APO Hiking Society

"Ten Years Together" redirects here. For the Peter, Paul and Mary album, see The Best of Peter, Paul and Mary: Ten Years Together.
Apo Hiking Society
Origin Quezon City, Philippines
Genres Manila sound
Years active 1969 (1969)–2010 (2010)
Labels Vicor Music
Universal Records
Thirdline Incorporated[1]
Associated acts Rocksteddy
Parokya Ni Edgar
Sponge Cola
The Dawn
Brownman Revival
Richard Poon
Noel Cabangon
Orange and Lemons
Website www.apohikingsociety.org
Past members John Paul Micayabas
Kenny Barton
Doden Besa
Bruce Brown
Gus Cosio
Butch Dans
Renato Garcia
Boboy Garovillo
Danny Javier
Lito de Joya
Chito Kintanar
Goff Macaraeg
Jim Paredes
Sonny Santiago
Kinjo Sawada
Ric Segreto

The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society, or simply APO, was a Filipino musical group.[2] The group had its fledgling beginnings in 1969 at the Ateneo de Manila high school, with 15 members:[2] John Paul Micayabas, Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Butch Dans, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto, Goff Macaraeg, Doden Besa, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garovillo. The group's name was created from the acronym AMHS representing their school with a witty twist having an irreverent reference to the paralyzed Philippine revolutionary intellectual and hero, Apolinario Mabini, and later shortened to "Apo", an Ilocano term for a wise man or a Tagalog term of grandchildren, and later re-branded to "APO" (all caps). Contrary to popular belief, the "Apo" name was not a reference to the Philippines's highest peak, the potentially-active stratovolcano Mount Apo.

As the students advanced into college, Danny Javier joined the group. After graduation, the majority of its members left to pursue individual careers, with only three members remaining,[3] made up of Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier.[4]

In the span of their professional career, Apo emerged as a principal adherent of the musical movement termed Original Pilipino Music (a.k.a. OPM), a milieu in which their original musical contributions and cultural influence became essential.[3][5][6] The Apo became involved in record production, talent management and organizing artists under the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (O.P.M., acronym translation: "Organization of Philippine Singers/musicians"). The group expanded its activities into establishing and furthering the careers of new OPM artists in the Philippines.[6]

To date, the group has released 27 albums in four decades of its career.[7] Two hugely successful tribute albums were produced in 2006 and 2007 by its management group, featuring numerous young bands freshly reinterpreting Apo's expansive repertoire.

The group frequently utilized their brand name, "Apo," as a clever component for Tagalog puns in titles for television shows, live programs and marketing materials, for example, as in nA PO, which transliterates as "already" (polite/formal usage), and also as apó (meaning, "grandchild"). The puns have been minimally extended into English, as in (APOcalyptic).


The Name "Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society" is actually a play on words: since Apolinario Mabini was paralyzed, it is ironic to put "Hiking Society" next to his name.[8]

The Apo Hiking Society first gained recognition in 1973 when they gave a farewell concert at the Meralco Theater in Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines. Just out of college, the group was the talk of the Ateneo de Manila University and adjoining campuses for their music and humor.

It was only when two of its four members were about to retire from the field of amateur music, however, that the APO, then known as the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, finally had a city-wide audience. One of them was scheduled to leave for Turkey as an exchange student. The other had a position waiting for him in his father's advertising firm.

Why a talented young man of 21 would want to go to Turkey, every young man in the early 1970s would probably understand. But what the APO could not understand was their fourth member's decision to leave the irresponsibility of being unemployed to join the ranks of the corporate world.

The trip to Turkey did not materialize and the APO, now a tentative trio, pushed on steadily towards fame and fortune.

In late 1978, APO Hiking Society nearly disbanded after Jim Paredes stormed out a songwriting session. While asking Danny Javier for a 3 syllable word to fill in a line, he was provided the word "katapusan"; a 4 syllable word. The error went unnoticed until post recording where an irate Paredes noticed that the word had indeed one extra syllable more than what he had originally intended.

Looking back, the APO members Danny Javier, Boboy Garrovillo, and Jim Paredes do not regret never having been regular wage earners. Their farewell concert, which had SRO audiences for two stormy nights, not unexpectedly became a hit record the following year.


In the three decades since that "farewell" concert, the APO has made 22 record albums; hosted several television shows including their own noontime Sunday show "Sa Linggo nAPO Sila" and noontime show from Monday to Saturday "'Sang Linggo nAPO Sila"; and launched hugely successful major solo concerts and countless provincial, dinner, and corporate shows. They have performed in over 50 cities in the United States, in Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Japan to bring Original Pilipino Music to Filipinos the world over.

In 1978, APO won 2nd Place winner in the Metro Manila Popular Song Festival (now MetroPop Song Festival in 1996 to 2003) for their runner-up song Ewan, the song was composed by Louie Ocampo.

In October 1987, during their annual US tour, the APO became the first Filipino pop artists with Marco Sison to perform at the Main Hall of New York's prestigious Carnegie Hall. They also performed at the equally prestigious Massey Hall in Toronto, Canada's music capital. Both concerts, as well as the other shows held during that particular concert tour, were sold out. The APO were also the first Filipino artists to perform in a public concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 1987, they were one of the first Filipino artists to be recorded on compact disc. And in 1994, they were awarded the first Dangal ng Musikang Pilipino by Awit Awards - the Filipino equivalent of the Grammy. They have also been conferred the Tanglaw Ng Lahi Award, the highest accolade given by Jesuits in the field of culture and arts.

