I have been watching the blind audition round of “The Voice” the other weekend, when I saw a very electrifying version of Bruno Mars’ “Just The Way You Are” by a guy from Anchorage, Alaska.I kept insisting to my daughter he is Filipino, just because he goes by the name JR Aquino (I mean, we do get lots of Juniors and JRs around here, right, and the Aquino surname is a given.Filipino tiyak yan)and he does look Pinoy. Turned out his folks are from the Philippines nga. Gee, I hope he grows big like Bruno!
And speaking of Bruno Mars, he does have a Baguio connection. His real name is Peter Hernandez, born in Waikiki, Hawaii, but Hernandez (like Aquino, which we all automatically think of as Pinoy) is actually Portuguese, not Filipino. His mom’s name, though, is Bernadette San Pedro Bayot-Hernandez.The Bayots are from Cebu, but the San Pedro part is the Baguio connection.Uncle Sonny San Pedro (no relation.In Baguio, we call friends of our folks Uncles and Aunties, the way you guys call them titos and titas)is the brother of Bruno Mars’ maternal grandmom and he was, in fact, at Bruno Mars’ concert here in the Philippines over a year ago. He told me he even got some fans getting his autograph backstage, just because he is the lolo!