Francis Magalona grants "Showbiz Central" his first interview after being diagnosed with leukemia

Sep 1, 2008
"Papa, I want you to know na kahit na mature role na ‘to, I'm still your baby girl, I'm still daddy's girl, always, always daddy's girl. I love you so much! Thank you, thank you. I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for you and mama. I love you," says Maxene Magalona (inset) to her father Francis Magalona, who granted Showbiz Central his first interview after being diagnosed with leukemia.

Live na nag-guest si Maxene Magalona sa Showbiz Central kahapon, August 31, para i-promote ang kanyang afternoon series na Una Kang Naging Akin ng GMA-7. Samantalang ang kanyang ama naman na si Francis Magalona ay nakausap via phone patch ni Pia Guanio. Iyon ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na nagpa-interview si Francis matapos lumabas ang balitang may sakit siyang leukemia.

Pero bago kinausap ni Pia si Francis ay tinanong muna ng Showbiz Central host si Maxene tungkol sa bago nitong Sine Novela, ang Una Kang Naging Akin na magsisimula nang mapanood mamayang hapon, September 1. Halos lahat daw siguro ng makakapanood ng naturang afternoon soap ay magugulat sa pagiging mature ni Maxene sa kanyang role, na sinang-ayunan naman ng young actress.

"Yes!" bulalas niya. "Talagang magugulat sila kasi ibang-iba na Maxene ang makikita nila rito. O, di ba? Aside sa kissing scene, meron ding love scenes. Kasi nga, mature na ang role ko rito which was played by Sharon Cuneta sa original. So, may kissing scene and this is the first time na totoong kissing scene. Dati kasi, puro daya lang. Alam n'yo na, I have to take it to the next level, yung kissing scene and yung love scene. But not naman exaggerated, just to imply na, you know, we're gonna have a baby."

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Kapareha ni Maxene dito si Wendell Ramos, na siya namang gaganap sa dating role ni Gabby Concepcion sa pelikula.

Ano naman ang naging reaction ng kanyang mga magulang na sina Francis Magalona at Pia Arroyo sa first mature role ni Maxene?

"Actually, noong dati, ako talaga yung may ayaw pa," sabi ng young actress. "Ako talaga ang very conservative. Pero sila, kahit ano'ng gusto ko, supportive sila. Pero right now, sa tinanggap kong role sa show na ito, I think maiintindihan nila kasi in all my years in show business, heto, ngayon pa lang ako gumagawa ng mature na roles.

"So my dad and my mom," patuloy niya, "they are very understanding and they are very supportive. In everything that I do, my dad and my mom are like, go, go, go!"

FRANCIS ON THE PHONE. Sa puntong ito ay kinausap na ni Pia si Francis, na for the first time ay nagpaunlak ng interview via phone patch sa Showbiz Central kahit nasa hospital pa siya, para alamin ang saloobin nito tungkol sa pagtanggap ng anak sa mas mature na role.

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Dahil magkasama sina Pia at Francis sa Eat Bulaga!, hindi maiwasan na ang bungad kaagad ni Pia ay kumustahin ang lagay ni Francis at sabihin na namimi-miss na nila ito.

Contrary sa iniisip marahil ng marami na tila may sakit ang boses nito, very lively at masaya pa rin na nakipag-usap si Kiko kay Pia. Sabi ni Francis, "Hey Pia, I miss you and all of the Dabarkads in Eat Bulaga! And, of course, before anything else, I'd like to say that I'm very proud of Maxene with her new role here [Una Kang Naging Akin] and, of course, her new TV show. Me and her mom will support for her for this nice, nice project."

Tinanong ni Pia si Francis kung totoong truly accepted ba sa kanilang dalawa ni Pia ang bagong role ni Maxene.

"When I saw the trailer a couple of days ago, actually, kinilig na ako, e," sagot ni Francis. "Siyempre, it's inevitable na Maxene will be doing this kind of roles. She's turning 22 on November and it's just right that she graduates into this kind of role.

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"And, you know, people might think that mature roles are just relegated to showing some skin... Mature roles means that she can attack the role, play an older woman and not the usual teenage roles that she usually plays. So, I'm very proud of her. And I'm also happy that she chose to do her kissing scene with a very good actor, Wendell, who is a good friend of mine and I respect him very much."

FRANCIS SAYS THANK YOU. Tinanong din ni Pia si Francis kung may mensahe ba siyang gustong iparating sa mga supporters and fans niya.

"Before anything else, I would like to thank all the people who have prayed for me and supported me and showed their efforts in more ways than one. Senator Richard Gordon, he's the one who is really taking care of me for the Red Cross. Of course, there's Tita Rosa Rosal and Toni Rose [Gayda] who's always there. And of course, my sister Maricar who is feeding me and giving me the nourishment. There are too many people... And, of course, the last but not the least, the Eat Bulaga! Dabarkads family. TVJ [Tito, Vic, & Joey], Mr. Tony Tuviera.

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"All of you, I know that you're always there behind me. My strength is taken from knowing that you are all rallying and making me stronger when you have faith that I'll be able to live through this. And, of course, last but not the least, to my family who has been always there, my pillar of strength. My brothers and sisters who call me up from the States.

"Of course, Pia and my children, Una, Maxene, Frank, Nicolo, Elmo, and all the children...they're too many!" natawa niyang sabi. "And Max, who's always there. Of course, when I watch Eat Bulaga! every day, it brings a smile to my face. You know, it's like a smile a day keeps the pain away."

Habang nakikinig sa kanyang ama ay hindi naman mapigilang tumulo ang luha ni Maxene.

Ayon kay Pia, miss na miss na nga raw nila si Francis sa Eat Bulaga! at inuulit-ulit na nga lang nila ang mga antics nito para ang dating ay nandoon pa rin siya.

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Sabi ni Francis, "I hope to be back soon and once again, I would like to congratulate Maxene and also, the GMA family, thank you very much. Of course, Direk Joel Lamangan for bringing out the best in my daughter. Dati, hindi umiiyak ‘yan. Ngayon, marunong nang umiyak ‘yan..."

Sumingit naman si Maxene at sinabing, "Dahil sa ‘yo, Papa, naiiyak ako, ang sweet mo kasi."

DADDY'S GIRL. Pagkatapos i-promote ni Francis ang palabas ng anak ay nagsalita ulit si Maxene. Aniya, "Papa, I want you to know na kahit na mature role na ‘to, I'm still your baby girl, I'm still daddy's girl, always, always daddy's girl. I love you so much! Thank you, thank you. I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for you and mama. I love you."

Sagot naman ni Francis, "This is a good match, Max, because your mature role is matching with my immature fatherhood, okay? You take care, I love you, dear."

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Pia told Maxene that illness in the family is always a downer. But as she can see it, there's a positive side on it, too.

"Yeah, I chose to say that this is a positive thing, too," pagsang-ayon ni Maxene. "The family is closer to each other. Mom and dad are...attach na nga raw si Papa sa kanya. Sorry, I said it again. It's very good. It's blessing in disguise because everything is going great. The first step talaga in this kind of situation is to have a positive attitude."

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"Papa, I want you to know na kahit na mature role na ‘to, I'm still your baby girl, I'm still daddy's girl, always, always daddy's girl. I love you so much! Thank you, thank you. I wouldn't be where I am right now if it wasn't for you and mama. I love you," says Maxene Magalona (inset) to her father Francis Magalona, who granted Showbiz Central his first interview after being diagnosed with leukemia.
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