If there is perhaps an apt OPM Christmas song at this time of the pandemic, it is the Apo Hiking Society’s “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko.”
While many are wary about celebrating Christmas this year, Filipinos will find every reason to still enjoy the holidays however they can, in whatever way they can.
It was back in 1991 when the Apo Hiking Society trio of Jim Paredes, Danny Javier and Buboy Garovillo recorded their first Christmas album, “Pasko nApo,” that contained 11 original Christmas tunes.
Among the tracks in Apo’s 12th studio album was “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko,” one of the well-loved OPM Christmas tunes ever recorded. The song has been embraced by both young and old through the years.
“I loved the song the moment I heard it,” Apo member Jim Paredes told ABS-CBN News. “It was a great song. We had Eddie Munji III arrange it. He was the same guy who arranged ‘Panalangin.’ He made ‘Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko’ a big winner.”
Through the years, “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko” has been constantly included the roster of Christmas songs every Yuletide season. It has become a sentimental favorite of many Filipinos.
The OPM Christmas tune is a familiar piece for carolers, students, choirs and pop groups who never fail to render it for their celebrations. The upbeat tune has become a staple in Christmas get-togethers or presentations annually.
Back in 2006, Orange and Lemons recorded a re-imagined version of “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin ang Pasko” that was used in that year’s Christmas station ID of ABS-CBN. After more than a decade, the song was given a new feel and Paredes couldn’t be any prouder when he heard it.
“It is always a good feeling when another artist does a take on a song that we previously made a hit,” Paredes maintains.
The trio’s “Pasko nApo” Christmas is full of great songs and Paredes immediately went on a trip down memory lane when asked to talk about the album.
“I especially like ‘Lata ang Aming Tambol,’ ‘12 Days of Pinoy Christmas,’ ‘Sanggol na Mahiwaga’ and our ‘Pasko na Sinta Ko-Miss Kita Kung Christmas’ medley,” he said.
The album contains other tracks including “Paskong Walang Pera,” “Himig ng Pasko,” “Pasko Na sa Mundo” and “Panahon ng Pag-ibig,” “Pasko Na” and “Ang Pasko.”
Fifteen years after “Pasko nApo” was recorded, the 11-track album was digitally remastered and a new cover was created with the CD release.
Here are the other songs in our "Behind the Music" series.
Behind the Music: 'Christmas Won't Be the Same Without You' by Martin Nievera
Behind the Music: 'Kumukutikutitap' by Ryan Cayabyab
Behind the Music: 'Fruitcake' by Eraserheads