Apl.de.Ap as creative advocate: I would like to help because Filipinos are the most creative

Maria Romero
PUBLISHED June 11, 2018 04:40 pm | UPDATED June 11, 2018 05:17 pm
Apl.de.Ap at the Creative Innovators Programme Press Conference. Photo by Maria Romero/Inside Manila.

(Inside Manila) Allan “Apl.de.Ap” Pineda Lindo’s beginning is a not a secret to everyone – he was born in Sapang Bato in Angeles City, Pampanga with legally blind eyes which made childhood difficult for him. But because of life’s strange course, his poor vision became his way of asserting his lucky shot at destiny.


Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an organization dedicated in finding a better environment for abandoned Asian-American orphans, extended its plateful arms to Apl’s family and that was the beginning of a copious life ahead of him.


Apl.de.Ap may be best known as part of the Grammy-award winning American hip hop group Black Eyed Peas but because of his arduous life experiences, he developed a life that gives back. Now, the Filipino African-American rapper is more than just a Pinoy hailed internationally as he is the founder of a growing foundation which is committed in empowering Filipino youth – the Apl.De.Ap Foundation.


In the “Creative Innovators Programme” press conference on Friday, June 8 at the British Council-Philippines head office, the rapper and creative advocate showed his support in changing the Filipino lives through creative innovations.


“There’s so many creative Filipinos but with no opportunity. I would like to help out and create that opportunity and that awareness ‘cause it’s a trillion dollar industry and Filipinos are the most creative people out there but we’re still broke,” he said.


Since Apl was also a recipient of creative innovation and foundation, he said he wanted to bring home impact-led creative hubs that can better support the Philippines’ creative industries.


“I wanna bring that back home because there’s a lot of Apl.de.Ap in the Philippines but they just don’t have the outlet and industry so they can have an employment and the same time being creative,” he added.


As one of the advocates of the program, Apl will go around the Philippines to give out scholarships and mentor the Filipino creatives. He also intends to open more opportunities for the creative Filipinos so they don’t have to leave their family to earn money.


“Sometimes we have the mentality of ‘Do it yourselves’ or ‘I can do it myself’ but this time it’s like how we move house back in the days. We do it altogether,” the rapper added.


Building Creative Communities and Industries


“Creative Innovators Programme” is a joint project of British Council and Department of Trade and Industry through Philippine Trade Training Center in partnership with Apl.De.Ap Foundation and the Design Center of the Philippines.


The said programme creates the next generation of creative community leaders in the country through a year-long fellowship for creative hub managers to “drive the synergy between creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship for social impact” through forming creative hubs.  


These hubs are organizations that offer safe spaces connecting people of different creative, cultural, and technological backgrounds. These spaces can also be an avenue to experiment, express, and incubate ideas led by the ardent and reliable hub managers.


Since these spaces are made to fill in the gaps in both creative and cultural sectors in the country, pioneers of grass-root spaces are trained to be resilient and volatile in producing products from scratch and educating their costumers or members while staying true to their values and principles.


There are so many ways hubs can help the growth of the economy. If successful, those can be a catalyst for urban regeneration through providing potential jobs and generating intellectual properties and it can also attract international tourists’ attention.



Green Papaya Art Project


In the Philippines, there are currently nine hubs committed in advancing creative practices and cultural professionalism: 98B Collaboratory, Project Space Pilipinas, Los Otros, Sipat Lawin Ensemble, Green Papaya Art Projects, Casa San Miguel, Bellas Artes Projects, Co.Lab, and Miriam College- Henry Sy, Sr. Innovation Center.


These centers, just like any other organization, are also facing multiple challenges along the way such as lack of funds, human resources, physical spaces, and recognition or buy-in from the public. But with more private organizations willing to fund the projects and people willing to volunteer, pioneers are hopeful that their spaces will thrive.


However, in order for the Philippines to suceed with these new business ideas and approaches, the British Council and its co-organizers are encouraging Filipinos to join their campaign hand-in-hand towards creative future for the whole Filipino community.

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