Apl de ap on new book, Christmas in PH, Black Eyed Peas comeback
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American musician Apl.de.ap continues to inspire the young generation with the release of his first children’s book, What’s Ap?: The Life Story of apl.de.ap.
Written by Yvette Fernandez and illustrated by Ray Sunga, the book takes us back to the singer’s humble beginnings in Angeles, Pampanga.
“I want to share my story because there are a lot of kids like me. I want them to follow their dreams, listen to their parents, and study hard. With a good education, you can be anything,” he said during the book launch in Glorietta, Tuesday, December 15.
Describing his story, he said: “This is a story about a kid from humble beginnings that was given an opportunity. He cherished that opportunity and now he has a good life and he want to give back.”
All proceeds from the book will be given to the Apl.de.ap Foundation, which helps build classrooms, send children to school, as well as provide medical help to children with eye problems.
“There are over 34 classrooms now, the last one we built was in Zamboanga. Ten thousand kids will be going to that school so I’m very happy about that. We had 14 scholars, they're top of the class and now they all have jobs. I’m so proud of them. I’m just happy to see other kids succeed, who had the same humble beginnings as me," Apl said.
“When I first built this classrooms and computer labs, I believed in the saying, ‘If you build it they will come.’ Now, I’ve been contacted by Google, because they want to adapt my computer lab and teach a teaching teacher program, so they can teach kids about computers. I feel like it's just the start, were just getting started,” he added.
On future collaborations
The Black Eyed Peas member shared that he is always looking for fresh talent to join his record label. Apl.de.ap said that The Voice finalist Jessica Reynoso has already recorded more than 25 songs in the US.
“Everyone is really excited to hear a fresh voice from the Philippines. Even my best friend will.i.am can’t stop talking about Jessica. He would say, ‘Where’s Jessica? I have more songs for her.’ I’m really thankful for the support of the people I work with in the US.”
When asked if he will be willing to collaborate with any of the Kapuso artists, particularly Julie Anne San Jose who has expressed interest in working with him, Apl.de.ap said that he is open to team up with anyone who catches his attention.
“I like to work with everyone, from international to local artists, any type of genre, I’m open. It’s the artist, you kinda have to see their aura, how much they want it, if they are truly dedicated, and the charisma. They have to love doing live shows – [those are the] things I look for.”
On The Voice
Apl.de.ap said that he is looking forward to doing another season of the popular singing competition, The Voice, if he were asked to come back.
“I love it! I love doing The Voice. Not just being able to mentor but also discover [new talents]. It’s the hardest show to do, ang dami kasing marurunong [kumanta] dito(so many know [how to sing] here) so it's like whenever you have to let go of someone, it always hurts. I always tell myself I’m not going to invest in emotions, ganun na lang (that's it), I’ll be very hard but then [when one of them gets eliminated] I’ll be, ‘Why???’”
The singer also shared that he enjoyed friendly banters with his co-judges Lea Salonga, Sarah Geronimo, and Bamboo Manalac. He added that there is no rift among them.
“I love that part, we kind of tease each other. It’s a friendly competition. During the show, it's serious but in reality we’re all friends. We’re all trying to do the same thing.”
On spending Christmas in the Philippines
It has been a tradition for Apl.de.ap and his mom to share their blessings with the Aetas in Sapang Bato during the holidays. The musician added that he also uses this time to bond with his godchildren.
“If you’re my inaanak, (godchild) you’re lucky. I like to make sure na may aguinaldo ka (you have Christmas gifts from me). My mom, she’s my to-go list. She’ll say, ‘Ito 'wag mo kalimutan sya, inaanak mo yan (Don't forget this kid, he/she is your godchild).' And then she’ll help me prepare it as much as she can.”
“It’s the time of the year to share, we have a tradition, me and my mother, we started it about 10 years ago. We just [put together] packages of rice, noodles, coffee, and medicine and we give it away for Christmas. Most of it goes to the Aetas, in Sapang Bato.”
Whats next for Apl.de.ap?
Apl.de.ap promises a very exciting 2016 for his fans. Apart from his solo album, Black Eyed Peas will also be coming up with new music by the end of the coming year.
The Department of Tourism has also partnered with the singer for their new campaign, Visit the Philippines Again 2016.
“I’m very excited about the DOT campaign because I’m going to be a tour guide, bringing back Phil-Ams to remind them where they came from, their roots di ba? I think I’m the dopest tour guide ever. I want to do it because it's leisure plus pleasure. You can have fun but at the same time helping out,” Apl said – Rappler.com