They dominated the local airwaves during the '70s up until the '90s. They have become icons in the local music scene. But as they say, some good things never last. Just like memorable stories from a book that has a remarkable beginning; it also needs to close into a happy and stunning ending.
After four decades of timeless hits like "Awit ng Barkada," "Batang-Bata Ka Pa," "Pumapatak Na Naman Ang Ulan" and "Kabilugan ng Buwan," the remarkable trio of Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Buboy Garrovillo, better known as the APO Hiking Society, have decided to disband their group.
What is the reason behind the group's split up? "Kung si Oprah [Winfrey] nga nagku-quit ng TV show, e, right at her peak," said Danny in his welcome remarks at the presscon. "One thing I've learned about show business is knowing when to leave and not to overstay your welcome. Ayoko kapag uugud-ugod na, 'tapos sasabihin nila na bakit hindi na lang sila [APO] nagpahinga," he added.
But Buboy reiterates that the group is the only one who's going to retire and not their respective careers. "Kasi individually, through the years, we've found out that we have interests in other things. Like me, I do TV shows, I do hosting jobs also, I do some soaps. So, individually, we will be pursuing many other things," said Buboy. Jim will continue to write songs maybe for other artists and do workshops while Danny is considering of settling down in Mindanao.
There are number of artists who have just left the industry inconspicuously. Some just retired and vanished because they are no longer "up there." This is what APO tries to avoid.
"Gusto naming gumawa ng magandang paalam. Hindi yung like other artists, natunaw na lang, hinahanap-hanap...nag-fade away. Hindi kami magpi-fade away, magpapaalam tayo. So, maganda yun. Mas maganda kung magpapaalam," said Buboy as he narrated the plans of APO.
Danny also said, "Kailangan mong tuldukan habang sikat ka. Kailangan mong tuldukan habang mayroon kang naa-achieve. Fourty years is an achievement and is very difficult to replicate... in other words, happy ending."
But before they finally say that "it's over," they will stage what seems to be their "farewell" Valentine's concert at the SMX Convention Center on February 13, dubbed Last Valentine's nAPO nila. Produced by Beginnings at Twenty Plus, Inc., Star Express and SMX Convention Center, the show promises an array of timeless hits of the APO Hiking Society that will make this Valentine's Day really special.
Joining APO is singer/comedienne K Brosas who will showcase her comedic talents, making this show a combination of love and laughter. How does she feel that she is the special guest of APO's last Valentine's concert?
"Actually, nung sinabi na ako po ang kanilang special guest, di po talaga ako makapaniwala mula puyo hanggang talampakan. Pero nalulungkot ako dahil ngayon ko lang nalaman na last work na nila ito as a group. Pero natutuwa po ako dahil icon na sila at sa dinami-dami ng magagaling na singers/comedians dyan, ako ang napili nila. Kaya 'shit!' Yun lang masasabi ko!" said K. "Abangan n'yo ang gagawin ko [in the concert], dahil ang suot ko lang diyan, lotion!" she added with a laugh.
"We are very happy and excited that we are part of this event," said Beginnings at Twenty Plus, Inc. Managing Partner, Pelita Peralta-Uy. "This is truly a milestone for us because we are the ones who have started their last few stretches. We promise that this show is something that will complete your Valentine's Day. Producing farewell or reunion concerts is indeed a dream of every producer because this kind of show is a sure crowd-drawer and it somehow brings you a feeling of being a part of history."
Jim stated, "When it's over, it's over." To any concert that's there, panoorin n'yo na. To our fans, to our followers...everything ends. We're sorry," he said in a serious tone. "The best shows that we've done in our careers are happening right now. So if you've never seen APO, this is the time to do it. If you've seen APO before, this is the time to do it also. We're coming to an end."
Jim pointed out that viewers should watch their Valentine's concert not because it is their last as a group, but because it is a good show. And it will certainly make a mark in the history of the local concert scene. Knowing the contributions of APO in the OPM industry, there will be no goodbyes to their songs.
Watch the grand show of the APO Hiking Society on Last Valentine's nAPo nila! The concert will be held on February 13, 8 pm at the SMX Convention Center. Tickets are available at all Ticketnet offices at Tel. No. 911-5555. You may also call the 20 Plus, Inc. hotline at 753-1609 loc. 116 or at Star Express PLDT hotline at 334-9272.