The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society, or simply APO, was a Filipino musical group. The group had its fledgling beginnings in 1969 at the Ateneo de Manila high school, with 15 members: John Paul Micayabas, Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Butch Dans, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto Macaraeg, 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 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-activestratovolcanoMount 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, made up of Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier.
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. 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.
To date, the group has released 27 albums in four decades of its career. 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 Tagalogpuns 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).
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 citywide 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.
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 of 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 and Boboy Garrovillo 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, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Japan to bring Original Pilipino Music to Filipinos.
In 1978, APO won 2nd Place winner in the Metro Manila Popular Song Festival (now MetroPop Song Festival from 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 and the other shows held during that particular concert tour were sold out. The APO was also the first Filipino artists to perform in a public concert in 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 "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 song's lyrics are embedded on Our Lady of Edsa Shrine's wall, 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 a duet with Parokya Ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda in 2013 again.
In 2007, Jacee with the group was awarded as "MYX Magna Award 2007" in the MYX Music Awards 2007, achieving the best OPM pop music and his music and recording achievements in OPM history.
In 2009, APO was finally inducted to the Philippines Eastwood City Walk Of Fame, contributing their singing, hosting, and acting skills.
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.
On 20 September 2008, the 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 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").
Last December 16, 2009, the APO Hiking Society announced that they are already retiring as a group due to the "diminishing creative process." They performed a series of shows that started on February 14, 2010, and ended in May, just in time for the elections. 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 retired from singing, its members remained active in show business and are still performing:
Jim Paredes is still active in singing and also a photography hobbyist. And also a Liberal Party supporter who spouts his dismay on the current government.
Buboy Garovillo now has a career acting in both movie and television.
Danny Javier continues to own Pidro: Ang Saplot Ng Bayan T-shirts and recently starred in Bangis on TV5 in 2010 as well as appeared in Season 3 of ASOP: A Song Of Praise Music Festival in 2014 as a guest judge. As of 2018, Danny is retired from both singing and acting.
Danny Javier's 1st English composition was "Show Me a Smile.", while Danny's last English composition was "Just A Smile" which years later, before his retirement in 2007.
APO member Jim Paredes is also a main hobby photographer and also has a Twitter too.
APO's momentous farewell concert in 1973 at the Meralco Theater was actually a prelude to a 38-year professional career.
Boboy Garrovillo loves to act in movies, television and on stage.
Apo was part of the longest ever Balikbayan Roadshow in '75. US, Canada, Hawaii (57 city shows in 94 days.
Danny was born in the Visayas and Boboy in Mindanao, representing the three major islands of the Philippines.
The APO was the first Filipino pop Main Act at the Carnegie Hall in NY city in 1987. It was officially sold out.
The APO was the first act ever to have a concert in Saudi Arabia. Jeddah 1986.
The first Filipino movie-oke (musical film), I Do Bidoo Bidoo: Heto nAPO Sila! is a special tribute to the APO for being one of the greatest OPM Artists of all time. The movie was released in theaters on August 29, 2012.
APO was finally inducted as a star to the Eastwood City Walk Of Fame in 2009, which is similar to the pattern of Hollywood Walk Of Fame of California.
Commercials By APO
Absolute Pure Drinking Water
Cocobank (now UCPB)
PCIBank (now BDO)
Pidro Shirts (owned by former APO member Danny Javier)