Written by AJ Press

If there were a master’s degree for eating balut, Apl.de.Ap, or Allan Pineda Lindo, Jr. would have graduated with flying colors a long time ago.

The Black Eyed Peas singer and rapper is proud of his Filipino roots planted in Sapang Bato, Angeles City, Pampanga where he used to buy balut — a boiled and fertilized duck embryo considered a Philippine delicacy — from a street vendor in the corner and ride jeepneys to and from school. In one interview, Apl said he could eat balut even with his eyes closed.

It was also while riding jeepneys to Angeles City that the true blue balikbayan discovered the art of break-dancing, the talent that brewed his rise to fame in America with his high school friend and fellow BEP member will.i.am. He said he was enticed to try break-dancing whenever he would see Pampanga-native kids dancing it on the road.

His taste in music was well developed with his admiration for the Filipino band Asin, whose lyrics usually strike on the social welfare of the country and politics. “The Apl Song” bared his life in the Philippines and included the full chorus of Asin’s “Balita.”

Born in a poor family, the 36-year-old hip-hop superstar was abandoned by his African-American father and was raised by his mother along with six younger siblings. At 14, an American sponsor formally adopted Apl through the dollar-a-day program pioneered by the Pearl S. Buck Foundation for abandoned or orphaned Amerasian children.

In one report, Apl recalled he was chased by kids in school, curious of where he came from as his appearance strikingly differed from his American classmates.

Now that high school’s long done, Apl and the rest of the BEP: Fergie, Taboo and will.i.am are set for their one-night only comeback to Manila at the Mall of Asia concert grounds to bring good vibes and music to Filipino fans. Expect to hear some of their hits like “Boom, Boom Pow,” “I Gotta Feeling,” “Meet Me Halfway,” “Don’t Stop the Party,” and “The Dirty Bit.”

Futurainment Inc., a production company headed by renowned actor and successful restaurateur Marvin Agustin, brings the much-anticipated concert to the Philippines. Tickets range from as low as P800 to P10, 000 for VIP seats.

The concert this October 25 is one of the hundred shows the multi-Grammy Award winning electro-hip-hop group has sold out since their worldwide break through in 2004.