APO Hiking Society Wows Australia

February 12th, 2024 · No Comments

By Benjie de Ubago

Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo

The APO HIKING SOCIETY celebrated their 50th anniversary of entertainment with a five state concert in Australia. After almost 14 years of absence, the two remaining APO members – Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo – stepped on stage once again to entertain Filipinos wanting to connect to a time long past. And they sure rocked Adelaide, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.
The death of beloved member Danny Javier saw the resurgence of APO music and Jim and Boboy were forced to come out of retirement and perform once again for their adoring fans. They retired in 2010 after performing at the inauguration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

Backed by a live band, Jim and Boboy showed they still had it! Despite their greying hair they could still do it – sing, dance and tickle the audience’s funny bones. From the tunes of yesteryears to a medley with traditional songs sprinkled with their usual witty antics, the musical duo were simply unstoppable.

The APO Hiking Society reached their peak in the seventies giving rise to Original Pilipino Music (OPM). Their music defined an era that tried to escape the harshness of the times. Their songs captured the hearts and minds of a generation. Their easy to follow lyrics spoke of simple daily lives – of falling rain; of school days; of ‘barkada’ & friendship; of romance; of dreams, aspirations and hope. Spliced with the APO wit and humour, they entertained packed audiences at all locations. Their songs have been unforgettable as generation after generation were reintroduced to the APO hits. In 1986, they released the song “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” which rekindled a new sense of Filipino pride after the EDSA revolution.

In addition to their top hits, Jim and Boboy also performed a medley of traditional Filipino folk songs fused with modern pop tunes proving the genius that is APO.

The APO Hiking Society started off in 1969 as a singing group of 12 members from Ateneo de Manila at a time when singing groups were the trend. The group originally paid homage to Apolinario Mabini but later edited the groups’ name to simply APO Hiking Society. Graduation saw the members go their separate ways. Danny Javier then joined in during their college days and Lito de Joya later left the group to join his father’s ad agency, Advertising & Marketing Associates. And then there were three. Since the death of Danny Javier, one of the beloved members of the group, there has been a resurgence of APO music. And so now there are two – Jim and Boboy.

From their first song to their last, it was a trip down memory lane and the audience was transported to a time when memories were made. They’ve performed at sell-out crowds the world over with bragging rights for their countless TV shows and records. APO received the “Tanglaw ng Lahi” award, the highest award given by the Jesuits for their contribution to Philippine arts and culture. The show was produced by Annabelle Borja Regalado of E-Talent. It was indeed a night of nostalgia and the APO Hiking Society can take their rightful place as legends of Philippine music!

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