OPM Advocate, Recording Executive, Talent Manager, and Music Artist

January 11, 1952 – April 8, 2021

Jose Patricio Dans III, ‘Butch’ to friends and associates, was a recording executive, talent manager to some of the Philippines’ top pop music stars, and a forefather of the concept of Original Pilipino Music (OPM).

He was born in Quezon City to former transportation and communications minister Jose Patricio Dans Jr. and the painter Araceli Limcaco Dans. He started grade school at the Ateneo de Manila University in 1957, and went on to obtain a degree in communication arts from the university in 1974—true blue to the end. But it was his high school years at the Ateneo that would prove pivotal to his life.

In 1969 he formed, together with 12 high school classmates, a band that originally called themselves the Apolinario Mabini Hiking Society. Aside from Dans, the members included John Paul Micayabas, Lito de Joya, Sonny Santiago, Gus Cosio, Renato Garcia, Chito Kintanar, Kenny Barton, Bruce Brown, Kinjo Sawada, Ric Segreto Macaraeg, Goff Macaraeg, Doden Besa, Jim Paredes, and Boboy Garovillo.

When they went on to college, Danny Javier from San Beda University joined the group. The group first gained recognition in 1973 when they performed at a “farewell concert” at the Meralco Theater in Pasig, with most of the members leaving to pursue other careers after graduation. The performance, however, quickly made them the talk of campuses other than Ateneo. Paredes, Garovillo, and Javier decided to collectively pursue music as a career, with Dans as manager.

The group released 27 albums over four decades until their retirement in 2010. Dans proved pivotal to the meteoric rise of the APO Hiking Society, so much so that on the cover of the group’s 1984 album, Feet on the Ground – which was inspired by The Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover – the trio crosses a similar pedestrian crosswalk with their manager in tow, clad in denim shirt and jeans.

Dans established The Thirdline, Inc. with wife Betta to provide management and production support to the Apo Hiking Society. The company later managed more show bands and music personalities throughout the years, including Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad, Sugarfree, Leah Navarro, Noel Cabangon, Bituin Escalante, Florante, Mike Hanopol, Mon David, Vernie Varga, Yano, Cambio, Imago, Jacqui Magno, Sandwich, Dong Abay, and The Eraserheads (during the latter part of the band’s career), among others.

The company’s Kiko Studio became an important hub for many mainstream and alternative music artists, both local and international, where the likes of Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Pops Fernandez, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Patti Austin, and James Ingram would rehearse for various TV shows and concerts.

Dans became an advocate for OPM, a loose movement and conscientious branding effort that aimed to popularize Filipino pop music. It evolved into the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, which involved sustained efforts in record production, talent management, and organizing artists. The group later expanded its activities into establishing and furthering the careers of new OPM artists in the country.

Dans died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he battled for over a decade and led to his “Tax Tobacco to the Max” advocacy, to remind the government and the public about the dangers of smoking.

Upon hearing of Dans’ passing, APO’s Paredes grieved for a “dear brother”: “Though it was expected, I am shattered… I am so far away. My heart is crying.”

From singer Mon David: “I will miss our batuhan at kuwentuhan. Naging mas makulay ang buhay ko dahil sa iyo. Thank you for your love, wisdom, and wit.”

And from jazz artist Colby dela Calzada: “[He was] altruistic, a nurturer, a believer. If he believed in you, he believed in you…Fair, considerate, a rebel, trailblazer, fearless, wise, unconventional, artistic. I really saw all of these traits in him. We lost another beautiful soul.”

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Categories: Obituaries

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