MANILA, Philippines -- Two days after the death of the Philippines' "master rapper" Francis Magalona, his eight children are coping with the grief by finding strength in each other.
"Just by being together okay na kami [we?re okay]," Maxene Magalona, the eldest of Magalona?s six children by wife Pia Arroyo-Magalona, told INQUIRER.net.
"When papa was alive he'd want for the whole family to be all together all the time sayang kasi wala na siya pero [it?s sad he?s no longer with us]. We can still continue doing that -- to spend as much time together as we can," she said.
Maxene said her family would continue praying the rosary together, which they started doing before her father died due to complications from leukemia last Friday.
During the wake at Christ the King in Green Meadows, Quezon City, the younger children were seen playing with each other, while the older children were busy entertaining their friends, relatives, guests and fans.
Maxene said many might be surprised that their family looked "okay," but she attributed this to her parents own strength.
"Maybe it?s because Mama and Papa are very strong individuals so that's where we got it from," Maxene said.
"I think it hasn't really sunk in yet. We're focusing on what has to be done first right now," said Unna Magalona, one of Pia?s two children by a previous relationship.
"We want to try to help to make it easier for her, to do our parts and take care of each other," Elmo, one of the younger Magalona kids said, when asked how they would help their mother.
Magalona started his career in the early 1980s as a break dancer before appearing in several movies, including a lead role in Viva Films ?Bagets 2.?
He then worked as a disc jockey, a video jock for MTV Asia and later ventured into TV hosting in the daily noontime show ?Eat Bulaga!?
In a message to his father, Frank Magalona said: "I hope you're at peace now. You're truly an inspiration to the Filipinos and for us. We'll try to pursue your ventures and take care of the younger ones."
The Magalona couple?s other children are Nicolo, Saab, Francis Jr., Arkin, and Clara.