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MAXENE Magalona with his late father, Francis

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MAGALONA siblings (from L): Arkin, Clara, Francis Jr. and Maxene. Photo by Raffy Lerma




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Maxene wants to make her papa proud

By Marinel Cruz, Erika Tapalla
INQUIRER.net, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:21:00 03/08/2009

Filed Under: Entertainment (general), Celebrities, death notices, People, Family

MANILA, Philippines?I?m going to make you proud, Papa,? said actress Maxene Magalona at the wake of her dad, Pinoy rap icon Francis Magalona, who died Friday afternoon of leukemia.

The lead actress of GMA 7?s defunct drama series ?Una Kang Naging Akin? promised she would carry on her dad?s unfinished projects. Francis had wanted to do a book on his battle with leukemia. He had also begun writing and recording songs for a new album. ?We will coordinate with the people he had been working with. I understand that Papa is a big part of history,? Maxene said.

The third of eight Magalona children, Maxene was at his father?s bedside when he died of multiple organ failure arising from his illness at The Medical City hospital in Pasig. Francis was preparing for a stem cell transplant at the time of his death. He was 44.

?It was painful to have seen him suffer so much. But then, I?m thankful that the misery is finally over,? Maxene said on Saturday at Christ the King Parish in Greenmeadows, Quezon City, where Francis? remains lie till Tuesday.

Cremation is set at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at the Funeria Paz, Araneta Avenue, Quezon City, after the 9 a.m. Mass at Christ the King.

Maxene added that all her siblings are coping with the grief by finding strength in each other.

"Just by being together okay na kami [we?re okay]," Maxene said in a separate interview with 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 passed away on Friday.

During the wake, 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, the eldest.

"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.

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."

In an interview with the show biz program ?Star Talk,? Francis?s wife, Pia Arroyo-Magalona, said the family has been emotionally prepared ?for this moment.?

Pia related that she tried talking to Francis at his deathbed for the last time. ?I thanked him for being a good provider to our kids. It was supposed to help him deal with the pain he was suffering from,? said Pia, mother to Unna (25), Nick (23), Maxene (22), Francis Jr. (21), Saab (20), Elmo (14), Arkin (9) and Clara (8).

Passionate

?Francis was a very passionate person,? Pia said. ?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.??

Francis? third daughter Saab, a mainstay of the youth show ?Lipgloss,? said she was with her dad the night before he died. ?He couldn?t really talk anymore. I just hope he recognized me,? Saab added.

Joey de Leon, one of the main hosts on the country?s longest-running noontime TV show ?Eat ? Bulaga!? where Francis is also a mainstay, described him as ?a playful little boy.? The comedian added: ?We shared the same interests like painting and writing songs. He was always fun to be with.?

Singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, who had worked with Francis in a few films and collaborated on several songs for Ogie?s second album, ?On Air,? said: ?Francis was determined to accomplish a lot of things when he was still alive. He had wanted to inspire more people with his songs. At Michael V?s wedding, I remember he said we would keep making music together. Kaya lang, I moved to another record label and concentrated on comedy.?

Ogie added that he rushed to the hospital upon hearing of Francis? death from Michael V. ?I went there to comfort his family and Bitoy, (Michael V?s nickname), who was closer to Francis than I was. They shared a lot of things in common?Bitoy started out as a rapper, now they?re both ?Bulaga? hosts, and still love playing video games.?

Hi-C of the rap group Dice and K9 said they were on their way to Enchanted Kingdom in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, when they received a call from a friend about Francis. ?We canceled the trip, which should have been an anniversary celebration of Gloc 9?s wedding,? Hi-C explained. ?Francis treated us like his own children. He called us his ?anak.? Whenever there?s misunderstanding among our members, he tried to patch it up.?

Dice added that he last worked with Francis on a new arrangement of ?Mga Kababayan.? Dice added that Francis sang the new version in some of his shows in the Middle East. ?We will miss him, but his music will live,? Dice said.



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