R.I.P. Francis Magalona

I am one of the thousands of fans of Francis Magalona who was shocked yesterday at his untimely demise. Vic Sotto officially and publicly announced it on TV. I first heard of Francis when I was in grade 7, the time he popularized Mga Kababayan Ko. In high school, a friend and I agreed he was cute, and we included him in our crush list hehe.

I was then slowly growing to love hiphop, and Francis' compositions stood out for me. He started hiphop in the Philippines and raised it on a pedestal when hiphop was basically considered trash with mostly nonsensical themes. He composed songs with nationalistic undertones and inciting positive values. Until now I never get tired listening to "Kaleidoscope World" and "Three Stars and a Sun."

For the past two or three years, I would regularly visit his and his wife's blogs and keep myself posted on their personal lives. The stories they shared made me admire Francis more. He was not just very passionate with his craft, but he was also a very loving family man. His is a family I longed to have, very happy and close knit.

I'm sort of moved to reflect right now on how life can be both happy and brutal at the same time. Francis was young at 44 and seemed healthy. But in a snap, he inhibited a fatal sickness that eventually took his life. He made me admire him up to the very last minute. He remained smiling, hopeful and fighting throughout his whole ordeal. Although it is shameful to admit it, I know I'll never have half of that courage to go through a "happy battle" and I fear that I might not be able to hold on to something when that time comes for me.

Francis' passing on is sad for the music industry because I don't see anyone coming close to his footsteps in rap and hipop. It is sad for the nation as they lost one honest guy who truly loved his country and expressed it in rhythmic beats.
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