The APO: A musical legend

THERE ARE only a few people and groups in Philippine show business that deserve to be called ‘legends’ — and for obvious reasons (which few would dare to argue with), Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Boboy Garrovillo of the APO Hiking Society belong to that rare breed.

By Aprylle Liabres (Contributor)

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Published: Sun 30 Sep 2007, 9:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 8:51 PM

apoOn longevity alone, they definitely qualify as legends. Jim, Danny and Boboy (who first got to know each other as classmates at the Ateneo, to which the group traces its roots) have stayed together for more than three decades in the music scene — 38 years to be exact — and show no signs of stopping. APO has waxed 26 albums, mostly certified multi-platinum or gold records, and starred in hugely successful major concerts here and abroad. Last year, the music industry paid the group the highest tribute with the release of 'Kami nAPO Muna', an album featuring today’s most popular bands and artists singing songs that the APO popularised. The album became the biggest-selling disc of 2006 and was so successful that it spawned a follow-up, titled 'Kami nAPO Muna Ulit.'

Universal Records also released a special edition of the album which features the new versions alongside the originals recorded by the APO. The demand for the album proves only one thing: that even after almost 40 years in the business, the APO is still considered one of the premier musical groups in the country.

The funny thing about it is, the group remains solid and tight-knit, even if Jim has moved to Australia (where he now lives with his wife Lydia and children Ala, Erica and Mio), returning to the Philippines only occasionally. And despite the fact that each member of the trio has undertaken solo projects — Jim has been the most visible and active; aside from being a published author and columnist for The Philippine STAR, a music teacher and workshop facilitator, he was also Headmaster of Pinoy Dream Academy, which is reportedly returning for a second season on ABS-CBN.

Danny put up a garment company called Pidro, which spawned a consultancy company called Pidrocom, which has some of the country’s biggest companies as clients. Boboy dabbled in photography, and is interested in pursuing other things, like writing.

Many have wondered: so what is the glue that holds the APO together, even when they’re an ocean apart? For one thing, Jim, Danny and Boboy have been friends for years. It’s no secret that each one is godfather to the two others’ kids, and that they often get together outside of show business. “Definitely, the friendship counts for a lot,” says Jim. “But it also has a lot to do with how we see the group. We don’t see it as something that we have to stay tied to. For us, APO is a way of life. It’s been there for more than 35 years, and no matter where we go and what we do individually, it will still be there for us to come back to.”

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