Avid viewers of The Voice Teens Philippines Season 2 were certainly delighted upon hearing the news of Coach Apl.de.ap’s return to the show and be reunited with his fellow pioneer mentors Sarah Geronimo, Lea Salonga, and Bamboo Mañalac. But more than us, there’s one person who is absolutely at her happiest right now because he’s been here in the Philippines for the longest time – his number one fan and beloved mom Cristina Pineda.
Those who have read or heard his life story know that he and his six younger siblings were raised singlehandedly by their amazing and hardworking mom in Barrio Sapangbato, Angeles City, Pampanga after his biological father, an African-American US airman based at nearby Clark Air Base, abandoned them shortly after his birth.
Being the eldest, it was him who had been their mother’s ultimate helping hand in earning a living to provide the everyday needs of their family. In an interview with Sunstar Cebu in 2012, Mommy Cristina recalled how the 43-year-old musician, whose real name is Allan Pineda Lindo, used to be their “delivery boy” as he distributed charcoal and other items to sari-sari stores and houses in their small barangay. He was able to do this in spite of his nystagmus, a rare eye condition that made him legally blind.
A great opportunity then came after his mother signed him up in the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which caters to Filipino-American kids who were abandoned by their US soldier dads after staying at the Clark Air Base. Fortunately, the organization was able to find him a sponsor who was willing to fund his studies and his medication as well.
His foster parent in the US had been their glimmer of hope in order for the young Allan to have a better life and brighter future. So, although it broke her heart, Mommy Cristina agreed for him to be adopted by his foster dad Joe Ben Hudgens.
As he’s able to finally achieve the life he only used to dream of and bring pride to the Philippines as part of the Grammy Award-winning hiphop group Black Eyed Peas, the The Voice Teens Philippines coach didn’t forget to give back especially to his beloved family. In fact, he even included them in the lyrics of some of the songs he wrote and they recorded, and even released a song in 2009 dedicated to his mom – “Mama Filipina” – and put up various enterprises for her and his siblings.
Coach Apl might be going to and fro the US through the years because of his professional commitments, but his bond with Mommy Cristina has been consistently strong, as what we can seen in their photos we collated in this gallery!