Local Heroes, People
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In memoriam: Roger Layson

My shot of Kuya Roger in Compostela Valley’s falls, 2003 (back then I was using a Sony Cybershot point and shoot camera, it came out this clear and sharp because of the lighting in the falls)


April 4, 2011 – RIP, Roger Layson

In loving memory of good friend, mentor and long time media colleague, veteran journalist of Mindanao Daily Mirror and lifestyle columnist, Kuya Roger Layson, who has contributed a lot to the tourism and media industry of Davao for decades. He has worked for the Department of Tourism for years, and then became a consultant in the City Mayor’s Office after retirement.RGL and me in Pastor Quiboloy’s birthday party

RGL (as we called him) has “discovered” me in 1991 when I was just a skinny girl with a different career path. At that time, I was fresh out of college with low self esteem and little qualifications in my resume, and was working at the front desk of Apo View Hotel. His office (Dept of Tourism) was at the second floor. But he noticed me and asked about me. He loved to discover new talents. He featured me in his column as someone who “may positively contribute to the city”, almost two decades ago. He wrote about my being an artist and a writer but I haven’t even shown this skill to the public yet (I was still modeling for Gaisano and Mantex!).

Roger Layson’s Spotlight (now Bits and Faces) column in Mindanao Daily Mirror in 1991 when he featured me as a young model and fashion choreographer (and no, that isn’t Jinggoy Estrada in the column byline)


His confidence and belief in me has become my inspiration all these years to follow his footsteps and contribute to society in many positive ways.

me and kuya Roger hosting 2009 Christmas Party of Mayor Duterte for the media (in the background is Katrina Halili as special guest singing for the crowd)

Since then he has written about me several times and was very supportive of my activities.  We’ve been together in most media events, particularly that of hosting the annual Pasko Pahalipay ni Mayor para sa Media for a couple of years, during Mayor Rody Duterte’s time.

RGL wrote of my 2nd art exhibit in Matina Town Square, with John Irene del Campo and the Eureka boys here (2004)

In every Kadayawan Festival and Araw ng Davao, he and I would be hosting separately on this special occasions– he’d be onstage while I was in the streets with buddy Skipojack. He would not fail to greet me or announce our presence to the public. I missed his presence onstage in the recent parade this year.

He had also worked with Rhonson in the DOT Office years before his retirement. During that time, we have traveled to Compostela Valley where we had fun bonding with him and our favorite dance group, the Eureka, which he managed.

Posted are some of the fun shots we’ve had together. Am still going over file photos of my former birthday celebrations where he was always a guest.

Hosting with RGL in Mayor’s Christmas Party

Vintage shopping with RGL

As a long time columnist of Bits and Faces in Mindanao Daily Mirror, Kuya Roger rubbed elbows with celebrities and famous personalities, and have an endearing way with people.

Above all, Kuya Roger is a lovable, affectionate person with me and Rhonson.  We used to have this private joke about his “Charito Solis” smile, in which he would gladly pose and mimic the celebrity.

How I will miss his personality. I shall miss my annual co-host in the Mayor’s Christmas Party.

Rest in peace, Kuya Roger. You have done a very, very good job in Davao. You will never be forgotten.

RGL with GMA’s Bam Salvani and Bong

RGL and me

See my short tribute to RGL in my other blog

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Filed under: Local Heroes, People


The author is a multi-awarded photographer, journalist, and artist whose works are featured in tourism campaigns (It's More Fun in the Philippines), covers and spreads of books and international magazines. A long time columnist of SunStar Davao, she is a frequent traveler in search of inspirational heartwarming stories of human interest. She is also an  influencer and motivational speaker who gives photography workshops in universities and organizations. A former TV personality, she has done several print and TV commercials, event hosting and speaking engagements. In 2013, she has received an award from the City Government of Davao for her significant contribution in the social media. She was one of the speakers in Photo World Asia 2017.  A web designer/blogger since the 90s, she has seen the evolution of the internet and social media transition from the perspective of a traditional media person.


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