The Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, later popularly known as APO Hiking Society, or simply APO, was a Filipino musical group. The group had its fledgling beginnings in 1969 at the Ateneo de Manila high school, with 15 members: John Paul Micayabas, Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Butch Dans, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto Macaraeg, Goff Macaraeg, Doden Besa, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garovillo. The group’s name was created from the acronym AMHS representing their school with a witty twist having an irreverent reference to the Philippine revolutionary intellectual and hero, Apolinario Mabini, and later shortened to “Apo”, an Ilocano term for a wise man or a Tagalog term of grandchildren, and later re-branded to “APO” (all caps). Contrary to popular belief, the “Apo” name was not a reference to the Philippines’s highest peak, the potentially-active stratovolcano Mount Apo.
As the students advanced into college, Danny Javier joined the group. After graduation, the majority of its members left to pursue individual careers, with only three members remaining, made up of Jim Paredes, Boboy Garovillo and Danny Javier.
In the span of their professional career, Apo emerged as a principal adherent of the musical movement termed Original Pilipino Music (a.k.a. OPM), a milieu in which their original musical contributions and cultural influence became essential. The Apo became involved in record production, talent management and organizing artists under the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (O.P.M., acronym translation: “Organization of Philippine Singers/musicians”). The group expanded its activities into establishing and furthering the careers of new OPM artists in the Philippines.
To date, the group has released 27 albums in four decades of its career. Two hugely successful tribute albums were produced in 2006 and 2007 by its management group, featuring numerous young bands freshly reinterpreting Apo’s expansive repertoire.
The group frequently utilized their brand name, “Apo,” as a clever component for Tagalog puns in titles for television shows, live programs and marketing materials, for example, as in nA PO, which transliterates as “already” (polite/formal usage), and also as apó (meaning, “grandchild”). The puns have been minimally extended into English, as in (APOcalyptic).