apl.de.ap to Attend Groundbreaking for New Classrooms in Cagayan de Oro
Filipino-American entertainer apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas takes time out from his commercial engagements tomorrow, February 24, to attend the groundbreaking ceremonies for a two-storey building to house four new classrooms in Balulang Elementary School in Barangay Balulang, Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City.
Balulang Elementary School, which has 1,450 students, is one of many CDO schools that sustained heavy losses in terms of human casualties and damaged facilities as a result of massive floods induced by Typhoon Sendong last December. The body of one student of the school has so far been found, and nine other students are still missing. Ten of the school’s 27 classrooms, plus its science laboratory, were damaged beyond repair, requiring the construction of new facilities.
The school also lost 7,765 text books, 36 sets of television and DVD players, three computers and printers, as well as school supplies, teaching aids, reference materials, work books, and lesson guides, among others.
The Cagayan de Oro City Schools Division of the Department of Education estimated total damage to schools in the city at PhP17,100,000.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Sendong last December, apl.de.ap visited CDO for a first-hand look at the damage wrought on classrooms in the city. After that visit, he chose Balulang Elementary School as the site of the first classroom to be built out of funds raised through the “We Can Be Anything” (WCBA) education advocacy.
Launched last October, WCBA is a partnership between the apl.de.ap Foundation and the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF). Its main beneficiary is Bayanihang Pampaaralan, the consolidated private sector effort to build 10,000 public school classrooms to help address the severe classroom backlog nationwide.
The ongoing WCBA campaign has so far generated over PhP4 million from fund-raising events and online contributions through www.wecanbeanything.com. Much more will be raised through WCBA events in Boracay, Manila, Singapore, London, Cannes (France), and the United States in the next few months.
The advocacy concept was hatched after apl was appointed special ambassador for education of the iamninoy-iamcory movement, NCAF’s program to surface the heroic side of the Filipino youth in February 2011. Subsequently, apl composed the song “We Can Be Anything” to inspire kids to “get an education” to “change their situation” and achieve their dreams in life. A music video of that song became the main marketing material for the WCBA campaign and has been viewed countless times on television and online through the official and allied sites, YouTube, Facebook and other social networks.
Joining apl.de.ap in the groundbreaking ceremony are: Dr. Myrna S. Motoomull, Assistant Regional Director, Region X, Department of Education; Anita S. Gomez, Balulang Elementary School Principal; Rafael C. Lopa, NCAF President; Polo Molina, Manager of the Black Eyed Peas; and Audie Vergara, Manager of apl.de.ap.