I am reprinting a write up by Joey De leon, APO’s long time colleague, competitor and (though little known to everyone) a friend of long standing. Read his account of when we all met, in the style that only Joey can muster. Salamat Joey
ME, STARZAN By Joey de Leon
Sunday, September 14, 2008
KURAK, TUMPAK, S’YANG TOTOO AT TAMA PO,
ANG INYONG KOLUMNISTA AY MAY PANGAKO —
MAY PAGKILALA’T PARANGAL NGAYONG LINGGO
SA APO HIKING NA AKING PABORITO.
AT SIYANG TUNAY PO ANG NABASA NINYO,
SA AKIN PO’Y PINAKADAKILA ITO —
SA LAHAT NA NG LUMPO O LUMANG GRUPO,
ANG NUMERO UNO SA AKIN AY APO.
HOY, HOY, HOY, ALAHOY! HUWAG MAGTATAMPO —
MABUTI NA NGANG LUMPO ANG ITAWAG KO,
KAYSA NAMAN LASING — O ‘YAN, GUSTO NINYO?
LAOS NA SINGER, IBIG SABIHIN NITO.
ORIHINAL NA TUGTUGING PILIPINO —
SA PALAGAY KO’Y DITO’Y WALANG TATALO
SA TATLONG LALAKING TAGA-ATENEO,
SA KANILA KASI LAHAT ANG TRABAHO.
PAKIRAMDAM MO, ISIP MO AT SULAT MO,
TINIG MO PA — ‘YAN ANG HINAHANGAAN KO,
LALO’T HIGIT KUNG ANG ILANG P’YESA NITO
SULAT AT LIKHA PARA SA IBANG TAO.
KASI PO SA GANANG ABANG LINGKOD NINYO,
KATULAD DIN PO ‘YAN SA PAGKOKOMIKO,
ANG ‘DI SUMUSULAT BUNGANGA LANG GUSTO,
PARA SA AKIN, KULANG SA KWENTANG TAO.
IPAGPAUMANHIN PO ITONG DILA KO
KUNG MAY KATALIMAN, IYAN KASI AKO,
TALAGA NAMANG DITO SA’MING TRABAHO
MAY MGA TSAMBA LANG, WALANG LAMAN ULO.
BATU-BATO SA LANGIT
TAMAAN SANA KAYO!
* * *
They could have been called the Jose Rizal Gun Club, or simply UZI Rizal. Or perhaps, Andres Bonifacio Shoe Factory, or simply Bonifashoes. But they chose to be known as the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society.
Nice choice — because like their chosen hero, who we know as the Utak ng Katipunan — Jim, Boboy and Danny are also mauutak — to be able to compose, write and come up with those beautiful and catchy APO songs through the years. Galing talaga!
History has not been so detailed as to why the so-called Utak ng Katipunan was really called so. According to some Hip-hop historians, they have always thought and insisted that Mr. Mabini was branded as mautak because hindi lang siya mautak, magulang pa! Wais, ‘ika nga. Sa totoo lang daw, naniniwala sila na hindi siya talaga lumpo! Ginagawa lang daw niya ‘yon para hindi siya maglakad at mapagod! Parelaks-relaks lang siya sa kanyang duyan. Ngak!
And according to these people na nagmamarunong, they suspect that his story was even included as part of the original lyrics (daw) of a national anthem study, lalo na at kaya nabanggit ang salitang “duyan” — “Lumpong hinirang, duyan ka ng mautak — pag napasabak, siya’y nakatitiyak…” (nakatitiyak siyang hindi siya sasaktan ng mga kalaban dahil sa kanyang kalagayan). Ngek!
Meanwhile, another group of people addicted to history (hindi kaya mga historians na adik lang ito?), claim that the person in question is not just paralyzed, but also totally sightless. Nang tanungin namin kung bakit nila nasabi ‘yon, ito ang sagot nila, “Eh kasi, hindi ba siya ang tinatawag ng mga Amerikano na ‘So Blind Paralytic’?” Ngik! Sablay!
The APO are just like their superhero — walang kapagud-pagod — sa kanilang pagsikat at pagtagal. They enjoyed what they did, and that itself is success. Congratulations again, my friends. We are all very lucky (DBJ and TVJ) — we all have jobs where we are having fun while having funds! ‘Yan ang masarap na trabaho — effortless, pero airport-ful!
Seriously, at ngayon lang n’yo malalaman ito — kung hindi dahil sa APO, baka walang TVJ at malamang, walang Eat,Bulaga!
Ganito kasi ‘yon — tandang-tanda ko pa — (this is only from this writer’s recollection) — a little less than two years before the declaration of Martial Law, the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society was offered to do a TV show on Channel 13. This was after they had a successful show at the Meralco Theatre. Rollie Grande was the director and Bong Serra was the executive producer.
According to Bong, after watching two pilot episodes, the management and the production staff had something different in mind — they thought of not just an all-musical format for their new show but something else — a musical-comedy show made up entirely of new talents. So on the first taping (again), it was like a potluck party — the director brought in his bowling pal, Tito Sotto, who came with his two brothers, Marvic and Valmar (Vic and Val). Tito was then doing commercials and had a stint with his brother Val as members of the Tilt Down Men, the Dave Clark Five of the Philippines. Vic looked so young and appeared like someone who couldn’t even hurt a fly — ang tahimik at ang kapal ng salamin. He was studying at La Salle at the time. Like I always say, I am one of the few who witnessed the transformation of Bossing Ungassis from good to evil! Ngok!
On the other hand, the executive producer came with his disc jockey friends from ABS-CBN — the late Ricky Manalo Jr., who later became and played “Tom” in the TV Series of the comic strip, Baltic and Company, and the “never late for tapings,” Joey de Leon, who had a radio record of working on board ALL the seven radio stations of ABS-CBN in Bohol Avenue! (DZYK-FM, DWOW, DZMM, DZAQ-Radyo Patrol, DZQL, DZXL and DZYL). I was the “Spare For All Seasons/Stations.” During that time, that sort of animal was known as a “utility announcer.” Doon sa mga tanga na baka akalaing ang “utility” ay ang inuutusan na kumuha ng kape ng mga announcers, nagkakamali po kayo. Ang ibig sabihin po niyan ay pwede kayong ilagay kahit saan at kahit ano mang format or programming ng istasyon. In short, and in truth, lagi kasi akong naka istambay sa ABS lalo na sa saklaan kaya madalas akong matawag! Nguk!
The show was called, Okay Lang. We were 19 in the cast, which included: George and Raffy (Javier and Paredes), Monette and Noel, the Casado brothers, Christy Mayuga and Cathy Earnshaw among many others. Tough Hits, which undeniably gave a kick to TVJ’s career as a trio, was born on that show. Doon kami nag-masters ng Knock Knock and Use In A Sentence Jokes. At doon din ako nahasa magsulat — ng mga kalokohan!
Again, to Boboy, Jim and Danny, salamat at nasama kami sa show ninyo. It was our first big break on television. Natutuwa ako ngayon dahil lahat tayong anim ay Okay Lang pa rin.
This coming Saturday, Sept. 20, the APO will hold their very first concert at the Araneta Coliseum after being together for 39 years! Mabuhay ang APO of the Philippines!