“Sana naman makikinig ka kapag aking sasabihing minamahal kita.”

Great Philippine Song Hits“Panalangin” by Apo Hiking Society | The boys of Apo have to be on this list, of course, but the question is, which song? Someone merely suggested “that song”, which is the problem here: the Apo Hiking Society’s music is very much deeply intertwined with the Filipino psyche, again, no matter the generation or persuasion. Borne out of a singing group at the Ateneo – imagine how many musicians, across generations, had their start at the Ateneo? – Buboy Garovillo, Danny Javier and Jim Paredes went on to become one of the country’s biggest musicians, with their songs – running the gamut from your typical love songs to ditties on friendship and patriotism – being to soundtrack to so many things over the decades. (This explains the roaring success of the two Apo tribute albums released by Star Records almost a decade ago.) My mother always said that I enjoyed Apo songs a lot as a kid – my earliest memories involve being in Baguio, listening to one of their albums on repeat – and rediscovering their songs the past few years has been a delight. Forgive me if I make a choice based on personal criteria, then. I choose “Panalangin” because of the lovely doo-wop-tinged sound and, of course, those harmonies. [NB]

A week of whistling, day five: Nicksy’s second pick

“Prinsesa” by Apo Hiking Society | Some of my earliest memories as a human was my first trip to Baguio. I was three years old. I remember only three things: how green the place was (definitely not anymore), how I wanted a glass of Nesquik from our host, and how we all listened to cassette tapes of Apo Hiking Society while we were driven around the city. My mother pointed out, two decades later, that I always liked Apo, that I’d stop and listen closely whenever one of their songs came on the radio – must be the vocal harmonies – but I’d only know more about them as a young adult, when the two tribute albums to the band were released, forcing me to go through their originals. (I was a 90s kid, so I mostly knew them as noontime show hosts, although of course I knew they had songs.) The Itchyworms covered “Prinsesa” on one of those compilations, and that had a whistling element too, but I will, of course, post the original, if only for the childhood factor, but mostly because those vocal harmonies – from three men who, by a few twists of fate, became one of the Philippines’ most celebrated musicians. [NB] (Tomorrow: Rainy goes for a spooky whistle from, for most of you, Kill Bill.)