The APO also earned international recognition for Jim Paredes' anthem on the bloodless Philippine revolution in 1986, the People Power Revolution. "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo" was recorded by 15 Filipino artists in April 1986. A few months later, the 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, the center of the revolution.

In 1998, Legendary OPM group APO and defunct band Eraserheads teamed up for their first "San Miguel Beer" TV commercial "Homeboys." The concept of reviving and modernizing their originals by rock/alternative bands in the 1990s paved the way to two tribute albums by various bands entitled Kami nAPO Muna in 2006 and Kami nAPO Muna Ulit in 2007.

In 1999, APO was also a finalist at MetroPop Song Festival for their song finalist Dito Sa Kanto, the song was composed by Noel Cabangon, then Cabangon covered his version in 1999 then re-recorded again a duet with Parokya Ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda in 2013.

In 2007, Jacee with the group was awarded as "MYX Magna Award 2007" in the MYX Music Awards 2007 achieving the best of opm pop music and also has an achievements in music and recording in the OPM history.

In 2009, APO was finally inducted to the Philippines Eastwood City Walk Of Fame, contributing their skills in both singing, hosting and acting.

APO Tribute Albums

Just a few years after their hiatus, the tribute album Kami nAPO Muna!: The Music Of APO Hiking Society was released in honor of the group. The Filipino musical artists who did their own unique renditions of The APO classics includes: Imago, Orange and Lemons, Parokya ni Edgar, Kamikazee, Sandwich, Sugarfree, Itchyworms, Sponge Cola, Boldstar, Sound, Drip, Rocksteddy, Top Suzara, Barbie Almalbis, Kitchie Nadal, Shamrock, and The Dawn. Their second volume, Kami nAPO muna Ulit has also included their new members in the compilation album are True Faith, Silent Sanctuary, Concrete Sam, Up Dharma Down, Chilitees, The Bloomfields, Scrambled Eggs, The Spaceflower Show, and Hilera.

Acoustic Balladeer Noel Cabangon also had a new tribute album to the pinoy pop musical group, Throwback: Ang Songbook Ng APO was launched in 2014 with features with his cover versions of popular various APO songs in his new album released by Universal Records.

2008-2009 Reunion

On 20 September 2008, Apo Hiking Society had a reunion concert called "Apo of the Philippines" which was held at the Araneta Coliseum to celebrate their 39th Anniversary. They sang all of the APO Favorites and all songs from their past releases.

On February 7, 2009, The Apo performed in the Open Air FTI Complex in Taguig. The free concert was sponsored in cooperation with the Taguig City hall. One month later, the Eraserheads had their Final Set Concert.

On November 17, 2009, the Apo Hiking Society marked their 40th anniversary with a big concert at the SM North EDSA Skydome. It was called "APO Kayang-Kaya Pa". This was originally scheduled on September 26 but was rescheduled due to the Typhoon "Ondoy" ("Ketsana").

2010 Retirement

Last December 16, 2009, the APO Hiking Society announced that they are already retiring as a group due to "diminishing creative process." They performed a series of shows that started on February 14, 2010 and ended on May, just in time for the elections.[9] They also reunited for the last time to perform in the Inauguration of President Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III last June 30, 2010.

Post APO Hiking Society

After APO were retirement from singing, the group still active in showbizness & still performing as follows:

Jim Paredes still works as a photographer, and also ventured into acting mostly in teleseryes on TV.

Buboy Garovillo is now on both movie & television acting careers.

Danny Javier still owns Pidro: Ang Saplot Ng Bayan T-shirts and recently acted also in Bangis on TV5 in 2010, and also recently as a guest judge on ASOP: A Song Of Praise Music Festival Season 3 in 2014.

Film Musical

In 2012, a movie musical based on APO songs was released. Titled I Do Bidoobidoo, it was released on August 29. The movie was inspired by Mamma Mia, a musical that was based on and used ABBA songs, which later became a movie.


Studio Albums

Live Albums



Tribute Albums



Films of APO

Television Shows of APO




  1. "Thirdline Incorporated's Profile". Thirdline Incorporated. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  2. 1 2 Lolarga, Elizabeth (June 1–15, 2002). "Apo Hiking Society After 34 Years: It's Still A New Day". Planet Philippines Online Edition. Archived from the original on 2008-05-19. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  3. 1 2 "Apo Hiking Society at Crossroad 77". Manila Bulletin. February 17, 2008. Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  4. "Apo Hiking Society History: Three Decades of APO". www.apohikingsociety.org. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  5. Panaligan, Jojo (2006-08-27). "Classic APO hits by contemporary acts in tribute concert". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on March 17, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  6. 1 2 "Promoting Original Pilipino Music". www.apohikingsociety.org. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  7. "Apo Hiking Society on Online Registry of Filipino Musical Artists and Their Works". Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit. 2004. Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
  8. Gelfand, Janelle (April 30, 2004). "In the Philippines, APO is legendary". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  9. Reyma Buan-Deveza (January 13, 2010). "APO Hiking Society bidding adieu to music industry". abs-cbnnews.com.

External links

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