How Jim and Boboy were ‘reunited’ with Danny in Apo’s 50th anniversary show | Inquirer Entertainment

How Jim and Boboy were ‘reunited’ with Danny in Apo’s 50th anniversary show

By: - Entertainment Editor
/ 12:25 AM July 24, 2023

The Apo Hiking Society (from left): Danny Javier, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo

The Apo Hiking Society (from left): Danny Javier, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo

While it may have had many of the same elements present in most anniversary concerts, the Apo Hiking Society’s 50th anniversary show last July 15 and 16 at Arete’s Hyundai Hall in Ateneo easily managed to elevate the concert-going experience by subverting conventional staging styles and musical tropes.

After all, which other shows could proficiently merge classic OPM hits, “kundiman” and regional folk songs (like “Bahay Kubo”) with the trendingly contemporary music of Bruno Mars, Basia or BTS, and back again?


“It’s not difficult setting up an Apo show, really,” director Leo Rialp told us the day after the concert. “They have a 50-year repertoire of hit songs, as well as the banter that accompanies them. But putting it all together is a challenging task.”


We did point out to Leo that while the Apo has a wealth of available, ready-made material to mine, it’s also the same reason why it’s easy to dilute its crowd-drawing viability.

Indeed, the concert benefited as much from the Apo’s musicality and showmanship as it has from chart-topping songs that are hot-wired into the music-loving psyche and sensibility of Filipinos, a versatile musical director (Bond Samson) who can fuse disparate genres with ease, and a seasoned director (Leo) who has long finetuned his mastery at dishing crowd-pleasing treats, tricks and antics.

For instance, even before Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo appeared onstage, the show had already turned what initially felt like a semiformal event into a rip-roaring interactive affair after a voice-over had asked viewers to rise to their feet—only to be winkingly told to sit right back after they stood up in compliance!

But all was quickly “forgiven” as soon as Jim and Boboy started the ball rolling with “Ewan,” followed by a merry mix of Apo’s signature hits (like “When I Met You,” “Yakap sa Dilim,” “1-2-3,” “Love is for Singing,” “Show Me a Smile,” “Panalangin,” “Nakapagtataka,” “Pumapatak ang Ulan,” “Blue Jeans,” “Syotang Pa-class,” “Kumot at Unan,” etc.) and lesser-known but similarly precious tunes that also deserve a snug place under the OPM sun (“Araw,” “Minsan Lang sa Buhay,” “Giliw”).

For much of the mood-setting and nostalgia-ushering “sing-along session” that followed, the audience members sang heartily with Jim and Boboy as they tried to fight back tears of joy, nostalgia and longing.

It’s a show that deserves a lot of repeats and should be toured all over the country and overseas for generations of Filipinos who know the group’s enduring songs by heart. (Call Betta Dans at 0917-5324556 for inquiries.)



The mood-making duality of emotions was even stronger and more palpable when Apo’s remaining duo had to alternately sing the distinctive parts that were left “orphaned” by Danny Javier’s passing on Oct. 31 last year—particularly in songs like “Tuyo ng Damdamin,” which took on a more somber, elegiac tone the rainy Sunday night we watched the concert.

Yes, “orphaned”—because as much as we love listening to Jim and Boboy’s light and pleasant trills, it’s hard to imagine any other singer approximating Danny’s soothing, soulful and deeply resonant baritone.

Imbuing the show with a more celebratory bent was the treasure trove of trivia that provided context to the night’s proceedings. To do away with too much exposition, it cleverly utilized the video wall behind the functional stage to share little-known information about Apo that could no longer be accommodated by Boboy and Jim’s spiels.

Among fascinating details that struck a chord with Apo’s fans that night included the group’s “farewell show” in 1973; the fourth member of Apo who had to leave the group to pursue an advertising career (Lito de Joya); the song that Danny wrote when he was on the brink of leaving the trio (“Awit ng Barkada”); and their last major hit (“Paano”) approximately 15 years ago.

They also talked about Apo’s undying political conviction (Boboy teasingly asked the crowd, “Bakit parang tumahimik na ang lahat?”); and how Danny coined the “more inclusive” term OPM (original Pilipino music) to replace the “citycentric” Manila Sound.

Jim and Boboy’s easygoing banter did manage to keep the doom and gloom at bay. But just as they were getting ready to wrap up the show, they proceeded with all guns blazing, putting viewers through the emotional wringer with a surprising one-two punch—and what mean and mighty punch it turned out to be!

Much-missed friend

Of course Boboy and Jim couldn’t celebrate 50 years without adding Danny into the bittersweet mix. So they projected a home video of the sick but stubborn Danny singing about his intimations of mortality via his self-penned song “Lahat Tayo,” written when he was coming to terms with his illness.

Even more moving was Danny’s inventively realized “reunion” with Jim and Boboy. As the opening strains of “Batang-Bata Ka Pa” began to fill the venue, Jim and Boboy sat on the side of the makeshift stage to give way to their much-missed friend performing the first part of the song. Then, they took turns singing the succeeding stanzas.

And just as the audience thought they couldn’t cry any longer, Danny’s eldest son Jobim came out onstage to fill the void left by his father and finished the song with his dad’s now deeply emotional friends. Not even an ill-timed technical glitch could throw a spanner in the works!

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More than any portion of the concert, it was this segment of the show that astutely demonstrated what it is about music that allows people’s memories to linger and their legacy to live on for all eternity. INQ

TAGS: Apo Hiking Society, Entertainment

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