GMA News Online

Francis M's death leads to RP Web traffic surge

March 6, 2009 7:23pm
When Francis Magalona's death was announced on "Eat Bulaga," the master rapper's friends and fans went online almost simultaneously, increasing traffic and slowing down local news Web sites.

Among those that experienced delays in loading Web pages included GMANews.TV, the news web site of GMA Network Inc., which broadcasts "Eat Bulaga," the Philippines' leading noontime show.

Similar Philippine-based news Web sites also encountered the same experience, Mitchie Favis, GMA New Media systems integration manager said.

Our bandwidth got used up since a lot of people were accessing the website," Favis said in an interview.

Heavy traffic on Philippine news Web sites such as GMANews.TV peaked at around 1:30 p.m. and gradually returned to normal after 5 p.m., Favis said.

On Friday afternoon, "Eat Bulaga" host Vic Sotto shocked viewers with the announcement that the 44-year-old singer-composer lost his bout with cancer.

"To all those watching 'Eat Bulaga,' we regret to tell you that Francis Magalona passed away this 12 noon," Sotto said in Filipino, his voice breaking off as he kept his tears at bay.

"He left us a lot of memories not only here in 'Eat Bulaga' but in the music industry as well. We will surely miss him. The entire industry will miss him," he said.

Next: Blogs buzz about Magalona's death

Blogs buzz about Magalona's death

Meanwhile, as rising traffic brought delays to news Web sites, bloggers began to post entries about Magalona, also known as the first Filipino given his very own talk show on MTV Asia.

The Internet buzzed with blogs about Francis M's death minutes after it was announced. At least one blog was hesitant at first to believe the news.

"Please stop spreading false reports," the blog read. "Francis M. is not dead."

Soon after, several other blogs posted initial reports from news Web sites.

Popular free-sharing online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, immediately updated their entry for Magalona: "On March 6, 2009, it was reported that Francis Magalona died at 12:00 noon that day, due to acute myelogenous leukemia."

Some fans also trooped to YouTube to revisit Magalona's songs.

"Our teacher told us the story in class. We were all shocked," wrote "jerene 2178" in Magalona's video of his '90s hit song "Mga Kababayan Ko."

"I'm sad," wrote "preetty aubrey," "My classmates and I just performed one of his songs recently."

Magalona's Facebook account was also swamped with condolences. As of posting time, the last entry on his personal website, dated Jan. 14, gathered more than 1,100 comments, mostly from fans expressing their condolences to Magalona's family.

Magalona – a father of eight – was bald but smiling in the last three photos in his last blog entry.

The "Mga Kababayan Ko" singer was then very optimistic he would win his bout with cancer.

"Good evening people. I am getting prepared for my 4th Chemotherapy cycle, and I will be admitted tonight at The Medical City. I will be doing some tests tomorrow, wish me luck," Magalona wrote in his blog on January 14.

The Master Rapper was wearing his signature "3 stars & a Sun" T-shirt in the pictures. - with Mark Joseph H. Ubalde, GMANews.TV
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