Friday, March 06, 2009

Marking the day that Francis Magalona passed away

I didn't expect the news but it didn't come as a shock.  Francis Magalona died today.

The wife sent me a text message about it and that's how I first found out about it.  

When I opened Facebook, it seemed almost everyone I knew said something about Francis M's passing in their status.  It was Cheenee De Leon's status that got to me first, she said that she was really said in every sense of the word.  

It was cryptic, even for a status post, and it was only in the comments on her status that I learned that she was sad because Francis M had died.  Later this evening, in the news, I caught Joey De Leon -- Cheenee's father -- talking through tears.

The most popular post today on Feedjit was about Francis M's passing. The post was written by The Reporter on What now.  It had a rating of 716.

Before the news of his illness, I had lost track of him or completely forgot about the guy who sang "I am the man from Manila" and other songs which got me dancing when I was younger -- lighter, thinner, and more athletic.

I imitated his hairstyle, sang his songs, and once in a while, watched parts of his movies -- the ones I could actually bear watching.

So long Francis.

Here's a report from the Inquirer.

Rapper Francis Magalona passes away 
By Gerry Plaza
First Posted 12:44:00 03/06/2009

MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE 6) Rapper-TV host Francis Magalona died Friday at the Medical City in Pasig City, his co-hosts at the GMA Network’s noontime show “Eat Bulaga” said. He was 44.

Magalona succumbed to multiple organ failure “secondary to severe sepsis and secondary to pneumonia,” according to a doctor who was not authorized to talk to media.He passed away at 12 noon, said Philippine Daily Inquirer sources.

The acclaimed rapper-musician was rushed to the Medical City on Thursday night, Inquirer sources said. He was “intubated” upon admission and placed in the Intensive Care Unit at 3 a.m. Friday.

He was described as “toxic” during the early hours of Friday, the Inquirer sources said.Doctors still managed to administer chemotherapy on Magalona. 

He expired before a bone marrow transplant could be scheduled, they said.Magalona had been undergoing several chemotherapy sessions since he was diagnosed with leukemia in August last year but was too weak to fight the infection, sources said.

Magalona is the son of popular 1950s movie tandem Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran.“I don't want a media circus. I want privacy with my family,” Francis said in a phone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, after reports of his illness broke out.

“What I'd rather talk about is how we can solicit blood donations to replace the supply that I have consumed in the hospital,” said Magalona, the father of eight children.Francis' wife, Pia Arroyo-Magalona, said her husband started exhibiting symptoms in March this year. “It was very gradual, hindi siya biglaang lumabas [it didn't manifest right away].”

Magalona was supposed to perform “Superproxy” with the Eraserheads in the band’s reunion concert, “The Final Set” at the SM Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City on Saturday.

He had been in collaboration with Eraserheads and Pupil frontman Ely Buendia for an album to be released this year.Telecommunications giant PLDT also scheduled in April a golf tournament fund-raiser for Magalona.Magalona is survived by his wife Pia, and children Maxene, Saab, Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Elmo, Arkin, and Clara.

Magalona started his career as a break dancer in the early 1980s before appearing in several movies, including a lead role in Viva Films “Bagets 2.” 

He then worked as a disc jockey for the defunct radio station DMZ in the late 80s and then ventured into TV hosting, as a regular of the noontime show “Eat…Bulaga!” and a VJ for MTV Asia. He was also a judge in “Philippine Idol” the original local franchise of the international Fremantle reality singing talent search.

At the same time, he took the musical route as the well-known rapper-songwriter, with his ground breaking hit “Mga Kababayan Ko” in his debut 1990 album “’Yo” that also spawned the hit ballad “Cold Summer Nights.” Several albums followed, “Rap is FrancisM,” “Meron Akong Ano?,” and “Freeman” that further proved his mastery of the genre.Magalona’s remains lie in state at the Christ the King church in Greenmeadows, Quezon City. 

According to wife Pia, Magalona’s wake will be open to the public starting at 6 a.m. Saturday.

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