APO Hiking Society holds farewell concert in Cagayan de Oro

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

THE APO Hiking Society first gained recognition in 1973 when they gave a farewell concert at the plush Miracle Auditorium in Metro Manila. Just out of college, the group was the talk of the Atone de Manila University and adjoining campuses for their music and humor.

Looking back since that "farewell" concert, the APO has waxed 27 record albums, hosted several television shows including their own noontime Sunday show "Sa Lingo nape Silo," a variety show - which later on evolved to become the noontime daily show "Sang Lingo nape Silo," hugely successful major solo concerts and countless provincial, dinner and corporate shows - even free mall shows. They have performed in over 50 cities in the United States, in Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Bahrain, Honking, Guam, Australia, England, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Japan to bring their Original Pilipino Music (OPM) to Filipinos all over the world.

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A group of firsts, in October of 1987, during their annual US tour, the APO became the first Filipino pop artists 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 were officially sold out, as well as the other shows held during that particular concert tour. They were also the first Filipino artists to perform in a public concert in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 1987, they were the first Filipino artist to be recorded on compact disc. And in 1994, they were awarded the first Dangle nag Masking Pilipino by Wait Awards - the Filipino equivalent of the Grammy.

The APO earned international recognition for Jim Paredes' anthem on the bloodless Philippine Revolution of 1986. "Hangdog Ng Pilipino SA Undo" 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 APO is easily the most creative group in Philippine entertainment, both collectively and individually. They have tried their hands in all aspects of the entertainment business including record production and talent management and organizing artists through the hit songs they have composed.

It is as composers, singers and entertainers; however, that they have made their mark.

Trying out a language they knew only colloquially, the APO wrote songs in Filipino. In the process, they had to get rid of foreign clichés found in their English compositions like "Spring Days" and "Love under the Moon in June."

The result was a series of pop hits that were distinctly Filipino in mood and outlook like "Mahirap Magmahal Ng Syota Ng Iba," "Pumapatak Na Naman Ang Ulan," "Nakapagtataka," "Salawikain" and "Doobidoo".

In the process they became exponents of Original Pilipino Music, a cause they carried even when they wrote in English. "American Junk," a 1985 novelty number, is a protest against the pervasiveness of American Top 40 music on the local radio.

An APO concert both at home and abroad usually relies solely on original APO material. Yet, audiences unfamiliar with their work easily get caught up in the APO mood.

Observers attribute this to the universality of the APO's music. Their tunes are catchy; their sentiments forever young and optimistic. Others think it is their banter, their intelligent and humorous spiels on current world events and trends that keep the audiences entertained and asking for more.

APO followers know; however, that the group is more than words and music and jokes.

The APO leaves no one sacred when they pan society - their humor has evolved from jokes on the drug culture of their younger days to the political scene in the eighties, to the absurdity of life in the nineties. Despite the political flavor of their shows, the APO insists that they are non-political. Their brand of satire, they explain, merely exploits the current foibles and troubles of society and its main players. With these criteria, therefore, everyone is fair game.

They point out that the bulk of APO's songs and concert material is still about those enduring commodities - love and humor. In the final analysis, it is their indigenous Filipino songs, sweet, sad, bitter, joyous, funny, that have made Jim, Danny and Boboy three of the most enduring perennials of Philippine entertainment.

Now, after 41 years of OPM and friendship, record albums, thousands of live concerts in the Philippines and abroad, the Apo Hiking Society takes their final bow onstage in one of their favorite provinces, Cagayan de Oro.

"Daghang Salamat...Paalam nAPO Cagayan de Oro" is their last concert as a group to be staged on Friday, May 21, 8:00 in the evening at The Atrium of Limketkai Center with guest band Peryodiko to open the show.

Tickets are priced at P2,000, P1,500, P1,000, P700 and P300 and are available at the Customer Service of Limketkai Center and at Professional Organizers Office at (088)-8576223 or may call/text 0927-7727772, 0939-4034721 and 09226326869.

The concert is presented by Firebounce Productions Inc and Creativemediamax Inc. in cooperation with Professional Organizers Unlimited for the benefit of the community projects of JCI Kagayhaan Gold, and in partnership with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, BusinessWorld, Bandera, Pepsi, Bigby's, Missy BonBon, Dunkin Donuts, Dragon Fireworks, Brooks Premium Collection, Nature's Spring, Parasat Digital, YesFM, EasyRock, Killerbee, Home Radio, MOR, Sun.Star and SamRey Press.

Apo hiking society holds farewell concert cagayan de oro

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