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APO Hiking Society's Danny Javier discussed near-death experience, band break-up in 2016 TV interview

By NICK GARCIA Published Nov 01, 2022 5:00 pm

In one of his final television interviews in 2016, APO Hiking Society's Danny Javier spoke about being granted a second life after multiple illnesses almost led to his death in 2011; his mortality as a human which he never feared; the real reason why his band broke up other than disagreements; and how he enjoyed a life away from the limelight after the fact.

In an interview with GMA's Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho in 2016, which the network reposted following his death on Oct. 31, Soho noted that Javier was "missing in action" after his band officially retired in 2010.

Javier corrected her, saying he was "unseen in action" instead. In fact, he said he was in the "pink of health" at the time.

APO Hiking Society—comprising Javier, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garavillo—produced 27 studio albums throughout its 41-year career. The group never sang together again, though each member remained active in their respective careers.

In June 2011, Javier said he almost died, though preferred to keep quiet about it as he's "just another life."

"People die every day," he told Soho, as he recalled his busy days taping for a teleserye. One thing then led to another, he noted, and he was diagnosed with several medical conditions. These include diabetes, kidney failure, liver collapse emphysema, pneumonia, hepatitis A, congestive heart failure, and sepsis, he said, adding that he "might have skipped something else."

He said doctors gave him a 10% chance of survival at the time. He did survive, though lost 20 pounds in the process. After being discharged from the hospital, Javier said he started his path to recovery through a vegetarian diet.

"Pag may kumakausap sa akin, ang sagot ko, 'Meh,'" he said, jokingly referencing a goat's cry.

Javier also recalled having a "white life" experience while recuperating, in which he said he was going to different places.

"Pagdating ko sa impiyerno, ang daming nakapila. Mga kaibigan ko," he said, chuckling. "At home na at home ako."

Five years since he was hospitalized, Javier said doctors told him that he already recovered from congestive heart failure, something he noted as having "no cure."

Six months after the prognosis, Javier said he resumed doing activities like flying and golfing.

"Meron sigurong sadyang ipagagawa sa akin dito," he said of his second life.

Still, he acknowledged the inevitability of death, saying it's the "destination" of everybody.

"If it's my time to go, it's my time to go," he said, stressing he's "not afraid of death."

'Keep the relationship' with APO Hiking Society

When asked about APO Hiking Society's break-up, Javier said it's not because of disagreements but rather because he wanted to preserve the group's relationship.

"As a matter of fact, the reason why I said it was about time to quit because I wanted to keep the relationship," he said.

In 2015, Garavillo told GMA's Tunay na Buhay that they broke up due to their "diminishing creative process," aside from having a busy schedule. Garavillo pointed out his acting duties on television; Paredes teaching at the Ateneo de Manila University; and Javier serving as a consultant for different companies for years.

"Naghiwalay kami, e di walang away," Javier also told Soho in a curious but humorous manner. Asked to elaborate what he meant, he compared the situation to married couples. "Marami naman diyang mag-asawa, naghiwalay nang walang away... Kaya siguro naghiwalay para wala nang away."

When Soho asked Javier about the possibility of a reunion concert, Javier simply did the "pabebe wave" popularized by AlDub—Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza—in the noontime variety show Eat Bulaga!.

Earlier in the interview, he also noted that they already peaked as a group, credited for being the pioneer of what's now known as OPM or Original Pilipino Music. As performers, Javier said they already "weren't getting better" and were "just repeating everything" they did years ago.

"Ayaw kong umabot sa pagkakataon na kumakanta kaming uugod-ugod na...tapos maaawa sa amin ang manonood," he said.

"It's one and done. It's the next phase in my life," Javier said, though flirting with the idea of collaborating with the likes of Pepe Smith, Ely Buendia, and Chito Miranda in a would-be new album.

Javier passed away at 75 due to "complications of his prolonged illnesses," his daughter Justine Javier-Lang announced in social media.

A week ago, Garavillo told the media in a press conference for GMA's upcoming teleserye Unica Hija that Javier was "not well," and was trying to recover.

Javier's family asked the public to respect their privacy, as they're still arranging the details of his memorial.