Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

True love among men

Posted on December 10, 2006 by jimparedes

Humming in my UNIVERSE By Jim Paredes
The Philippine STAR 12/10/2006

This is a love story but about a kind of love that is not always written about. It speaks of a love that men are not comfortable talking about, and will rarely ever admit to, but something they surely enjoy. And that is the love men share with each other – the love men have for other men.

Many of my classmates and friends have golf, poker and drinking buddies and the activities they indulge in pretty much define the topics they talk about and share. In my case, I have two lifelong friends with whom I can talk about practically anything.

I am referring to two people I have been associated with for practically my entire lifetime. They are Danny Javier and Boboy Garrovillo, two people I can unabashedly declare that I love.

We began sharing our interest in music in 1969 in school, and since then we have practically been inseparable. Together, we have shared our lives and times, the good and bad and all the others in between from those innocent college days to the present. I actually first saw Boboy in 1957 when we were in prep at the Ateneo but I said my first words to him in fourth year high school when we traded guitar chords and decided to sing together to represent our school in a contest. We met Danny in freshman year in college also at the Ateneo.

Collectively, the three of us have written and recorded hundreds of songs, performed in thousands of concerts, done enough television to sometimes hate it, sang through martial law and two revolutions, and espoused many causes.

We have gone through many sleepless nights and long days inside recording and TV studios, on stage, in airplanes, cars, vans, buses, auditoriums, rehearsal halls, hotels. We have been filmed, given interviews, signed countless autographs, posed for pictures with thousands of people, taped shows, done commercials, danced, sang, joked and worked our asses off while enjoying ourselves.

Among us, there have been four marriages (Danny has had two), nine children, one grandchild, and countless travels and crazy experiences that would last more than our three lifetimes combined.

Before any of us got married, our prospective partners already accepted our friendship as part of the territory. In fact, for a long time, our children actually believed that they were all related by blood! Each of them has at least one APO godfather. We jokingly (but with a good dash of truth) say we know enough about each other to write the definitive book that will either glorify us, or send one another to jail.

Danny, Boboy and I have been a threesome forever. This probably is as close as male bonding can ever get.

In our earlier years when we were much younger, more competitive, hungrier and more ambitious, we were constantly on red alert, on call, ready to respond to the demands of showbiz at the drop of a hat. We were on the make and were eager to be famous, make our mark, have a hit record, have another, maintain a streak of hits, buy our houses, our cars, our musical gadgets and other big toys for big boys, our exotic vacations. We worked hard and we were sharp and ready for action 24-7! We were a S.W.A.T. team ready to conquer a big corner of the entertainment scene.

It’s been 38 years since we met. We have watched ourselves shine, rise and fall, win and lose, become depressed and angry and we have been there for each other every time. We have cried for each other’s children when they went astray, and shared the pain of losing our parents, leaving spouses, illnesses in one another’s family, lost fortunes and other disappointments. We have also seen and helped each other rise from the ashes again and again.

Sure, we have had our excesses as individuals; but thank God, it has never happened to the three of us at the same time. Someone is always sane enough to remind the other two each time they’re going crazy. Yes, we have definitely been good to and for each other.

We have been asked many times if we ever fight. Of course we do. And some of them have been pretty major. The song Awit Ng Barkada was written by Danny at a time when we were not getting along. I learned later on that he meant it to be a swan song for a friendship that he felt was slipping away. Luckily, we have learned to resolve our differences and have stayed long enough together to continue singing the song.

Resolving fights and hurts quickly is a skill we learned early enough since we realized it would be impossible for us to do what we do as APO if we hated each other’s guts, or disliked each other. The stage is a very honest medium; insincerity will always surface. So we have always kept our friendship honest and I think our audiences have sensed this.

We have seen each other’s faults, failures, and flaws, and have profited from each other’s talents, gifts and instincts. The best part is, we have accepted each other as we are and continue to do so even as we each go through our personal journeys that take us everywhere else. We have always believed that APO can only benefit as we grow individually and expand our shared wealth of experience. We know that as individuals, we are each no more than Clark Kent, but as a threesome, we are bigger than the sum of our parts.

We would not be the APO we are today without the great respect, sincere affection and, yes, love, we have for each other. For all his toughness, Danny can at times disarm Boboy and me not only with his sharp humor and talent but with his expressions of deep affection. Sometimes, an arm around one of them expresses it all for me.

