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One last round of applause for Magalona

By Thea Alberto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 03:55:00 03/11/2009

Filed Under: People, Celebrities, Entertainment (general)

MANILA, Philippines ? (UPDATE) Francis Magalona has been laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City Wednesday morning.

The family, led by Magalona?s widow, Pia, and close friends, bid a final goodbye to the man, known as the ?Master Rapper,? with a round of applause shortly before noon.

Arkin and Clara, Magalona's two youngest children, read a poem for their father, whom they likened to a butterfly. They also released white balloons.

Military rites and a salute were offered to Magalona, an army reservist.

Magalona's widow also accepted a Philippine flag courtesy of the Army in recognition of Magalona's patriotism and for being an army reservist with the rank of sergeant.

Traffic was stalled in the area of Libis as Magalona?s convoy went to Loyola Memorial Park.

At the Christ the King Church in Green Meadows, Quezon City earlier on Wednesday, Magalona's sons Frank and Elmo, close friends and television co-hosts Vic Sotto and Joey De Leon, and best buddy and co-rapper Michael V helped to carry the casket while Magalona's hit song "Kaleidoscope World" was being played, with fans waiting outside the church.

His widow admitted for the first time that the family knew that Magalona's illness, acute myelogenous leukemia, was a hard enemy to defeat. She said Magalona had several relapses and every time they took him back to hospital he would "sometimes cuss."

But "he chose to be brave about it, that's why it always seemed that it was going to get better although the AML subtype [illness] that he had was really the worst," she said.

She said in her eulogy to her husband of over two decades that during chemotherapy sessions at the Medical City, Magalona sometimes asked why there was pain, but also showed courage in fighting death.

She said that during her husband's second relapse she told him ?he could go? and leave the pain but Magalona kept on.

She said that days before he passed away, Magalona accepted his fate.

"I know for a fact that he prayed: 'I pray to you to heal me for me to be able to spend more time for my family. I would like to stay longer but then again, if it is your will I will accept it whole heartedly,'? his widow recalled.

"He was really peaceful about his passing, he was really able to accept it," she added.

The crew of the TV noontime program "Eat Bulaga," of which Magalona was a host, prepared a short audiovisual presentation that included clips and gags Magalona did for the show.

The widow thanked the people who condoled with their family. She also acknowledged Tony Tuviera, head of TAPE Inc., which produces the "Eat Bulaga," who shouldered the medical expenses throughout her husband's seven-month battle with leukemia.

Magalona died last March 6. He was 44.



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