Rapper Francis Magalona passes away

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.

Kaleidoscope World – Francis Magalona

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.

Friends remember Francis M

As early as Thursday night, Pia Arroyo Magalona was calling practically all her husband’s colleagues in the film and TV community to reveal the sad state of Francis Magalona’s health as he battled leukemia, beyond cure, at the Medical City in Pasig.

“Nagpaparamdam na si Kiko kay Pia,” TV reporter Josie Mañago revealed in a statement at the Broadway Centrum premises Friday afternoon.

“Nagpapahiwatig na wala nang pag-asa si Kiko pero nakakapagsalita pa nang bahagya. Nakapagbilin pa siya kay Pia,” added Mañago who has been close to the Magalonas.

“Tapos, kaninang magtatanghali, tumawag si Pia kay Bossing (Vic Sotto) informing him that hindi na magtatagal si Francis,” Josie said.

Then, at about twelve Friday high noon, master rapper and actor Francis M. passed away. He was forty four.

Everyone in the TAPE group was very shocked and teary-eyed when they heard the news.

“Hindi ako makaimik agad. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to do,” confessed Anjo Yllana who has been a very good friend of the deceased.

“Nakayuko na lang ako. Nagdasal at para akong natuyuan ng laway,” added Yllana who co-hosted with Kiko in a television noontime show.

Pauleen Lun, meanwhile, said she was also shocked. “Of course, I was caught flat-footed. I felt so sad. Imagine, he was with us for a long time and we were praying for his early recovery only to find out na wala na siya,” she said.

Like a brother

The young actress wouldn’t forget how brotherly Kiko was to her. “Marami kaming pinagsamahan n’yan,” she added.

Actress, activist and writer Bibeth Orteza couldn’t believe Magalona is gone. “I was shocked. Malou (Choa-Fagar) called me immediately and I rushed to Broadway Centrum to comfort her because she cares very much for her stars. But I think Kiko was ready,” said Orteza as she was alighting from her car.

Death, Bibeth said, is like a thief in the night which comes in the most unexpected moment. Like Francis, who suffered from leukemia, Bibeth is also diagnosed with cancer, only hers is breast cancer.

Joey de Leon said he feels he lost a comrade in the arts. “I will miss him and his arts. Remember we are both painters. He’s like a younger brother to me,” said the comedian.

Luckier than most

The comic philosophized Kiko’s death in relation to a prayer said for the dead, and said Francis was luckier than most of us.

“Di ba, may kasabihan na ipanalangin natin ang namatay. Mas mabuti na tayo ang ipanalangin ng namatay,” Joey said. When asked why, de Leon answered: “Because he’s already with Him and he can ask Him to pray for us.”

What would Francis pray for people like Joey? “Marami. Like, mga personal na buhay natin. Magkakakilala kasi tayo,” he said. Asked if they would put up a foundation for leukemia victims, de Leon said that we must pray for him first, before we think of other plans.

Director Tony Reyes, who had directed Francis in one or two of his movies, said he thought the actor was too young to die. “He’s a jolly person,” said Reyes.

Jimmy Santos felt unhappy about the turn of events in Francis’ life. “Sayang at namatay agad siya. Ang dami pa niyang magagawa,” he said.

Fans who gathered around Broadway Centrum, especially the so-called “currimao,” were lonely upon learning their idol’s demise.

Everyone in the vicinity paused for a short prayer while Kiko’s co-hosts and co-stars got together inside the dressing room to pray for him.

Life goes on for Eat Bulaga! family minus Kiko


MANILA, Philippines – Noontime show Eat Bulaga! resumed to its usual programming minutes after the death of master rapper Francis Magalona, one the show’s host, was announced Friday. This was how Francis or Kiko would have wanted it, the show’s hosts said.

“Francis Magalona passed away this 12 noon,” a teary-eyed Vic Sotto said.

“Marami siyang iniwang ala-ala sa atin dito sa Eat Bulaga pati na sa larangan ng musika. We will surely miss him pati na ang buong industriya [He left us a lot of memories not only here in ‘Eat Bulaga’ but in the music industry as well. We will surely miss him. The entire industry will miss him],” he added.

Sotto then requested the people to pause for a moment of prayer for the eternal repose of the soul of Magalona.

“Our condolences to Pia and family. Kiko we love you,” Sotto ended while photographs of Magalona were flashed on screen and then they went on a commercial break.

When the show returned, Allan K tried to break the somber atmosphere on the set by saying, “The show must go on.”

In an interview after the show, Joey de Leon said life goes on for Eat Bulaga! and its hosts.

“Tuloy lang, tuloy lang ang buhay,” De Leon told GMANews.TV.

Ruby Rodriguez, in a separate interview, said that is what Magalona wanted them to do.

“Walang gustong kumuha ng mic pero hindi ko makakalimutan yung kinuwento ni Kiko [No one wanted to get the microphone to return to the show but I told them what Kiko told me],” Rodriguez said.

She said that when Magalona’s mother, Tita Duran, died, he was on board the radio.

“Ruby mabigat e [it is hard to accept], pero the show must go on, the show must go on for you people,” Rodriguez recalled Magalona as telling her.

She said it was in that story that the Eat Bulaga! hosts got their strength to continue with the show.

During the show, a contestant won the P1-million jackpot prize. De Leon owed Windy’s win to Magalona.

“Hoy, Kiko, andyan ka ba, Kiko? Nagbiro si Kiko! [Hey Kiko are you there? Kiko is playing with us!]” De Leon said.

Both De Leon and Sotto were visibly holding back tears as the emotional contestant was jumping up and down with her win in the show’s “Taktak Mo o Tatakbo” segment.

“Ayan si Kiko nagpatigil niyan [Kiko made that stop]!” De Leon said referring to the roulette.

The winner bagged a total cash price of P1,030,000 in the jackpot round. – GMANews.TV

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