Just so this public declaration of love for my partners is not misconstrued, I must share with you the usual answer we give when people ask us how APO has lasted this long. No matter which one of us you ask, the response invariably is: “No sex!”
* * *

Write jim_paredes@yahoo.com if you want privacy.

0 to “True love among men”

  1. sachiko says:

    That song,Awit ng Barkada is one of my favorites and i would surely listen to it from now on with a different perspective. I think guys are more adept at keeping friendships.as you have commented on my blog,we women tend to irritate each other every 28 days,i sometimes ask them when they are starting to piss me off if they are PMSing.. if it’s a yes,everything is ‘forgive and forget’ cos we can relate to this emotional seesaw we all have.

    kamusta na si ikaw..are you still in manila?

  2. Jim says:

    Yes, but will be gone in a week. Can’t wait.

    Robin Williams said nga na if women ruled the world, there would be no wars. Only intense negotiations every 28 days. ha ha

  3. Anonymous says:

    how i envy you now knowing full well how hard it is to find really good friends. i’ve lost several great friends over some really petty things, like lost school reports or missed exams. looking back it seems to be a lot of wasted tears and effort. then again, some people are not meant to stay that long.

    good thing you have danny and boboy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That’s a beautiful love story! Thinking about all the things that you three have experienced must make for quite an arsenal of memories.

    The benefits of your friendship have spilled over to your fans–through the music that we enjoy, the songs that APO created over the years as brothers and friends. Kahit na walang sex! Haha!

    I hope your Sunday is going well.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I love the story!!! It reminds me about the Three Musketeers or the Three Lamoks(my friend would call it). And wow!!! 34 years??? That’s a long time. How’d you keep a friendship like that last? Most of my friendships went down the drain, and I don’t know why.

    This is your last week here? And, will there be a 2nd season for PDA? I hope PANKY wins!!!! BTW, I didn’t see during the 12th expulsion night.

  6. Anonymous says:

    alam nyo po Sir Jim, i never really thought that the 3 of you go a long way back! and for you to have a friendship that’s withered all the tests of time? that’s truly admirable! i certainly would like to have that kind of friendship with the closest of my best friends.

    side note lang po sir… it’s quite a surprise for me to find out that Awit ng Barkada was written by my bestfriend’s dad!=) (Sir Jim bestfriend ko po kasi si Jobim eh… hehehe..)

  7. Anonymous says:

    What a great affirmation of friendship.

    Its good to know how you can keep it stong.

    Do they read your blog and do they comment on it?

  8. aidz says:

    i hope the eraserheads, (and some) had this.

  9. Dyep says:

    Masasabi ko lang po…

    Salamat APO sa magandang musikang inyong ibinahagi sa amin.. 🙂

    Sana hindi pa dito magtapos..

  10. Edong says:

    sir jim,

    ibang klase ka talaga mamili ng topic, matapang!

    Guys don’t usually profess their love for their male friends, (nakakabaduy) hindi ko alam kung bakit, basta yun na yon.

    Pero ikaw, you broke the silence in a way na hindi nakakaasiwa. Your passion for words resulted in a very nice interpretation of your love to your male friends, pwede palang hindi baduy.

    thanks for the inspiration…

  11. Jim says:

    hanne–you are right. people leave when it’s time to leave. ganoon lang yun.

    lizza –thanks. I think our fans shared in the friendship as well.

    tricia–regarding PDA. It’s a real cliffhanger. Your guess is as good as mine.

    triccy–yes, Jobim’s dad wrote that.

    leah–am not reallly sure if Danny and Boboy read my blog. Not sure if they read my books too.


    dyep–you’re welcome.

    edomng–as i always tell it in my creativity class, one has to ‘walk the edge’.

  12. Sam says:

    Sir Jim, out of stock ang mga books mo sa Natl Bookstore:( Di bale, I won’t stop searching….

    p.s./we’re really sad about Yvan. But what a ‘graceful’ exit, huh. For sure, God has better plans for him.

