APO Hiking Society’s Danny Javier releases one final OPM song

APO Hiking Society: Boboy Garrovillo, Danny Javier and Jim Paredes — BW FILE PHOTO

THE MAN who coined the phrase “Original Pilipino Music” or OPM, left the world one last song before he passed away.

The day after singer-songwriter and APO Hiking Society member Daniel “Danny” Morales Javier passed away on Oct. 31 from “complications due to his prolonged illnesses,” composer and arranger Lorrie Ilustre released Javier’s final song, composed and sung on his sickbed.

In a Facebook post, Mr. Ilustre wrote that “Danny left a special gift for all of you!”

“Last year he called me and said he was sick. I visited him right away. We were together the whole day talking about everything from our past to the present. He kept a positive outlook on life even though he was suffering from several medical conditions,” explained the arranger who was the singer’s friend.

“DANNY JAVIER, a man fully aware of his mortality expressed himself in music with lyrics infused with humor. He sang in a way that only he could deliver, singing his own sendoff ahead of its time. The man who coined ORIGINAL PILIPINO MUSIC (OPM) left us with this song, ‘LAHAT TAYO.’ He wanted to share this with all of you — family, friends and loyal fans,” wrote Mr. Ilustre in his post where he released the song.

Mr. Javier had roughly sung the song earlier on his Facebook page. Mr. Ilustre then set the song to music and arranged it, using Mr. Javier’s original vocals. “The nurse played the music to Danny and he would nod to acknowledge that it was ok. That’s good enough for me,” wrote Mr. Ilustre.

“I know Danny’s writing style and ideas so I just had to make this music arrangement for him to bring along to his journey home. I took his vocals from his FB post and recorded. His video I synced to audio. I just tweaked a note and rearranged the song structure but I kept everything the way he would have wanted it,” said Mr. Illustre.

The video of the song is available on YouTube.

“In life, as in his death, our Pop never stopped fighting for what he loved, what he believed in and what he was passionate about. He left this world with his passion and his strength of will intact and we know he would not have it any other way,” Javier’s daughter Justine Javier Long wrote in a Facebook post.

In 2020, Mr. Javier wrote in a Facebook post that he had “underlying health concerns with my heart, lungs, and kidneys.”

Mr. Javier, Boboy Garrovillo, and Jim Paredes were the three members of the APO Hiking Society which rose to fame in the early 1970s. Mr. Javier coined the term “Original Pilipino Music” or OPM in the mid-1970s, and the group was among its proponents that focused on home-grown music. A songwriter as well as a singer, Mr. Javier composed a number of APO’s hit songs including “Show Me a Smile,” “Pumapatak ang Ulan,” “Kaibigan,” “Doo bidoo,” “Blue Jeans,” “Di Na Natuto,” “Awit ng Barkada,” and “Lumang Tugtugin.” Having provided the soundtrack of a generation, they retired as a group in 2009.

Born in Abuyog, Leyte on Aug. 6, 1947, he attended the San Beda University and Ateneo de Manila University where he joined the original version of APO, the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society, along with Mr. Paredes and Mr. Garrovillo and 13 others in 1969.

Tributes from members of the music and entertainment industry flooded social media when the news broke.

APO’s Mr. Garrovillo quoted one of the group’s songs, “Show Me a Smile,” when he wrote: “Just feeling the loss of an old friend who knew what love is although sometimes it just doesn’t show. My friend lives on in his music.”

Singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla wrote: “Saddened to hear about the passing of Apo Hiking Society’s Danny Javier. Rest In Peace, Danny.”

“Rest In Peace, Tito Danny Javier. Thank you for all your beautiful music,” singer, actress Lea Salonga wrote on Facebook.

The CompanY sends their deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Danny Javier. Tight hugs to Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo. The APO help build OPM to what it is now. Your legacies are cemented for the ages. Thank you for everything, Danny,” four-member vocal group The CompanY wrote.

Maraming salamat po. Ramdam na ramdam namin ang pagmamahal ninyong lahat para sa kanya (Thank you very much. We feel all the love you have for him),” the late singer’s daughter concluded in her post and she quoted a line from “Awit ng Barkada”: “Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa, kami’y kasama mo (Through sadness and joy, richer or poorer, we are with you).” — MAPS