, "Bebot." According to Maritoni Ortigas, director of the heritage library, the library in Sapang Bato is the fourth MyLibrary project in the country. Dr. Arlyn Villanueva, Holy Angel University president, found Pineda to be truly inspiring by returning to his roots and express his music and charity work as a Filipino.

The Story of His Life

Pineda was abandoned by his American father, his mother sold native snacks to earn for their family. When he was still in school, he saw young men doing break-dancing on the street. He realized then that was he wanted to be. According to his mother, Cristina, Pineda was supported by California-based lawyer Joe Ben Hedgens when he was almost 3 years old. It was Pearl S. Buck Foundation Philippines which found Hedgens. On weekends, Cristina's son helped her sell the homemade snacks, do the household chores, and work on the farm and took care of his half-siblings. When Pineda turned 14, Hedgens brought him to the United States in 1989. [via showbizandstyle.inquirer.net]


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