The APO and other bands
SOUNDS FAMILIAR - Baby A. Gil () - September 5, 2001 - 12:00am
Are the Apo Hiking Society getting a new lease on their careers by recording cover versions of hits by other, newer bands? And are these other bands getting a crack at immortality thanks to the privilege of being covered by the most enduring group in Philippine pop music history? I say yes to both counts.

After 30 years in the business, it is not only about time but also imperative that the Apo Hiking Society come up with something new and which would jolt the music buyers a bit. And this can be done by recording works by other songwriters, preferably hits. On the other hand, we should admit the only way a hit song can stand the test of time and stay alive for years and years is for it to be recorded again and again by different artists with different arrangements, preferably by major acts like the Apo. Otherwise, these songs, no matter how big they were and how much they sold during their heydays will simply slip quietly into oblivion.

The new album by the Apo Hiking Society does both. Titled Apo...Banda Rito it has the legendary trio performing songs popularized by newer bands that emerged during the past 20 years. If memory serves me right this must be the first time the Apo is singing songs they did not write themselves, save of course, from the Lettermen tunes of their early performing days. If I remember right again, Banda Rito derived inspiration from a live-recorded concert wherein long-established acts like the Apo did hits by newer bands like the Eraserheads and vice-versa. The concept was not only interesting. It was also successful. So why not an entire album? And here it is, Apo... Banda Rito, Pinoy Rock hits done in the Apo manner.

Choosing the songs for the album must have been a difficult task. The ’80s and the ’90s saw a flowering of rock bands in a manner that nearly sidelined all local solo acts and there is certainly a wealth of materials to choose from. But you cannot have everything. From the way the album turned out, there was definitely an effort to make it fully representative of that period but not predictable.

The Apo go for the grit and the edge and in some cases, the unexpected. Hence there are no songs by pop bands like Side A or Introvoys, we get instead the lesser known I-Axe and Orient Pearl. Also out are obvious choices like Huling El Bimbo from the Eraserheads or Habang May Buhay from Afterimage. We have instead the E-heads’ Pare Ko, although a watered-down version and Afterimage’s Tag-ulan.

The lead cut of Banda Rito is the romantic Harana by Parokya ni Edgar. The others included are Pagsubok by Orient Pearl, Ako’y Sa ’yo, Ika’y Akin by I-Axe, Karaniwang Tao by Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad, Ki-sapmata by Rivermaya, Banal Na Aso by Yano and Magasin also by the Eraserheads. There is one new Apo original in the album, Minamahal Kong Pilipinas.

Missed are songs by the Dawn, Color It Red, Youth, True Faith, Put3ska, South Border and others but then you cannot really have everything in one sitting. Should the Apo do a second volume? Perhaps but even if they decide not to, it is enough that they have opened the door leading into these music treasures just waiting to be tapped.

The Apo is composed of Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Buboy Garrovillo. They are the remains of a larger group that started as the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society while they were in school at the Ateneo way back in the ’60s. Among the songs that the Apo created and made famous are Mahirap Magmahal ng Syota ng Iba, Pumapatak ang Ulan,, Salawikain, Doobidoo, Yakap Sa Dilim, Di Na Natuto, Awit ng Barkada, Prinsesa, Batang-bata Ka Pa, Kaibigan, Tuyo nang Damdamin, Panalangin, Heto Na and others.
Kayla wins MTV award
Congratulations to Kayla. Her video of the song Hanggang Ngayon directed by Lyle Sacris, won the MTV Southeast Asia Viewers’ Choice Award for this year. The young pop star is the third Filipino act to win the prestigious honor after the Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar. It is unfortunate though that Kayla is unable to go to New York to accept her Moonman in person at the MTV Music Video Awards, which will be held tomorrow at the Metropolitan Opera House. No matter. She is still a winner and this is not only a big boost to her career but should also encourage other artists to come up with better videos.

APO APO HIKING SOCIETY APOLINARIO MABINI HIKING SOCIETY ARE THE APO HIKING SOCIETY BAGONG LUMAD BANAL NA ASO BANDA RITO CHOICE AWARD ERASERHEADS KAYLA
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