MANILA, Philippines — The Black Eyed Peas concert “Where Is the Love? This Is the Love,” set this Tuesday at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Concert Grounds, is not just a venue to get a dose of the group’s electro-spiked hip-hop tunes but a special celebration of Filipino-American member apl.de.ap’s roots.
Speaking to reporters at their press conference Monday at the EDSA Shangri-La, the four-member group composed of will.i.am (William Adams), apl.de.ap (Allan Pineda), Taboo (Jaime Gomez) and Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson) expressed their fondness for the Philippines, the local fans and the Filipino culture.
Apl.de.ap described the concert to be a very important event in his life coming from the time he was adopted and taken to the United States from his hometown Sapang Bato, Angeles City, in Pampanga.
He said that it was “amazing… just to be here right now,” adding that the reception of the Filipino community for his Tagalog songs gave him the “motivation to keep on singing (and) share my culture. (It is) one of the great gifts I received from my countrymen.”
Taboo revealed how their group started out playing their music in Filipino communities in Glendale, California, “smelling of chicken adobo…and lumpia.” He said that it was also apl.de.ap who introduced him to “the beauty of Filipinas,” adding that he eventually married one who hailed from Cavite.
A close friend of apl.de.ap, will.i.am said that when his friend felt sad and homesick he would try to cheer him up by saying “one day we’re gonna go to the Philippines.”
But the welcome they received when they visited the Philippines was so much more than how he had imagined it, said will.i.am.
He also recalled the time when he told apl.de.ap how the reception of Filipinos for their songs were “special. America’s not gonna embrace this like the Filipinos do. You could do so much for (the) country.”
This has translated to the Fil-Am member’s work in sharing what he has achieved to Filipino children by providing computer laboratories to schools in his hometown, and the promise of creating 10,000 more classrooms nationwide through the collaboration of the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) and the apl.de.ap Foundation dubbed “We Can Be Anything.”
Apl.de.ap said that he wanted Filipino children to “have a place to develop their imagination and (have access to) technology…so they can compete around the world.”
Will.i.am said that he was proud of his friend for “not only (giving) back but paying it forward.”
The Philippines being the home of one of her closest friends whom she considers to be her “brother,” Fergie said she admired the trait of the Filipino community where “everyone sticks together…like a family.” She said that this character of the Filipino people was “a beautiful thing…that should be looked up to.”
Will.i.am supported Fergie’s observation of Filipino culture by saying that “America can learn from the Philippines when it comes to culture, family, working hard–I’m not saying they don’t work hard but we can learn from Filipinos.”
For Taboo, aside from the rich culture, the Filipinos’ tenacity was also a great trait.
The group revealed that their trip is also a chance for apl.de.ap to show them around the country as Fergie revealed that they were “seeing some indigenous spots…a little tour (the details of which are) very secret.”
“I can’t wait for them to taste my mom’s adobo, nilaga, tortang talong…and yes, balut,” said the Fil-Am rapper.
For the fans, the group said that they had a lot in store for them during the show, including an “important announcement” from apl.de.ap.
He told their fans that the concert was bound to “just be a good time, bring your dancing shoes!”
BEP, which has been on four consecutive world tours since 2004, promised to make the concert grounds thump to the beat of their catchy music on Tuesday, when they hold their much-awaited concert for Filipino fans.
Behind the BEP concert are INQUIRER.net, Futuretainment Inc., Music Management International, Smart and San Miguel Oktoberfest Beer Festival.
Among the sponsors are SM MOA, Cebu Pacific, Guess, McDonalds, Crocs, and Samsung Smart TV.