MANILA — (UPDATED) Danny Javier, singer-songwriter and one-third of the iconic APO Hiking Society, passed away on Monday, according to his family. He was 75.
The music veteran succumbed to “complications due to his prolonged illnesses,” his daughter Justine Javier Long said in a joint statement with her siblings.
Javier died at around 5 p.m. due to cardiac arrest at the National Kidney Transplant Institute, where he had been confined for treatments, his brother George told ABS-CBN News.
“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,” Long said. “He left this world with his passion and strength of will intact and we know he would not have it any other way.”
Long requested the public to “respect our family’s privacy” at this time, as they arrange the details of Javier’s memorial and funeral, which they will announce at a later date.
“Our family would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love, prayers and condolences at this difficult time,” she wrote.
Quoting lyrics from the memorable APO Hiking Society song “Awit ng Barkada,” Long said, “Sa lungkot at ligaya, hirap at ginhawa, kami’y kasama mo.”
Javier, alongside Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo, are credited as pillars of Original Pilipino Music or OPM, with enduring hits that would later become a stage musical, aside from being pop culture favorites.
The trio also became television staples, notably with their variety shows including “Sang Linggo nAPO Sila” on ABS-CBN in the late ‘90s.
Paredes, in phone interview with ABS-CBN News, shared his grief over Javier’s passing. He recounted just recently spending time with Javier, who had been under intensive care. “I was able to visit him and we were able to talk for 45 minutes. He was getting better until this happened,” Paredes said.
“My friend lives on in his music,” Garrovillo, meanwhile, said in a Facebook post on Monday. “Just feeling the loss of an old faithful friend who knew what love is although sometimes it just doesn’t show.”
After the 2010 retirement of APO Hiking Society, Javier mostly stayed away from the limelight, while Paredes and Garrovillo remained active in showbiz.
Amid calls for a reunion performance in 2022, when the three members aligned in their political stance after once clashing, Garrovillo said it was “not possible physically,” citing Javier’s condition.
In February, Javier said he was “recuperating from several medical conditions,” as a reason for being unable to perform. He specifically mentioned congestive heart failure, COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and undergoing peritoneal dialysis.
While Javier opted to live in privacy until he succumbed to the illness on Monday, the outpouring of tribute to him are a testament to his legacy of helping lay the foundation of modern OPM.
— with a report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News