When we talk about TRIOs, there are only two groups that comes to mind when we make reference to Philippine showbiz and the local music industry – TVJ or Tito, Vic and Joey who hailed from the group VST & Co. but were later reintroduced as a trio in the sitcom “Iskul Bukol” and the longest-running noontime variety show “Eat Bulaga”.

The other group is of course – APO composed of the talented trio of Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Boboy Garovillo.

With musical careers that started as early as 1969 in the halls of Ateneo de Manila, APO formerly known as the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society (AMHS) or Apo Hiking Society came at a time when the country was placed under Martial Law and music became the only unrestricted medium for free expression.

The group started with 15 members and then college life happened and only three went on to continue what they have started. Four decades, 27 albums and countless of hits – Jim, Boboy and Danny made the right decision.

APO became synonymous with OPM or Original Pilipino Music, in fact, they were instrumental in institutionalizing the cause. All of their albums were instant hits creating some of the most memorable and most revived epic songs.

While the group have made some very memorable hits during the 70s and the early 90s but it was in the late 70s and early 80s when their music truly flourished.

Who would forget the songs:

  • Love is For Singing (1976)
  • Mahirap Magmahal Ng Syota Ng iba (1976)
  • Show Me A Smile (1976)
  • Pumapatak ang Ulan (1978)
  • Nakapagtataka (1978)
  • Pag-Ibig (1978)
  • Kaibigan (1978)
  • Batang-Bata Ka Pa (1980)
  • Bawat Bata (1980)
  • Doo BiDoo (1980)
  • Panalangin (1980)
  • Ewan (1980)
  • Princesa (1980)
  • Kabulugan Ng Buwan (1982)
  • Tuyo Nang Damdamin (1982)
  • Blue Jeans (1982)
  • When I Met You (1983)
  • Yakap Sa Dilim (1983)
  • Kumot At Unan (1983)
  • Anna (1984)

But here are some of my favorites from the other period:

  • San Na Nga Bang Barkada (1991)
  • Di Na Natuto (1990)
  • Syotang Pa Class (1990)
  • Awit Ng Barkada (1990)
  • Wala Nang Hahanapin Pa (1990)
  • Tuloy Ang Ikot Ng Mundo (1987)

Aside from the songs included in their albums, APO (Jim in particular) have written a lot of songs for other OPM artists as well.

To pay tribute to these OPM legends and their songs, 9 Works Theatrical in cooperation with Globe Live will stage this August the much-awaited Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!

Written and Directed by Robbie Guevarra, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is loosely based on the life of the original members of the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society during the early stages of the band’s formation. Set in the 70s and during the Martial Law era, it will explore the lives of a motley crew of students getting ready to take on a singing and songwriting competition.

More than a walk down memory lane, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! will be a thrilling spin on APO Hiking Society’s songs arranged by musical director Daniel Bartolome.

Leading the cast is Mark Bautista together with Jon Philippe Go, Jobim Javier, Alfritz Blanche, Jef Flores, Jon Abella, Vyen Villanueva, Rita Daniela, Marika Saaki, Sab Jose, Raul Montesa and Noemi Gonzales.

Rita Daniela and Marika Sasaki

Rounding the cast are Gian Gloria, Shalee Vicencio, Peachy Atilano-Guevarra, Anton Posadas, Jourdan Bartolome and Derrick Gozos.

Last week, I was able to talk to two of the show’s lead cast Rita Daniela and Marika Sasaki at the Uke Box Caffe in Manhattan, Cubao – they shared some very exciting revelations about the show. WATCH THE INTERVIEW BELOW:


Here are some of the things that they’ve shared:

  • They were not able to meet all the original members of the group, but Rita and Marika said that singer “Ric Segreto” was one of the original APO member.
  • The song “Blue Jeans” will be the show’s explosive opening number.
  • Rita’s favorite APO song is “Yakap Sa Dilim” which reflects her sensoul character while Marika said that the song ” When I Met You” is her favorite and dedicates it to the late Kuya Germs “The Master Showman” who became her mentor when she was just starting in the industry.
  • The musical will have a soft political undertone since the setting is during the Martial Law era but it will be generally about life, love and friendship. The story and music is something that young people (and millennials) can relate to.
  • The show is already gearing up for an extension since tickets to the show are almost sold-out if not fully sold-out already.
  • While the musical does not include the appearances of Jim, Boboy and Danny – Rita and Marika said that the trio will definitely watch the show. There maybe a slim possibility that the three might grace the stage which will be a spectacular event if they do.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! will be shown at Maybank Performing Arts Theater, Bonifacio Global City, on August 3-5, 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26. With shows scheduled at 8pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 3pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

For tickets contact Ticketworld at 891-9999.  


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