The news came through the radio as I was driving back to the office yesterday, cursing the high temperature outside. It was after lunch and I was yet to take eat. The long drive, the hunger, the heat, everything resulted to a terrible headache. But somehow the pain seemed to disappear as the announcement sank in — Francis Magallona lost his fight with leukemia.
I don’t know him personally. I haven’t followed his career recently. But somehow the news affected me in a way.
People, events, things and everything that significantly impact us while younger build our picture of the past. This mental image, on the other hand, serve as the anchor of where we are and where we are going.
The “Man from Manila” or the “Master Rapper” is part of that mental image, for me, at least. We’ve spent our restless, growing up days complaining about the “cold summer nights”. Or how we would repeatedly hear about someone proudly telling his kababayans: “Nais ko’ng malaman n’yo, ako ay Pilipino“.
Imagine that piece of memory being threatened to be ripped out of our neat frabric of the past. Or, at the very least, imagine all the memories — good, bad, embarrassing, treasured, all kinds — pouring out of the piggy bank of the past, jiggled by the news that the man behind the song which stitched many of these memories together, had just died.
So, to the “Master Rapper,” may you rest in peace, man. You don’t know us, but you’re part of our past.
To the family of Francis M., our deepest condolences. I can’t tell you “I know how you feel”, because I really don’t. But I could tell you that the musical contribution and legacy of your FrancisM will always be remembered. By me, at least.