Writing on Air

Writing on Air by Jim Paredes

Archive for December 10th, 2006

True love among men 26

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!”
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Write jim_paredes@yahoo.com if you want privacy.

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