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On Jim Paredes and Apo Hiking Society
« on: April 09, 2019, 04:18:10 PM »
Written by Edwin G. Espejo
APO Hiking Society and Jim Paredes

People in our age bracket grew up and began to fall in love just as the Original Pilipino Music genre was bursting into country’s music scene.
The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, or simply APO Hiking Society, was among the local musicians who made indelible impact in this great period of Philippine music.
APO is composed of the trio of Daniel Javier, Jim Paredes and Boboy Gorovillo.
They were already popular at the Ateneo de Manila University while still studying college and held their farewell concert as a college group in 1973, just as a new Filipino sound wave was hitting the music underground. 

Their middle class origins made them chic and lovable. Their songs were catchy. Theirs were lyrical and their melodies magical. They were wholesome yet they got away with their sometime naughty wit.
But they were also very grounded even if their popularity soared with successive hit albums and golden records.   

They were in the peripheral, if not in the forefront, of the anti-dictatorship movement in the 1980s, in part, because of the siblings of Jim Paredes who were active in both the ‘natdem’ and ‘socdem’ anti-Marcos movement.  Her sister was in fact implicated in the series of bombings allegedly perpetrated by the Light a Fire Movement for which singer Nonoy Zuñiga lost a leg.

So it was not surprising that their popularity reached new heights after the ouster of Marcos as Jim Paredes and thereafter APO gathered 15 Filipino artists and groups to record “Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo” immediately after 1986 EDSA Revolt.

But alas, even the best of things never last.

APO Hiking Society bid their musical career goodbye with a farewell concert in Cagayan de Oro City on May 9, 2010 and their last lounge act was at the Music Museum 20 days later.  It was time for the most successful Filipino musical trio to retire and each go his own separate ways.

In 2011, the popular and iconic APO formally disbanded with the departure of Daniel Javier.

In 2016, their separation became more pronounced when two of APO’s prolific composers went separate ways and supported different presidential candidates.

Paredes openly supported Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas while Javier joined the then burgeoning Duterte campaign machinery and even made a pitch in Cebu City when the pro-Duterte Bisaya Na Pud Movement was launched.

While Javier chose to remain low key with his support of Duterte, Jim Paredes was very vocal in backing Roxas.

Jim was not only very vocal, he was also relentless in criticizing Duterte after the latter won the presidency. 

Paredes was very engaged and once even angrily looked and shouted at the very face of a youth supporter of the president in one of the anti-Duterte rallies.

Like many in his colleagues both in the “Yellow Army” and the “Black and White Movement”, Paredes took to the social media at the slightest provocations and miscues from the president.

To say he is one of the prime figures of the anti-Duterte camp is an understatement.

He can sometimes be very virulent and imprudent.

That carelessness took the worse of turns when a video showing him pleasuring his self made rounds and became a viral content in the social media.

It is a scandal that Paredes may not be able to recover as his advancing age may not be able to opaque his indiscretion over time.

He may have even given the pro-Duterte camp a solid image of how pretentious the obsession of the yellow army to decency and moral ascendancy.

When I tried to reach out to Danny Javier to make some comments over the issue, he politely declined.

He said he is busying himself with a new album as a solo artist. 

He is not too consumed on what Paredes’ act will impact on the legacy of APO Hiking Society as pop icons.

“The legacy is the music, It is bigger than any of us singly or combined,” he said.

Well, let us hope that it will work out fine for Apo Hiking Society.

I doubt, however, if it will do wonders for Paredes as a figure of the opposition.

In the meantime, I cannot wait for the release of Javier’s solo album.

Romans 10:9-10
"If you declare with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

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