RT Cunningham


What Does Bruno Mars Have in Common With the Philippines?

Bruno Mars At first glance, you probably think Bruno Mars has nothing in common with the Philippines, other than that he may end up performing there.

In fact, none of my Filipino relatives had any idea of Bruno’s connection to the Philippines until I told them about it.

No, he’s not a Filipino, but saying he is wouldn’t be far from the truth.

Now that Bruno Mars has appeared on a Super Bowl halftime show, I’m sure a lot more people will be interested in knowing more about him.

The Music of Bruno Mars

To be frank, I had never heard of Bruno until I listened to the music being played by a sister-in-law’s husband (Alex) at a party in 2011. During that party, we had both a karaoke machine and his sound system set up in the back yard. The default song that played on the karaoke machine was Justin Bieber’s “Baby”, which got kind of old pretty fast. Anything by Bruno Mars was too new to be on the machine.

I heard Alex play “Just The Way You Are” and “Billionaire” several times before I asked him who the artist was. After he told me it was Bruno Mars, I looked Bruno up and listened to a lot of his music on YouTube. I don’t know or care what categories or genres his music falls into, but I like it.

The Heritage of Bruno Mars

Although Bruno was born and raised in Hawaii, his mother and father weren’t. His grandparents on his mother’s side were Filipino immigrants (from Cebu) and his mother was a child when they arrived in the United States. His father is a Puerto Rican from Brooklyn, New York. Puerto Rican’s are Americans, by the way, because Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States.

In other words, Bruno Mars (born as Peter Gene Hernandez on October 8, 1985) is half Filipino and half Puerto Rican, if you want to know his ethnicity. He is, however, an American and I don’t believe in the hyphenated American thing that people tend to cling to.

Added to My Music Collection

I have hundreds of MP3 files on discs and hard drives and I’m being modest. They probably number in the thousands, but there are some that I never listen to anymore (mostly country). I’ve added songs from his albums as well as albums he was featured on with other artists.

I listen to a very diverse collection of music and I can’t tell you what I prefer, other than most it is from the eighties. There’s a lot of crappy music out there and I really enjoy it when I find the good stuff, even when it’s by accident.

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By RT Cunningham
February 3, 2014
Entertainment and Recreation