Friday the 6th, 20009. Every Filipino friend and contact of mine on Facebook had a status similar to mine: we were all deeply saddened by the passing of Francis ‘Kiko’ Magalona — the Master Rapper, the Man from Manila, musician, actor, true son of showbiz, ‘tatay’ (father) to eight. A creative man, an unlikely nationalist and a true artist of this generation. His failures and truimphs — his music — were intrinsically woven into my teenage years. We could all connect to him, because he was just like us: young, restless, reckless, hopeful. A true patriot, he painstakingly crafted his art to not only exist for art’s sake, but used his voice to chronicle the conflicts and struggles of Philippine society. Most of all, he loved his country and was proud to be Pinoy. It was this pride that fueled his craft and impressed upon the minds of many, both young and old. When he sang that he was proud to be Pinoy, that he loved his country, that he wanted change, that he was ‘ready to defend’, my soul sang with him.
Although we are left to cherish his poetry and music, his absence will reverberate in the core of the Pinoy music industry, and it will swell in hearts of ordinary Pinoys he has touched, like me. Rest in peace, ‘kababayan ko’.