A familiar tune was playing on one stereo as my would-be blocmates Gaby and Michelle and I were walking along Kaiser-Joseph Strasse. We had a late lunch/early snack in Uni Cafe, a welcome get-together of sorts for Gaby who just arrived last Thursday from Brazil. There was really nothing wrong with the relatively loud music playing along the street, except perhaps because it’s a Sunday, when the city center is pretty much like a ghost town and no street performer would showcase his talent on a Sunday.
It took me about ten seconds to figure out what was actually peculiar with the tune playing. I told Gaby and Michelle as I laid my finger on what concerned me; Bebot by the Black Eyed Peas was breaking the silence on this part of town in this fine sunny and lazy day, when all you should here are subdued conversations and humming of the trams occasionally passing by. I mentioned to my company that the hiphop beat they were hearing is actually in Filipino, and was sung by the famous hiphop group Black Eyed Peas, one fourth of which is Apl, a Filipino. I thought I would meet again some other Pinoys who must be living as well in the city, and I was expecting a young German hiphop group whose Pinoy parents must have migrated in Germany. As we neared the source of the groovy beats, I was surprised to see three young girls in their early teens perhaps who looked like anything but Filipino based on their features. Two were white and the other was probably of African descent, and the three of them were dressed in matching pink tops and pants which I assume is their costume. We stopped on our tracks as we tried to watch one of them groove to the song . One girl uttered something in German, and according to Michelle, she said we should give them something like a few coins for watching. We just went on our own business, wondering if they were just practicing for a performance, or were willing victims of child labor.
Bebot, by the way, is a a Filipino slang most probably adopted from the another colloquial American term, “Babe.” No, not the talking pig, but a “chick.” And I was fortunate enough to be with, not one, but two of them this afternoon. 🙂