Black Eyed Peas promotes the Philippines

Apl.de.ap in the PhilippinesHe could make a beautiful song out of "Filipino", "Bebot" or "Take U to the Philippines".  Apl.de.ap, or Allan Pineda Lindo, a Filipino-American member of the hip hop group Black Eyed Peas certainly celebrates his Filipino heritage through his music.

Recently, apl.de.ap has collaborated with the Department of Tourism (DOT) and MTV Asia to promote the Philippines through his music.  "I wanted to represent where I came from," said apl.de.ap. "I wanted to showcase all the beautiful spots in the Philippines and invite all Filipino-Americans to come visit the Philippines."

Apl.de.ap, who was born in Sapang Bato, Angeles City in 1974 and moved to the United States at the age of 14 with the help of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, said this is his way of giving back to the country.

A son of a Filipino mother and an African American military serviceman stationed at Clark airbase who abandoned them after his birth, Pineda grew up in the US where he teamed up with other members of the Black Eyed Peas.

Apl.de.ap said going back to the Philippines "keeps me grounded" and "reminds me of where I came from."  Aside from helping the Tourism Department in its campaign, he is also into charitable work, helping several students go to school, through his own foundation.

He also founded Jeepney Music, to serve as a platform to find music talents in the Philippines and give them an opportunity to win a one-year recording contract with Jeepney Music.

"As a globally successful Filipino artist, Apl is the perfect icon to represent our country and its fascinating destinations.  His music infused with Pinoy pride certainly makes this campaign fresh and exciting," said Tourism Secretary Ace Durano.

The project includes a music video called "Take U to the Philippines" which Apl offered as a complimentary to the DOT campaign.  The video was launched in Singapore on October 1 to a global MTV market.

Apl wrote the lyrics, with suggestions from Durano, highlighting local texture of tourist destinations such as warm blue waters, white sands, parties in Manila, Pampanga food, Filipino culture and hospitality and adventure rides.

Bill Roedy, chairman and chief executive of MTV International, said the Philippines and MTV have so much in common, in terms of being fun, exciting and intensely musical.

"Music is as part of the Philippines as our cultural heritage, there is just a perfect fit between MTV and the Philippines," Roedy said.

This collaboration is reportedly the first time that the media giant has joined forces with a country to promote its tourism industry.

Tourism Undersecretary Eduardo Jarque Jr. said the partnership aims to tap at least 55 million people in eleven markets through the MTV global network.

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