In memoriam, Roger G. Layson

Jojie and her Kuya Roger

In 1992, after four years in Manila, I returned to Davao with a renewed appreciation for my hometown. One of the first things I got myself into was an outdoors club that was also a forum for instilling in young people’s minds a love for everything Davao. In the Sandawa Apo Mountaineering Club I met its indefatigable father-figure, Roger G. Layson.

Sandawa Apo was a vibrant organization and it thrived under the tutelage of the late Mr. Layson. It had members from many colleges and universities (and high schools, too, I think) in Davao. I found it very inspiring that Roger was able to bring youths from tremendously variegated backgrounds together into one cohesive club. There were members from exclusive schools and those from public institutions — there was even a chapter for out-of-school youths — but when we were all climbing or hiking or swimming or learning survival techniques, all differences were set aside. And I believe it was Roger’s constant presence and motivational spirit that made all of it possible.

Roger Layson was a moving force in the tourism scene of the Davao Region, having served with the Department of Tourism for many, many years. His love of Davao was unmistakable: in the dedication he put into his work, in his writings at the Mindanao Daily Mirror, in his dealings with fellow Dabawenyos and everyone around him. In spite of his humility, he has certainly left an indelible mark in Davao tourism.

He was always very engaging, ever ready with a smile. He never put on airs and never expected anything in return for kindnesses rendered. I shall always remember him as a big influence in the way that I love my hometown.

Roger G. Layson† passed away on the 4th of April, 2011. May the Lord grant his soul eternal peace.

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2 Responses to “In memoriam, Roger G. Layson”

  1. hcdc-2000 says:

    when ang buriaL thanks! sandawa apo- hcdc 2000

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