Francis Durango “FrancisM” Magalona

Francis Durango “FrancisM” Magalona

Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Death 6 Mar 2009 (aged 44)
Manila, Capital District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Burial Marikina, Eastern Manila District, National Capital Region, Philippines
Memorial ID 34619343 · View Source
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Francis Durango Magalona, also known as Francis M, Master Rapper, and The Man From Manila, was a Filipino rapper, entrepreneur, songwriter, producer, actor, director, and photographer. Often hailed as the "King of Pinoy Rap", he was considered a legend in the Philippine music community. With the success of his earliest albums, he was the first Filipino rapper in the Philippines to cross over to the mainstream. He is also credited for having pioneered the merging of rap with Pinoy rock, becoming a significant influence to artists in that genre as well. He was also a television host on MTV Asia and Channel V Philippines and on noontime variety television show Eat Bulaga! Magalona died seven months after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Magalona was later awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award's citation noted that it had been given "for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us."
Magalona was the eighth of the nine children of actors Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, popular film stars of the 1940s and 1950s. His grandfather, Enrique Magalona, served in the Philippine Senate from 1946 to 1955. He graduated from High School at the Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong City from 1978 to 1981 and studied at the San Beda College in Manila from 1981-1984.
With the familiarity brought about by having celebrity parents, Magalona started out as a breakdancer in the 1980s. He was cast in several Filipino movies of that decade, including Bagets 2. He likewise gained attention as the resident DJ/rapper in the IBC-13 variety show Loveli'Ness.

In his last years, Magalona turned his attention to photography, a hobby which he began to take more seriously when he started submitting pictures to magazines for publication. News reports note that he was overjoyed when he was accepted as a member of the prestigious Camera Club of the Philippines, and eventually received critical acclaim for his photographs.
And way before celebrity blogs had become the norm, Francis had begun blogging to communicate with fans. His website, A Free Man, chronicled his latest projects, new endeavors and even family affairs such as birthday parties and other activities with his children. His wife Pia, and some of his children had likewise started their own websites.

He also started a foundation with Ely Buendia called Heartist Foundation, which aims to help Filipino artists with health and commercial concerns.
Magalona was diagnosed on August 8, 2008, with acute myeloid leukemia at the Medical City Hospital, Pasig City. Appealing to the media and the public, Magalona said:
I don't want a media circus, [...] I want privacy with my family. What I'd rather talk about is how we can solicit blood donations to replace the supply that I have consumed in the hospital.
—Francis Magalona, August, 2008

After his first treatment and discharge, he made his return on Eat Bulaga together with Ely Buendia, who had also been recently discharged. Not wanting to let the disease get the better of him, he remained active, chronicling his battle with the disease on his blogs and continuing to pursue his creative efforts in spite of his illness. His daughter Maxene noted that "He always did what he wanted to do. He never let anyone or anything stop him from doing what he loved to do. He still went to the Camera Club, he still took pictures, every time he was discharged from the hospital, he recorded songs with Ely Buendia. He taught us that life is short but it can be well lived. Don't waste your time in the world."

His wife, Pia, later described her husband's battle with the disease, saying "Francis was a very passionate person. When he was angry, he was very expressive. He would get angry with his cancer. That was his way of coping with it. But he didn't give up. I remembered that he told me, 'I'm going down fighting.'

On March 6, 2009, at 12 noon, Magalona succumbed to multi organ failure secondary to septic shock, secondary to pneumonia in the immunocompromised (immediate cause); acute respiratory failure secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome (antecedent cause); underlying cause: acute myleogenous leukemia blast crisis. He had undergone several chemotherapy sessions since he was diagnosed the previous year, and had been expected to undergo a bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT).

The announcement was first made over Eat Bulaga!. News of his death sparked a surge of web traffic to several Philippine news sites, causing a momentary slowdown in the operation of those sites. Guests at his wake included the late former president Corazon Aquino, along with other politicians and artists who paid tribute to Magalona's contribution to Filipino music, and to national pride - the dominant advocacy theme in FrancisM's music. Fans arrived in droves to pay their last respects, some of them making a point to wear shirts from Magalona's FMCC line. Numerous television programs, ranging from noontime variety shows to primetime newscasts and late night news documentaries, paid tribute to Magalona.

He had been slated to appear as a special surprise guest at the Eraserheads' "the Final Set" reunion concert on March 7, 2009. Since he died the day before, the band instead dedicated the concert to Magalona. Buendia rapped the 22-bar portion in Superproxy which Magalona wrote, and the concert's penultimate song was the reprise of Kaleidoscope World.

Magalona was laid to final rest before daybreak on March 11, 2009. The interment to his final resting place was held at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, causing traffic to stall in the Marikina Riverbanks area near the park as fans and numerous people from the entertainment industry joined the convoy. The Philippine Army also rendered military honors to Magalona in recognition of his patriotism and service as a sergeant in the reserves. His widow, Pia, received the flag draped on his coffin.
The Magalona family was also firm against any attempts to capitalize on FrancisM's death and persona. On March 17, 2009, a group of Filipino expatriates in Dubai, UAE and Saudi Arabia, announced plans to hold tribute concerts where performers will sing his songs, with the proceeds supposedly going to a foundation set up in his honor and to the Philippine Red Cross. Pia and Maxene later came out and denounced the organizers, saying that both concerts did not have the family's blessings and the foundation did not exist. They also particularly admonished the concert organizers for using the Red Cross to attract attendees. Pia also asked the public not to patronize sellers of fake FMCC goods, which started to appear within days of Magalona's death. Their house had been broken into a couple of times, with his personal items, along with his family kids' stuff being the main targets. One of them was a laptop computer where other unpublished FMCC designs were stored.

Magalona would ultimately be cited not just the "King of Philippine rap" but also "The Father of Pinoy Hip Hop". Magalona's contributions to the genre have been featured in several international hip hop publications including the All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap and Hip-Hop (2003) published by Backbeat Books; as well as the May 2004 issue of the U.S.-based publication The Source. He was also given the Pioneer Hall of Fame Award by Empire Entertainment at the 1st Annual Philippine Hip-Hop Music Awards in 2005.

On March 18, 2009, the Philippine Government - through the efforts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts -- recognized Magalona with by awarding him a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award's citation noted that it had been given "for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us."

His daughter Maxene has indicated that she intends to continue Magalona's projects, including his The Sickos Project album with Buendia, and a documentary about his battle with cancer. The young actress stated: "We will coordinate with the people he had been working with, I understand that Papa is a big part of history."


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  • Created by: pancit bihon girl
  • Added: 9 Mar 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34619343
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Francis Durango “FrancisM” Magalona (4 Oct 1964–6 Mar 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34619343, citing Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina, Eastern Manila District, National Capital Region, Philippines ; Maintained by pancit bihon girl (contributor 47039720) .