Peas group members apl.de.ap and will.I.am were awarded the Presidential Medal
of Merit today (July 27) at Malacañang Palace, home to the President of
the Philippines. The
Presidential Medal of Merit recognizes Filipinos and foreigners who bring positive
attention to the country in literature, science, the arts or entertainment. Executive
Secretary Eduardo Ermita awarded the rappers with the Presidential Medal of Merit,
as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was unable to present the award after being
hospitalized with the flu.Arroyo,
59, is being treated at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila. Doctors will hold
her there for at least 48 hours, after she contracted the flu welcoming displaced
Filipinos from war-torn Beirut. Apl.de.ap was born in Sapang Bato
in Angeles City in the Philippines, to a Filipina mother and an African-American
father. He was adopted by an American family at the age of 14 and came to the
United States. "It’s
a great honor to be in the Palace," apl.de.ap told reporters. "I’m grateful
to the Filipinos supporting the Black Eyed Peas, this was a big day for me."The
group performed "The Apl Song," which is based on the rapper’s life.
The chorus of "The APL Song" is based on "Balita," from 70’s
Filipino folk rock group Asin. They also offered a live rendition of "Bebot,"
which is Filipino slang for girl. Both
songs are taken from the group’s hit album Monkey Business.The
group is in the Philippines for a charity concert. The Peas are performing to
raise money for victims of a February 2006 mudslide that left over 1,000 people
dead in Southern Leyte, about 400 miles outside of Manila.