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Master Rapper Francis Magalona passes away at 44

MANILA, Philippines - Master Rapper Francis Magalona, 44, passed away Friday. Vic Sotto confirmed the news over GMA's noontime show "Eat Bulaga" and asked for a minute of prayer for the eternal repose of the singer-composer's soul. A doctor at the hospital who requested anonymity told reporters that Magalona succumbed to multiple organ failure "secondary to severe sepsis and secondary to pneumonia." Magalona is survived by his wife Pia Maria Arroyo-Magalona and his eight children, including celebrity Maxine Magalona. Magalona's battle with the illness was made public last year. The 44-year-old singer-composer told the Philippine Entertainment Portal in December 2008 that he survived a delicate medical condition days before he was dispatched from a hospital. "Akala ko kasi magki-Christmas ako sa ospital, e, [I thought I would spend Christmas in the hospital] because I had a very, very, very close brush with death last December 4. I went into septic shock and it was a very scary moment," he said in an earlier interview. It was announced last year that Magalona was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant. "My doctor said I'm in remission right now after my third chemo cycle. So, my next move would be to do the bone marrow transplant and I'm very happy to announce that I was able to find a match. One of my sisters from the States we have the same tissue typing so she would be my donor," he added. Family, friends pour in In a GMA "Flash Report" Friday, reporter Sandra Aguinaldo said among the first personalities to rush to the Medical City Hospital in Mandaluyong City to condole with the family of Magalona were long-time friends Michael V, singer Ogie Alcasid, and Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista. Also rushing to the hospital was veteran actress Rosa Rosal, who chairs the Philippine National Red Cross Blood Donation program. Comedian Michael V said Magalona died with his entire family around him. After spending some time with Magalona’s family inside the hospital, Michael V went outside and told reporters how much the Philippines’ Master Rapper had influenced him in his rap music career. While expressing grief over the news, Bautista said he would immediately busy himself with arranging for the wake of Magalona. The Magalona family said the Master Rapper’s remains would be brought to the Christ the King Chapel in Green Meadows, Quezon City. Magalona – a father of eight – was bald but smiling in the last three photos in his last Web log (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 Jan. 14. The “Master Rapper" was wearing his signature “3 stars and a Sun" T-shirt in the pictures. Online condolences When Sotto broke the news live on “Eat Bulaga" that Magalona passed away on Friday noon, the singer-songwriter’s Web site was suddenly flooded with words of condolences from fans. “We will miss you Francis M.... May you Rest in Peace!" wrote “ysel3", the first blogger who sent her condolences to Magalona’s website.
“We'll pray for you and thanks for being such a wonderful and great example for everyone of us. See you!!! We don't really expect that you will leave us all soon man," Ysel added. As of 10 a.m. Monday, Magalona’s last blog entry got 3,300 comments, with at least 30 bloggers posting their condolences every minute. Aside from the usual text comments, other online users posted pictures of the Master Rapper. “Wartoys" posted his undated photo with Magalona saying: “Sir salamat dito sa ala-ala na yan. Miss you sir [Thank you for this memory. Miss you sir]. " “Cr4y0n1", on the other hand, embedded an MP3 of Magalona’s “Super Proxy," which the singer sang with Pupil frontman and friend Ely Buendia. “God bless sir Kiko... [As the song] super proxy [says] there’s no substitute for the real," cr4y0n1 wrote. Meanwhile, “ceefive" of San Pedro, Laguna, was more poetic with her message, “At noon today you've bid goodbye, God is good, He's heard your cry; He knows what's best for everybody, May comfort be with your family." - Amita O. Legaspi, Mark D. Merueñas, and Mark Joseph H. Ubalde, GMANews.TV