I love listening to different types of music. My day will never feel complete without any music playing. For over a billion songs and singers worldwide, I can say I can choose from almost anything. I admit I do not know a lot of singers in the country. Even though I listen to Filipino music, I am not familiar to a lot of Filipino artists and songs. But if asked if I have favorite artists, I would definitely answer yes.
My favorite Filipino artist is the late Francis Magalona. I know a lot of people know and admire him too. But for those who do not know much about him, he is the first Filipino rapper who made it to the mainstream. He got the credit for pioneering the merge of Filipino rap with Filipino rock. He became a significant influence to other Filipino artists in different genres. He inspired and encouraged people by his nationalistic and thought-provoking rhymes and lyrics. He touched other people’s lives and inspired them with tracks addressing the different cultural, political and social issues that plagued the Philippines; drug addiction and colonial mentality as such.
His music career from underground to mainstream has been successful. His contributions to the music industry had earned him pride and honor not only locally but also internationally. No wonder he could be cited not only as the “King of Philippine rap” but also “The father of Pinoy hip-hop”. He was also awarded the Pioneer Hall of Fame Award by the Empire Entertainment during the 1st Annual Philippine Hip-Hop Music Awards in 2005. He also received the MTV Pilipinas Video Music Award the year after in recognition to the success of his music career that has spanned decades and broke boundaries. He was even launched by several supporters for the Order of National artist award, which is the highest award given to Filipino artists. He was the second most honored Filipino artist in the Philippines in the music industry with respect to Mr. Gary Valenciano. He was indeed a legacy in the industry for his music still continues to inspire people and different artists here and abroad.
Like any other, inspite his overwhelming success and blessings, he is still human.The country got alarmed upon hearing the confirmation that he was indeed suffering from cancer in 2008. He was diagnosed with AML or Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He appealed to the public for privacy. After his first treatment, he was able to make his return to hosting a popular noon time show, Eat Bulaga. During those times that he went in and out of the hospital walls, he continued doing the things he loved doing and inspired people to appreciate life and live life well until it lasted. He was even able to record songs with another famous local icon and favorite, Ely Buendia.
His collaboration with Ely Buendia gave birth to ‘In love and War’, a new album released in various music stores. This album was done during the days he was suffering from cancer. They collaborated well representing each genre, and once again merged Pinoy rap and rock music.
He had undergone several treatments and chemotherapies months after he got diagnosed. Due to different complications that caused his death, he was not able to undergo bone marrow transplantation and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation. News of his death caught not just the country’s attention but as well as worldwide. The news spread the web causing web traffic and slowdown of web operations. The country mourned with the family of the dearly departed, Francis Magalona. Different public figures visited his wake and glorified his legacy as one of the most influential artist of our time.
After his burial, the memory and music of Francis lives on. His music has been heard all over, in recognition to every contribution he did in the music industry. Though there were crises after his death, the family was able to resolve those issues easily. His wife and children continued what Francis left them with after his death. They were able to make everyone understand that Francis Magalona is indeed a big part of history.
His death did not stop me from listening to his songs. Until now I have been listening to Kaleidoscope World. It has been my favorite Filipino song since I heard itin the radio when I was younger. Many people liked this song as well. They can relate to this song well because it talks about identity and individualism.
He is my favorite male singer not just because of his song but also because he is inspirational. He used music to communicate something sensible and worth thinking. He is a true artist because he was able to transcend beyond what is tangible and was able to touch people’s lives. He is indeed a legacy.