Last night, musical history was made at the Hollywood Bowl. In LA, we had the first-ever concert featuring traditional Filipino dance and music, as well as modern dance and music, featuring current celebrities of Filipino descent. I knew I had to attend this event. And I'm so glad I did.
The mastermind behind the event was apl.de.ap, a rapper from the Black Eyed Peas. In fact, all members of the BEP were there (minus Fergie). Also featured was Nicole Scherzinger. The event was hosted by Lou Diamond Phillips. apl.de.ap is very proud to be Filipino and incorporates many elements of Filipino culture in his work. While he rapped and danced, videos of real native Filipinos were featured in the backdrop. The BEP sang some of their great hits ("Let's Get it Started" and "Pump It" among them), and so did Nicole. People danced and sang along. I'm happy to say that the audience was full of Filipinos that supported their kababayan, as well as non-Filipinos that came with friends introducing them to the culture or that just came out for a great time. Judging from audience response (very loud, and it was loud, despite being an outdoor venue), people had a great time.
I'm not much of a hip-hop lover these days, but I'm still a fan of the BEP. I admire their persistence and hard work. They really did struggle along, playing the college scene for years, before they became as famous as they are now. In addition, they're grateful for their success. This venue was relatively small, considering how well-known they are around the world, but they signed onto it anyway, in thanks to the Filipino community for supporting them from the beginning. They even expressed their thanks to the audience and to Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (a non-profit Filipino organization) for supporting them from their early years.
My seat wasn't great, since I got my ticket kind of at the last minute, but I got some pics to show you. I apologize for the poor quality (from top to bottom: 1) marquee sign in front of Hollywood bowl); 2) dancers performing the tinikling, a popular Filipino folk dance); 3) apl.de.ap, with Filipino choir members in various forms of traditional costumes; 4) from left to right: Nicole Scherzinger, will.i.am of the BEP, and apl).