Alben meng manyaman, boy!

March 7, 2007

The K in Black Eyed Peas

Where is the Love, My Humps, and Bebot... Recipients of three Grammy awards, Black Eyed Peas (BEP) -- an American hiphop group from the United States -- is quite well known in the Philippines.

But if you think the foursome is all-American, then you might care to know that one of their members is from the Philippines. And not just from the Philippines, but from Angeles, Pampanga.

His real name is Allan Pineda Lindo, but uses APL DE AP for a screen name. APL stands for his real name. A friend of mine said that "DE " was used in a Spanish way, making it mean "of", and the AP at the end stands for his birthplace Angeles, Pampanga. No confirmations yet, but makes sense nevertheless.

APL is indeed Kapampangan, though we have never heard him sing in Kapampangan. His Filipino songs Bebot and The APL Song make use of English and Tagalog. However, in the first verse of the lyrics of the former, he mentions his place of origin, Sapang Bato.

Hoy, pare, pakinggan n'yo ako
[Oy, pare, pakiramdaman yu ku]
Eto na ang tunay na Filipino
[Oyni na ing tune Filipinu]
Galing sa Barrio Sapangbato
[Ibat kng Baryu Sapangbatu]
Pumunta ng LA nagtrabaho
[Mine kng LA, megobra]
Para makatulong sa nanay
[Bang makasaup kang Ima]
Dahil sa hirap ng buhay
[Kng sakit ning bie]
Pero masaya pa rin ang kulay
[Oneng masaya pa mu rin ing kulul]
'Pag kumain nagkakamay
[Ustung mamangan, manggamat]
Yung kanin, chicken adobo
[Itang nasi, arobung manuk]
Yung balot, binebenta sa kanto
[Ing balut, pisasali ra kng dalan]
Tagay mo na nga ang baso
[Itage mu ne pin ing basu]
Pare ko, inuman na tayo
[Abe, minum ta na]

And in The Apl Song, he recounts (in English) how he lived his life in Pampanga. It seems he was very much exposed to the farms and fishponds -- typical of the rural Kapampangan life.

Listen closely yo, I got a story to tell
A version of my ghetto where life felt for real
Some would call it hell but to me it was heaven
God gave me the grace, amazin' ways of living
How would you feel if you had to catch your meal?
Build a hut to live and to eat and chill in.
Having to pump the water outta the ground
The way we put it down utilizing what is around
Like land for farming, river for fishing
Everyone helpin' each other whenever they can
We makin' it happen, from nothin' to somethin'
That's how we be survivin' back in my homeland

Yo, its been a while but...
I been back home to my homeland, (check it out)
To see what's going on
Man, it feels good to be back at home
And it's been a decade, on the journey all alone
I was fourteen when I first left Philippines
I've been away half my life, but it felt like a day
To be next to my mom with her home cooked meal
Meant I felt complete, my emotions I feel!
Now life has changed for me in the US
But back at home man, life was a mess...
I guess sometimes life's stresses gets you down
On your knees, oh brother
I wish I could have helped you out

Ing kutang: So does he speak his Amanung Sisuan? Or is he another lingual turncoat? Before we answer that, let's take a look at his bio first.

Full Name: Allan Pineda Lindo
Alias: Apl de Ap
Birthdate: November 28, 1974
Birthplace: Sapang Bato, Angeles, Pampanga

Allan is one of the founding members of the international hiphop band Black Eyed Peas. Born to a Kapampangan mother and an African-American father whom he never met.

He grew up in a poor but loving family situated in the town of Angeles, Pampanga.

At a young and tender age of fourteen, Allan's mom and stepfather allowed him, with his consent, to be adopted by a kind-hearted American who will then take him to the US to have a promising future. Leaving his family behind really hurt him so much.

Allan believes that he would be better off living in a different country, in order for him to provide his family with all the pleasures that life has to offer.

During his eight-grade being a student, he began performing around Los Angeles district as Atban Klann with his friend Will.I.Am way back in 1989.

Allan poured his heart into singing and dancing for he is good at it. To avoid sadness and viciousness, Mr. Pineda spent most of his time composing some songs.

He originally composed the song Where is the Love, which is included in their latest album, dedicated to his brother who passed away. Second to that he wrote The Apl Song which was a mix of Tagalog and English, the lyrics were about his step father and his life while he was still in the Philippines.

His life was never easy. He experienced so much sadness, longing to be with his family back in the Philippines but despite all these, he survived and tried moving on.

Truly, there’s a rainbow always after the rain. After all that he went through his name is now known in the music industry and his star continuously shines in Los Angeles California. Their group is widely known as Black Eyed Peas and presently popular and enjoying sharing their talents around the world. He also CEO of the record label Jeepney Music, which operates both in Manila and Los Angeles.

End bio.

Pakibat ketang kutang.

YES: He does speak Kapampangan, and still does. For fourteen years, he lived in the balen, so he most likely had acquired Kapampangan, unless he was exposed more to Tagalog.

However, how he recounts his life gives clue that his area was dominated by Kapampangan speakers.

During his interview in MYX, I heard him make a greeting or short message to his kabalen (homies) in his native language, though he sounded balid. That's natural. Being with Americans in the United States, his fluency in the language must have been affected.

One thing is for sure though: He is not ashamed of his roots, of his language.

The next question now is: When will he contribute his talent to his homeland and its deteriorating language?


Anonymous said...

When I saw him last year here, he was so fucking awesome! Man, the audience went loco for this group.

...and he's small. ;)


TeacherGee said...

My american friends loved the song and asked me to translate it to english! I should have known about your site months ago!!!! Cheers!