In Danny’s absence, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garovillo reweave the harmonies of Apo Hiking Society | Inquirer Entertainment

In Danny’s absence, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garovillo reweave the harmonies of Apo Hiking Society

By: - Reporter
/ 12:15 AM February 12, 2023

Boboy Garovillo (left) and Jim Paredes

Boboy Garovillo (left) and Jim Paredes

As Jim Paredes and Boboy Garovillo soldier on without Danny Javier, the two remaining members of Apo Hiking Society have to grapple with the fact that the endearing harmonies that have come to define the group’s sound will never be exactly the same again.

“It’s difficult … Jim and I would often discuss, ‘Who’s going to do Danny’s parts?’ Walang kapares ang boses ni Danny. So now, we have to put in the effort. But we’re thankful that we’re still healthy enough to project our voices, and still approximate that Apo sound,” Boboy said at a press conference for the upcoming Valentine concert “All Heart.”


When they do shows these days, Jim and Boboy enlist two backup singers—male and female—to help them fill the void left by Danny’s distinct baritone. The singer-songwriter died of “complications of prolonged illnesses” on Oct. 31, 2022.


“Our songs require three voices—we can’t do them with only the two of us. We thought it would be unfair [to the listeners] if the Apo sound doesn’t come out. That sound is really about the harmonies. We work on that. Our two voices will always be there, but we need a third one,” Boboy said.

Still, Jim and Boboy count themselves fortunate that their catalog of enduring classics has already taken on a life of its own. “We’re grateful to say that even if it’s only the two of us—or even if I’m singing solo—there will be a sing-along when we start performing because the people already know our stuff,” Jim said.

“The songs carry us now,” he stressed. “Back then, when we released new songs or recordings, you carry them. People would be like, ‘Oh, this is an Apo song, let’s listen to it.’ But once the song becomes popular, it doesn’t matter if there’s one, two or three Apo—it already has a life of its own.”

And they couldn’t be more grateful to have numerous hits that fit that bill: “When I Met You,” “Panalangin,” “Ewan,” “‘Di Na Natuto,” “Awit ng Barkada,” “Nakapagtataka,” “Batang-bata Ka Pa,” “Pumapatak ang Ulan” and the list goes on. “That’s why we’re still around,” Jim said.

Two types of artists

It’s said that there are two types of artists: One who sets the pace and the other who chases it. Apo was never one to hop on trend; the trio had always marched to the beat of their own drums.

“We wrote without following anything but what we felt. It was organic and real. And that sticks with the people, because you’re not being pretentious. That’s one thing. Another is that we didn’t try to emulate others, and be the whatever of artists of the Philippines. We just wanted to write songs that depict Filipino lives and love,” Jim said.


“All Heart,” which will be held on Feb. 14 at the Philippine International Convention Center’s Plenary Hall, will have Jim and Boboy sharing the stage with other OPM favorites like Raymond Lauchengco, Ito Rapadas, Wency Cornejo and Roselle Nava.

The musical numbers will be interspersed with video interviews with real-life couples and spiels of former deejay Joe D’Mango, who used to host the popular 1990s radio program “Love Notes.” Call 8891-9999.

“We have written so many songs, and we will choose some of the best love songs we have ever recorded for this show. They will be arranged differently from how many of you know it. What we aim for is to surprise and delight the audience,” he said. Last Dec. 8, Jim and Boboy played an intimate gig at 19 East—their first live appearance since Danny’s death a month prior. Some people assumed that the event would be a tribute of sorts to the late Apo lead singer. But it was, in fact, already set “way before” the drastic turn in Danny’s health.

“We had to cancel interviews for the show; we didn’t want to talk about it after what happened,” Boboy told the Inquirer. “We stayed quiet … Of course, we miss him.”

“For many people, Danny’s death came as a shock because they had no idea he was sick. But we knew about it. Danny was sick for a long time and was getting worse. So it was impossible for him to join us in our most recent shows. But even if we were already bracing for it, [his death] was still painful,” Jim said.

Despite the odds

But if there’s anything Boboy and Jim realized from that show was that, despite all odds, the magic of Apo is still alive and well. “I knew we had fans. But we’re no longer in the radar. We’re not on television. Young people listen to different stuff. It was just a small crowd, but the reception was amazing,” Jim said.

It was especially heartening to see young fans singing along. “There was a 17-year-old girl dancing and singing along. She knew our music because her parents played it often and they bonded together over it,” Boboy related.

Apo officially retired back in 2010. The deal among the three was that they would stop if they didn’t feel like performing music anymore. Danny never looked back after making the decision to quit—partly because he already had various health concerns to deal with. Jim and Boboy, however, were unable to completely ignore the itch to be onstage.

“We didn’t do anything for three years after Apo retired. But then, invitations to do small shows in schools, to sing at weddings came. That’s how it started again for Jim and me,” Boboy said.

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“Apo was born out of fun and friends. It wasn’t really about the money. We agreed that we would end it if we didn’t like doing it anymore. Danny didn’t feel like it anymore,” Jim added. “But that doesn’t mean that we should stop writing music. Also, people were like, ‘You can still do music.’ And so Boboy and I said, ‘Game!’”


WATCH: Danny Javier of Apo Hiking Society recorded own ‘sendoff’ song about death

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TAGS: Apo Hiking Society, Boboy Garovillo, jim paredes

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