Francis Magalona was a hero and an inspiration to those lives he has touched. I was in tears watching such artists as Gloc9 cry unabashedly in a televised tribute on "Eat Bulaga" on Saturday. My heart also went out to his children, especially the young ones who may not yet realize their loss. I admire his wife Pia Arroyo-Magalona a lot because of her strength amid all the pain I'm sure she's going through for the sake of family. Maxene likewise for her vow to continue keeping his dad proud. Francis is special to most because of his passion towards whatever he does, be it as a rapper-musician, TV host, actor, and lately, as a photographer and entrepreneur. He puts his mind and soul in all his undertakings and do whatever it takes to make his creations something to remember. There's this one incredible performance he did as a guest in Gary V's "Major Impact" concert in 1990 that changed my view of Kiko. Before this, I only thought of him as just another local artist mimicking American popular music, in his case, the emerging genre of rap at that time. But when I witnessed him first hand at the ULTRA, I had since been in awe of his talent and dedication to his work. As Gary finished his set, the lights went out. Despite the darkness, the audience could see those on stage. It was Francis's turn to perform "Mga Kababayan." What we saw was a touching sight...Francis himself preparing his props, instruments, and other equipment for his number. Then when that familar ethnic-inspired beat was heard in extended play, people started to get excited. And when the voice "Ma-ma-mga-kababayan..." was heard, everyone was in pandemonium. What surprised me was the crowd's reaction to his music. Then when he stepped in to do his number, the crowd went berserk and danced and sang to his music as if it was a personal anthem. For a moment, I thought, it was a Francis M concert. After this, he did an incredible duet with Gary that brought the house down. Gary shared this video on his "showdown" with Francis in his own YouTube channel and also presented it on "Eat Bulaga" last Saturday. Since this concert, I thought Francis would become the biggest thing in Philippine music. He achieved even more--he became an inspiration that made other lives better, not only his own.
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Actor-host and rapper Francis Magalona has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the noontime TV show “Eat Bulaga” after confirming that he has leukemia but assured his friends and fans that he would return. In a text message read on air Thursday by co-host and comedian Vic Sotto, Magalona said he was preparing for his upcoming treatment and expressed confidence that he would recover. Magalona, son of former matinee idols, the late Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, described his situation as a “trial” and asked for “understanding.” “With the help of God, watch out for my return,” said Magalona. “Di ko lang kayo miss, love ko kayong lahat [I not only miss you, but I love all of you too],” said Magalona The full message read: “Sa lahat ng mga dabarkads ko dito sa Eat Bulaga miss ko na kayong lahat. Araw-araw, magkakasama tayo at kayo’y naging second family ko na. Pati na rin ang lahat ng mga viewers sa mga bahay at sa studio. Ngayon, meron akong isang pagsubok na dapat daanan at ang hiling ko lang ay pangunawa at suporta. I have been diagnosed with leukemia and I am preparing for my treatment. Sa tulong ng Panginoon, kakayanin ko poi to. Abangan nyo ang aking pagbabalik. Di ko lang kayo miss, lab ko kayo lahat. [To all my friends in ‘Eat Bulaga,’ I miss you all. As I spend each day with you, I consider you all, my colleagues on the set and viewers, like a second family to me. I need to face this big challenge and request for your understanding and support. With the help of God, I know I can face this. Please wait for my return. I don’t only miss you but also love you all.] Magalona, one of the country’s leading rap musicians and popular TV host, said in a previous interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he did not want his condition turned into a “media circus” and would rather keep his ongoing battle with the disease “private.”