Kahit wala na ang Master Rapper na si Francis Magalona ay ipinagdiwang pa rin ng kanyang pamilya ang dapat sana'y 45th birthday niya noong Linggo, October 4, sa puntod nito sa Loyola Memorial Park, Marikina City. Matatandaang sumakabilang-buhay si Francis noong March 6 ng taong ito, pagkatapos ng ilang buwang pakikipaglaban sa leukemia.
Kahapon, October 5, ay nakausap ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Maxene Magalona, ang panganay na anak nina Francis at Pia Magalona.
Naikuwento ng young actress na maaga silang nagsimula sa pagdiriwang ng kaarawan ng kanyang ama, kasama halos lahat ng pamilya Magalona.
"We all visited his grave in Marikina, except for my Ate [Unna] and Kuya [Nicollo] who were both busy. Pero kami, six kids with Mama and some of Papa's sisters, kasama sa cemetery. And then after that, we heard Mass tapos nag-lunch kami sa isang restaurant sa Shangri-la Plaza. Pero kami na lang yun mga anak ni Papa at si Mama... Ganun kasi kami usually pag Sunday or pag may birthday, pero no big parties," sabi ni Maxene.
Ano ang naramdaman niya na sa unang pagkakataon ay isine-celebrate nila ang kaarawan ng ama niya na wala na ito?
"Siyempre nakakalungkot, pero okay lang, kasi at least sa birthday niya, no more pain and suffering for him. And as long as our family's together, that's what makes him happy the most," sagot ng Kapuso star.
FIRST CHRISTMAS WITHOUT KIKO. Ilang buwan na lang ay sasapit na ang Pasko. Ito rin ang unang pagkakataon na hindi nila makakapiling si Francis sa araw ng Pasko.
"Ay naku, pag Christmas, malamang mas lalo kami malulungkot!" sambit ng dalaga. "It's because Papa always made our Christmas extra special. One of his favorite holidays kasi yun, e. He always made it extra special for us, laging may surprise lalo na how he gave us his presents... Kunwari nakalagay sa ibang lalagyan, pagbukas, ibang gift pala! Para double surprise... Parang ganun.
"Tapos he was the one in charge of taking pictues, capturing our reactions when we open our gifts. Wala naman talaga kasi pakialam si Papa sa mga gifts niya. All he really wanted was to see our smiles when we opened ours. Ganun."
May plano na ba sila kung paano nila ise-celebrate ang darating na Kapaskuhan?
"Well, we plan to celebrate every holiday the same way lang, back to normal. But of course, hindi mawawala yung reminiscent talks about Papa... We always, always talk about him, and it makes us all happy just remembering his memories."
Kumusta na silang mag-anak ngayon?
"We're definitely closer now, as a family," sagot ni Maxene. "We spend more time together and we've become more bonded ever since Papa got sick. And maybe that's one of the positive outcomes that we got from this whole experience. We learned the importance of our family and, therefore, began appreciating one another. We learned to love each other more.
"We always think of him in everything that we do. And as each day passes by, we miss him even more. And we're okay with that. We're okay with missing him every day."