Master Rapper Francis Magalona was as much a “Pinoy pride" as his signature shirts that were emblazoned with words and images of patriotism, according to fellow celebrity and Sen. Ramon “Bong" Revilla Jr.
In a message of condolence, Revilla hailed Magalona as a Philippine icon who had helped inspire the public, especially the youth, into not losing touch of their love for the country through the arts. Magalona on Friday succumbed to multiple organ failure. He was 44.
“The country has lost a modern-day artist, a nationalist in his own creative way. Francis M. used music and fashion to promote love of country among Filipino youth," said Revilla, who was a full-time movie star before entering politics.
Revilla praised Magalona for serving as a perfect example of not only hurdling medical ailments like leukemia but also honing one’s skills to live a productive life.
"Ehemplo siya bilang isang Pilipinong nadapa sa mga pagsubok ng kabataan ngunit nakayang bumangon at paunlarin ang kakayahan [He is a model of a Filipino who fell down as a young man but stood up armed with his talent]," the senator said.
“Gaya ng tatak ng mga T-shirt na ginawa niyang intrumento para palaganapin ang patriotism sa mga bagong henerasyon, siya ay maipagmamalaki ng bansa, tunay na "Pinoy Pride [Like the messages and symbols of his T-shirts, which he used to spread patriotism among the new generation, he is a pride of the country, truly the pride of Filipinos]," Revilla added.
The demise of Magalona was announced by Vic Sotto halfway into Friday’s episode of GMA’s noontime show "Eat Bulaga," in which Magalona stood in as host for over a decade.
The Master Rapper is survived by his wife Pia Maria Arroyo Magalona and his eight children, including celebrity Maxene Magalona.
Magalona’s remains were brought late Friday to Christ the King Memorial Chapel at Green Meadows in Quezon City.
Immediately after news of Magalona’s death broke out, relatives and friends immediately came rushing to The Medical City Hospital in Mandaluyong City, among them long-time friends Michael V, Ogie Alcasid, and Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista.
"Walang Michael V kung walang Francis M [There would be on Michael V without a Francis M]," Michael V said after emerging from the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital to face reporters.
Bautista – a showbiz personality himself – said Magalona was “a close friend [and a] great loss to the industry."
Fans also took the time to send messages of condolence through blog entries, with one blogger even alluding to an Eraserheads song that Magalona remade: “As the song 'Super Proxy' says, there’s no substitute for the real."
It would be remembered that Magalona himself mastered the technology of blogging to give fans a regularly updated account of his medical treatment, even posting pictures of his chemotherapy sessions.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, Magalona’s last blog entry got 700 comments, with at least 30 bloggers posting their condolences every minute.