MANILA – How much is a four-decade old Filipino band worth nowadays? Apparently, at least 80,000 New Zealand dollars if you’re talking about the Apo Hiking Society.
That’s the kind of money Louella Docot is willing to spend to bring the trio of Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Buboy Garovillo to perform – in what could be the final time – in her adopted country.
The group, originally composed of 13 members back in high school at Ateneo de Manila, is currently on its farewell tour, which stops at Auckland on April 24.
According to the report, Docot needs to sell a thousand more tickets to just break even on costs but judging from the enthusiastic responses to the article, a lot of Filipinos in kiwi-land are likewise excited to see the band.
I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as a fan, but I do know most of their songs – there are hidden gems in their oeuvre that make for “killer” karaoke songs. Plus I know for a fact that Jim (let’s be on first-name basis since every Filipino who’s heard of music knows them anyhow) wrote that Edsa Revolution theme song “Handog ng Pilipino Sa Mundo” (not “Magkaisa”, which was written comedian-turned-senator Tito Sotto).
Like most people, I am familiar about Jim as some sort of an activist with his various causes. I read his column on Philippine Star, on rare occasions I get my hands on a newspaper (you can read his articles on his blog). His cohorts? Well, Danny owns a T-shirt line called Pidro and Buboy I often see playing the role of someone’s dad on TV.
WHAT I didn’t know is that they produced a total of 22 albums, that Ric Segreto was once part of the group back in high school and that they were the first Filipino band to perform in public in Saudi Arabia – which I now know thanks to Wikipedia.
I have fond memories of seeing them every afternoon on TV (“Sang Linggo nAPO Sila” is so, so different from Wowowee) but I didn’t know they were once movie stars – starring in the 1981 classic Blue Jeans (whose title was taken from their hit song) opposite Dina Bonnevie and then-matinee idol Alfie Anido.
I, maybe, was born a generation late enough not to have seen Jim, Danny and Buboy at their peak. But a lot more Filipinos, as far as New Zealand like Louella Docot, will always be fans of the group. But what about today’s generation? Well, at least, there’s Myspace.
The Apo Hiking Society farewell tour also includes a three-concert gig in California, along with stops in major cities in the Philippines before culminating at the Music Museum in Greenhills this May. For ticket reservations, call the APO office at 4265301/ 4260103, or email their manager Betta
(Photo taken from the Apo Hiking Society website)