A night of wit, humor and music
DIRECT LINE - Boy Abunda () - September 19, 2008 - 12:00am

Apo Hiking Society had 14 original members: Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Butch Dans, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto, Goff Macaraig, Doden Besa, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo who were all Ateneo de Manila high school students. Danny Javier joined the group in college.

The members thought of three distinctive names like Jose Rizal Bulletproof Vest Company, Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Kombo and The Purple People before deciding to call themselves the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society.

After they graduated from college, the other members left the group to pursue their individual interests. Now, only Danny, Boboy and Jim who have been together for 39 years remain active in the entertainment scene. They have become music icons and have remained a strong force in Original Pilipino Music (OPM). Simply said APO transcends age, genre, sex, politics and classes. APO is a phenomenon much like a well-behaved Nora Aunor.

The formidable trio will kick off a year-long celebration marking its 40th year in the music scene with a pre-anniversary concert titled Apo of the Philippines tomorrow night at 8 at the Araneta Coliseum. Any OPM loving citizen of this country should be part of this musical ritual.

The concert will take you to an exciting journey of the group’s unforgettable songs. Even one with amnesia will not forget Pumapatak ang Ulan, Awit ng Barkada, Nakapagtataka, Ewan, Batang-Bata Ka Pa, Mahirap Magmahal ng Syota ng Iba, When I Met You, Anna, Blue Jeans, Panalangin, Bawat Bata, Saan Na Nga Ba’ng Barkada, Show Me a Smile and Tuyo Na’ng Damdamin?. The music of APO has a fanatical following. Some of its songs are immortal Pinoy love anthems. But APO’s best songs I think are yet to come.

These classics came from the 26 albums that APO recorded throughout its enduring musical career like Collector’s Item, Pagkatapos ng Palabas, Twelve Years Together, True to My Music, Made in the Philippines, DalawampunAPOsila, Mga Kuwento ng Apo, Songbuk ng APO, Barangay Apo, Dating Alternatib, Mismo! and Banda Rito. During the concert, the group will launch its 27th album titled Jim, Danny & Boboy... The APO. The new album is produced by The Thirdline, Inc. (ably run by Butch and Beta Dans) and APO.

APO has performed in thousands of successful live concerts here and abroad. APO was the first Filipino group that performed at the Main Hall of the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York. The group has also done movies and had hit variety shows (Sa Linggo nAPO Sila and Sang Linggo nAPO Sila) on ABS-CBN.

APO is sometimes seen as a political force. Jim’s anthem on the bloodless People Power I Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo was recorded by 15 Filipino artists in April 1986. A few months later, its English version A New and Better Way was launched in Australia. In February 1987, the first anniversary of the Philippines’ People Power Revolution, the song was released in London, England. The lyrics of the song are embedded on a wall of Our Lady of Edsa Shrine.

Asked about the group’s enduring partnership, Jim proudly shared that its secrets are deeply embedded on friendship and respect for one another. “We’ve learned to act, think and work as one,” Jim said.

APO is synonymous to OPM. Filipino artists recognize its immense contributions to OPM and to the country. The group is a great inspiration to other local artists that two tribute albums, Kami nAPO Muna and Kami nAPO Muna Ulit, have been dedicated to them.

“I salute and respect the artistry of the bands that participated in that project,” Danny enthused. “Halimbawa na lang ‘yung Doo Bi Doo na ginawang hard rock ng Kamikazee. Ang ganda ng version nila.”

They have tremendous influence on other musicians, both young and not-so-young, that many have volunteered to give their support by guesting on the show. The surprise guests won’t be revealed until the concert.

You get the best and a complete package when you watch an APO concert. Danny, Boboy and Jim fire up the stage with their unique banter, wit, humor and beautiful music that go straight to the hearts of the audience.

See you at the Coliseum and have fun with Apo of the Philippines.

Sponsors and media partners are GMA 7 (Exclusive Media Partner for Television), MTV (Official Music Channel), Jollibee, Solid Works Advertising, Inc., Manila Bulletin, Business World, Jam 88.3, Crossover 105.1 and Furball.

Apo of the Philippines concert tickets are now on sale. You can call Ticketnet at 911-5555. For details, log on to www.apohikingsociety.org or call Thirdline at 426-0103 or 426-5301.

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