APO Hiking Society

As Barney Stinson would say, "Legen... wait for it... ARY!!!"

The APO as a group has been longer than I have been alive. That means all my life I have been entertained by their songs and performances. Heck! I made sure I get to watch "Sa Linggo nAPO sila" when it was still showing in Channel 2. I always enjoyed their "Knock Three Times" segment. I still believe it is far superior in entertainment quality than "ASAP." But that could just me being biased. "'Sang Linggo nAPO sila" was harder to follow since it was daily but I did look forward to Saturdays. It is a much better family fanfare show than "MTB" or "Wowowee" I tell you. No gyrating girls needed.

photo taken from Amazon.com

I have always loved the group. I find myself feeling in love when listening to "When I Met You" and "Yakap sa Dilim." I wanted to have "Panalangin" as soundtrack to my wedding but Roj and Alwin beat us to it (it was their first dance). I enjoy singing with off-key voice to "Ewan" with wanton abandon.

Their songs of friendship strike true and strike deep. "Awit ng Barkada" chronicles perfectly the kind of friendship that stands through thick and thin. "Saan na nga ba ang Barkada?" echoes the nostalgia of friendship changed by time. "Pumapatak ang Ulan" is a perfect story of bored friends stuck in the house because of rain. I don't remember if Jim or Danny wrote this, but whoever did, wrote it only in two minutes while being stuck in a Baguio house during a rainy day.

photo taken from pinoygigs.com

And of course, their songs of patriotism and love of Filipino culture. "Lumang Tugtugin" heralds our classic folk songs and kundiman. I love how Pidro (Danny) makes fun of "American Junk." Even "Syotang Pa-Class" pokes fun at an ordinary bloke falling head over heels over a high society girlfriend.

It really is amazing how they are able to conjure up these beautiful or wacky songs. And they become more amazing when they perform. I've seen three APO concerts, including the last day of their concert last night. The first was their 25th year anniversary at the Ateneo, the second was their 35th in Ateneo de Davao and the last was their 4oth anniversary and farewell last night.

These guys are just natural comedians! Their singing voices blend wonderfully and so do their comic timing. Concerts become long and drawn out just because their spiels can be very long. But I actually find it entertaining because it was just like watching a bunch of friends make fun of each other in their living room.

They always have something up their sleeve. Last night, I couldn't stop laughing from their rendition of "sirang plaka" music of the top two most sung song in the world. Hilarious!!!

Last night was a very enjoyable concert. As their 25th anniv concert (I still can't get out of my head their W-O-W spiel. Retro!). From start to finish, I didn't stop laughing or singing. And there was that level of comfort even amidst strangers that somehow, everyone has something connecting them. And that was APO. When the show ended, I felt a little void forming in me. They showed a video clip of APO throughout the years. I just found out from Jim Paredes' tweet that they could not bear to sing the song because it was just too emotional for them.

Today, as I was listening to their music and reading a blog entry of a close friend of the APO, I found myself crying major tears. I was telling Jan, "It's like Pope John Paul II, they've been around since I was alive!" God knows how much I cried when the Pope passed away.

I can imagine how bittersweet it is for Jim, Danny and Buboy. To have seen so many people come and watch them and sing with them and laugh with them. 2,770 concerts since they began, that is what Buboy said. 27 albums according to Jim. What an achievement! I bet they have made millions of Filipino happy. They have become the soundtrack of many love stories and barkadas.

It must be so hard to say goodbye to that. But at the same time, you quit while you are on top. All good things must come to an end.

I remind myself to find joy that the first 31 years of my life have been sprinkled with the pixie dust of APO's music.

To Buboy, Danny and Jim... thank you for the precious moments you have uplifted our spirits with your crazy musical antics. You will forever be the score of my personal movie.


Ibyang said...

this is a nice piece Anj. it warmed my heart coz i also love Apo and proud of them. great talents, great songs and great Filipinos. i'm just sorry i wasn't able to watch any of their concerts. you're lucky to have watched their last show.

anj said...

thanks, ibyang. it's crazy really. naabutan na lang ako ni jan na nagpapahid ng luha (at uhog. yak. haha!) habang nanunuod ng farewell video nila. it's crazy all these goodbyes! pati si simon cowell din. (nge. ang labo. haha!)

Gerry Alanguilan said...

I love the APO. I've been listening to them since the 70's. I've been collecting their CDs as once in a while a rare album would be released. I still have a lot of their LPs including "Songwriter" a personal favorite. I really wanted to be in their last show last May 29. Seeing the video Jim posted on You Tube was just bittersweet.