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A sweet plan to build a high school

Apl.de.ap and partners are hoping you love macaroons


IN TUNE with education (above) Black Eyed Peas’ apl.de.ap with Rivera; at right is Chandran

The government will have one less school to worry about after these three private institutions have built a public high school in an impoverished province in Mindanao.

Red Ribbon Bakeshop, natural ingredient company Franklin Baker and Apl.de.Ap Foundation are hoping to help ease the classroom shortage through Macaroons for a Cause.

During the launch of the new advocacy at Teatrino Music Hall in San Juan City, Red Ribbon general manager Zinnia Rivera said part of their macaroon sales would go to Apl.de.Ap Foundation for the building of a school in one of the Zamboanga provinces.

The Department of Education (DepEd) will help determine the exact location of the new public high school that will benefit more than 600 students. The DepEd data for 2010 show that the country will need close to 70,000 classrooms.

Allan Pineda, founder of Apl.de.Ap Foundation and a member of the Grammy Award-winning group Black Eyed Peas, said education was  “the only ticket to a better life.” His foundation is committed to improving the quality of life of Filipino children through education, technology and music.

Pineda talked about his own childhood and his struggles to get an education and help his family. He was born in Angeles City, Pampanga, to a Filipino mother and an African-American airman stationed at then United States Clark Air Base. Pineda’s father left the family shortly after his birth.

He said his mother signed him up with Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which supported abandoned or orphaned children and found him a sponsor through its dollar-a-day program.

It was his sponsor, Joe Ben Hudgens, who brought Pineda, then 11, to the US so he could get treatment for the rapid, involuntary movements of his eyes, a medical condition called nystagmus.

After the treatment, Pineda came home and studied high school at Holy Angel University in Pampanga.

Three years later, upon his official adoption by Hudgens, he left again for the US. He then attended John Marshall High School in Los Angeles.

Knowing how to talk in the English language proved to be advantageous, Pineda said, as it enabled him to tell his story to his adoptive dad and “to share my life” with the rest of the world.

“In every Filipino family, the children want to help their parents,” he said. “That was my goal … With an education, you can be anything.”

It is a vision shared by his partners in Macaroons for a Cause.

“We are confident that this collaboration will make a difference in the lives of the Filipino youth,” Rivera said.

Franklin Baker chair Sharon Chandran agreed that “education is an opportunity.” She said the Philippines had smart and creative people, who just needed the opportunity to become productive members of society.

Macaroons for a Cause aims to sell 4.2 million packs.

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Tags: Apl.de.ap , classroom shortage , Education , Learning , red ribbon bakeshop

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