How Jim keeps self in tip-top shape
Caridad Castillo (The Philippine Star) - November 20, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Fans and critics alike celebrated the film I Do Bidoo, a movie musical that featured some of the classic Original Pilipino Music (OPM) hits of the APO Hiking Society. The response of the audience to the film and to the APO’s music proved that the musical trio’s legacy is timeless. Moviegoers, both young and old, enjoyed the APO’s music even in today’s era of hip-hop and Korean pop.

Even though the APO Hiking Society formally announced its retirement in 2009 — and made a final series of concerts the following year — its music remains as fresh and relevant as ever: Expressing Filipino romance, optimism and light-heartedness as beautifully today as when its music first took to the airwaves.

Popularly known as the APO Hiking Society, the group’s original name was the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society. They formed as a group back in 1969 with 13 members, all students of the Ateneo de Manila High School.

The group’s name was created from the acronym AMHS, representing their school with a witty twist by making a reference to the sublime paralytic of the Philippine revolution, Apolinario Mabini

It was only when the group’s membership was pared down to just three — Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier — that the group became a best-selling act and, later on, part of the history of OPM.

They also became known as a major advocate of the musical movement termed OPM, a milieu in which their original musical offerings and cultural influence became vital.

Even though the APO is no more, they left an indelible legacy in the history of Filipino music: In the span of their professional career, APO was able to produce 27 best-selling albums and recorded more than 40 hit songs. A few of their hits were Batang-Bata Ka Pa, Blue Jeans, Ewan, Kaibigan, Pumapatak ang Ulan and Yakap sa Dilim.

After the APO retired as a group, each member went his own way. Danny Javier got a role in a TV drama, but then battled several serious illnesses that almost took his life. Luckily, he survived. Boboy Garovillo has also turned to acting and has been cast in several TV shows.

As for Jim, he is enjoying life as an inspirational writer, motivational speaker and radio host. He has authored several books. He’s still very much the songwriter though, although as he admits, his songwriting days as part of the APO are likely over. His songwriting is now a solo effort. 

 â€œWe are not writing songs together anymore.  And to anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening,” Jim says.

Without APO now, Jim found himself with so much time on his hands. He decided to be productive and continue being creative in other ways. He is now with The Philippine STAR as a columnist of Humming In My Universe and also hosts Radio Republic’s Past Forward, which made its debut last May of this year.

The disbanding of APO is certainly not a retirement for Jim. He is now a solo recording and concert artist. He even had a solo concert last month at the Resorts World in Pasay City.

With the many commitments and various pressures he is still facing, Jim needs to be physically and emotionally healthy to continue performing at his best. He says that he relies on complete nutrition to live life to the fullest. He attests to the importance of good nutrition for living a full and healthy life.

“There is a price for abusing your body with bad nutrition, too many late nights, or never outgrowing bad habits. All these speed up physical aging,” he wrote in In Praise of Aging, an article that he published online.

This is why, along with a healthy diet and exercise, taking a vitamin-mineral supplement is important. Centrum Silver is ideal for those who wish to live a full life, especially in the golden years and beyond. Centrum Silver is specially formulated with all the vitamins and minerals that are needed by adults 50 and up.

And even as Jim admits that he is no longer young as far as years go, he believes that it is not the end of his productivity and fulfillment.

 â€œWhile to many people, aging is a signal that one must begin to slow down, I just can’t see myself ever retiring. I can’t see myself (as of now) as someone who will deliberately miss out on what life may still throw my way. I know that my body may be too old to climb Mount Everest (although I still dream of doing it even a quarter of the way), but I subscribe to the saying that one is only as old as one feels,” he said.

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