My eyes were glued on TV on the news of Francis Magalona’s death at noon last Friday. At first what I thought was just an ordinary showbiz program, was actually a tribute and series of talks about his celebrated life. Just months after his illness was made public last year, I couldn’t believe he died and how seriously acute myeloid leukemia could shorten one’s life.
Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia
Francis’ life, lifestyle and vision is something to be reckoned with by the Filipino masses. His nationalistic spirit so mirrored in the music that he wrote is a stark reminder for all of us left behind. I could understand why former president Corazon Aquino paid tribute by going to his wake. Aquino, who’s also battling against colon cancer, is aptly tied with Magalona in an advocacy for love of country, its culture and “kababayans”.
I started googling for Kiko’s name on the net. I found some very interesting discoveries about a man of my generation. Francis’ blog had registered to 4 million hits today and counting. It was only a million less on Sunday. His popularity and following spawned such a large number of comments, encouragement to his family and condolences from Manila and from all over the globe as translated in his blog counter. From his Wikipedia bio, I learned he was just months younger than me, but he had left a mark on every faces of the Filipino psyche as a tangible monument of his ideals.
What is Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Wikipedia describes it as a cancer of the myeloid line of white blood cells. As an acute leukemia, it rapidly progresses and is usually fatal within weeks or months if left untreated.
Patients seek medical attention due to ailment that may include fever, fatigue, and recurring infections, weight loss, night sweats, or bleeding.
Acute myeloid leukemia is a potentially curable disease; but only a minority of patients are cured with current therapy. It is treated mainly with chemotherapy, although radiotherapy and biological therapy can play a role in certain scenarios. The goals of therapy are to relieve symptoms and put the leukemia into remission and hopefully cure the disease.
Francis M. is a class of his own. His idol Jose Rizal wrote about the kind of stuff that most people seemingly deprived themselves of, that is capturing the hope and dreams of the young ones. Magalona did this through his music.
When his wife Pia was interviewed on TV, she was the face of a strong woman who had not given up on her hubby’s passion. It was evident that she had learned to portray a not-so- gloomy appearance under the circumstances. With the passing of his beloved husband and friend for twenty four years, I can still see the smile of Francis in her when she talked about him.
Artist: Francis Magalona
Its pretty much unusual for a surviving wife to talk to the press the way she did with a smile on her face, but as she mentioned on the interview, this would have been his late husband wishes and would want her to be as they family were prepared to let him go.
Kabayan Francis M., Master Rapper, the Man from Manila you will be missed for a long time and beyond this generation.