  13. Anonymous says:

    NO SEX! yes! or else baka nasa headlines na ulit 🙂

    what a nice read once again! 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    hello sir jim! thanks for the pics ng mga scholars in your multiply [: hope you wont get tired uploading new pictures of them especially now that PDA’s almost coming to its end 🙁 we all cant wait for the big night but we dont want it to end yet. huhu :(( the top 6 are so deserving. we will miss them so much.. i hope they get some special awards too. like, best in diction, dance, etc. since it’s real school right? hahaha. and they’re graduating so hopefully they get some awards too, most especially to those na hindi mananalo!! haha that’d be fun [: well, we’re going to miss PDA soo much! :(( are they going to go back to the academy after dream night po or hindi na? sana oo :((

  15. Nixx [: says:

    omg.. sobrang bagay po ni Ronnie and Irish. we love them both. haha sana sila ang ipair up sa labas.. they will both make it outside. handsome and gorgeous!! kakakilig ung habang may buhay rehearsals nila saka ung mga titigan! wheeee sana marami pa.. i hope they know how much people are soo kilig with them. hahaha EXAJ!

  16. Bass Poet says:

    Sir Jim,

    Ang pagkakaibigan at pagsasamahan ninyo ng APO ay panghabang buhay…It was born and meant to be.

    Isa sa mga pinakamatagal at tunay na kalinga talaga ang pinakita ng APO. Mula sa aking munting puso, saludo ako lagi sa inyong tatlo mga APO – ninuno ng tunay na samahan =)


  17. may says:

    you three are blessed to have such a deep friendship.

  18. haidee says:

    Sir Jim,

    Talagang blessing from God ang makahanap ng true friends. true, as in, in its ever essence, yung tipong they’ll still be there no matter what.

    Seeing you guys’ friendship is so encouraging and nakakatuwa 🙂

    sayang i miss your concert here in dallas last year. sana balik kayo ulit.

  19. Anonymous says:

    To the anonymous writer: What the hell are you talking about????? Jim is talking about his beautiful friendship with his friends and you come up with this crap. I know that everyone is entitled to their views butif you have such strong feelings, perhaps you should have your own blog site. Don’t put these negative, long winded views here.

  20. Anonymous says:

    wow. am touched by your new post, because i’m best friends with two guys, whom i’m bonded with through art, music, and questions about life. while reading your post, kept thinking if the three of us will stay that way even after marriages and children and grandchildren. really a heartwarming post! keep em coming, i love your writings. 🙂

  21. Anonymous says:

    its hard to keep to keep a friendship going on for so long..

  22. Anonymous says:

    i’ve learned that whatever crap one has to go through in life, what lessens the burden is true friendship.

    how one would envy the likes of the APO trio, i don’t doubt.


  23. Anonymous says:

    what the hell?!

  24. Fred says:

    Anonymous, you need to be put on medication! You are a nut, crazy, sira ulo!

  25. Neve says:

    SIR JIM! Wala lang po. Thought of dropping by just to say that it was sooo nice to have met you last Saturday night. Ako po yung nagpa-picture and you asked me how I enjoyed the show. Hehe. You’re so nice po! Super. I’m happy I now got a photo with you. Until then! You can visit my blog if you wanna see it, and read my entry about the Grand Dream Night. Great, great job! Never got this hooked to any show ever. I’m gonna miss it so much! 🙁 Gawa po ulit kayo agad! Haha. 🙂

  26. GreenMangoes says:

    I can so relate to this post, kuya jim!

    I also have a band right now. We formed it way back high school pa. That was 7 years ago. But we’ve know each other when we’re in prep pa. Naabutan pa namin ang isa’t isa na tulo laway, mukang gusgusin, pawisin. Simply, we’ve seen ourselves in the our most childish and immatured ways as kids.

    We also graduated in Aquinas School in San Juan, Metro Manila as “Loyalty Awardees”. Figuratively, we’ve been friends from prep to high school. Living our asses out from that exclusive for boys school from almost the rest of our younger years.

    Like the three of you, we’ve experience the joys and the pains with each other. And just by remeniscing it, I can only imagine yours.

    Right now, we’re planning to record a demo (a clean demo) and we’ll see were does the music and experience take us from then on. And perhaps, if in God’s blessings, we’ll see how we can take our music and experience to each soul. Like the APO EXPERIENCE did to all of us.

    As for us foursomes, no one said it’s going to be easy.

    36 years and counting for the APO, wow. As long as we sing..

    “Kung Gusto Mo, Sige gusto ko pa! Sama-sama tayo hanggang umaga!”

    the roller coster ride of our friendship shall last too! =)

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