"We pray for the repose of the soul of Francis. Our condolences to Pia and the family. Kiko we love you."
These were the words of Eat Bulaga! host Vic Sotto following the announcement of Francis's passing at around noon today, March 6, after a hard-fought battle against leukemia. Francis—fondly referred to as Kiko by his peers—used to be a mainstay of Eat Bulaga! for several years until he was advised by his doctors to rest for his medical treatment.
"As a true-blooded professional, kay Kiko po namin nakuha ang 'the show must go on.' Kaya ito, the show must go on," co-host Allan K said.
Francis's health problem was diagnosed and revealed in August 2008. He and his family appealed for privacy, preferring to update the public occasionally through interviews.
A TRUE ARTIST. The son of Philippine screen icons Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, Francis rose to fame in the early '90s with the release of his groundbreaking debut album, Yo!
Bolstered by the hits "Cold Summer Nights," "Gotta Let 'Cha Know," and "My Only One Francis instantly established his brand of music, which was a fusion of rap and OPM. The anthemic single, "Mga Kababayan"—perhaps Francis's most popular song—clearly illustrated Kiko's unique style of incorporating various music genres to make it sound Filipino.
The band explosion of the '90s failed to deter Kiko's growth as an artist. Recognizing fully well the need to reinvent himself and his art, Francis embraced rock music and incorporated it into his own style, producing songs such as "Bahay Yugyugan, " "Meron Akong Ano," "Girl Be Mine," and the psychedelic ear candy, "Kaleidoscope World."
Francis also dabbled in photography, designing and directing. Some of the bands and artists he directed include Spongecola, Join Da Club, Gloc 9, Shamrock, Picaso, and Death Threat.
Before he passed away, Francis mustered enough strength to enter the recording studio and collaborate with good friend and former Eraserheads frontman, Ely Buendia. The record, dubbed as the Sickos Project, is now slated for a posthumous release.
Joey de Leon announced that Eat Bulaga! will dedicate its episode tomorrow, March 7, to Francis Magalona.
Francis was survived by his wife Pia Arroyo and their eight children, including actress Maxene Magalona.
At press time, Francis's remains are still at Medical City in Mandaluyong City, where he was confined until his death. His family has yet to give an official statement about Francis's death and the details of his wake and burial.
Click HERE to view PEP's tribute to the the Master Rapper Francis Magalona.