(Update) Francis M to get presidential medal of merit

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 09 2009 08:07 AM | Updated as of Mar 09 2009 08:16 PM

Francis Magalona, the Philippines' King of Rap, is set to receive the posthumous presidential medal of merit for promoting nationalism through his songs, Malacañang said Monday.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said many of Magalona's most famous hits instill love of country among the youth. Some of his hit songs are "Mga Kababayan", "Man from Manila", "Ito Ang Gusto Ko", "Three Stars and a Sun" and "Kaleidoscope World."

"The medal recognizes the nationalism and love of country that is there in all his performances," Remonde told ABS-CBN News.

He said Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Vicente "Tito" Sotto III will facilitate the awarding of the medal to Magalona.

The rapper, 44, succumbed to leukemia past noon Friday after battling cancer for nearly eight months. He left behind his wife Pia Arroyo and their eight children--Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Isabella, Elmo, Arkin, Clara, and actress Maxene Magalona.

Magalona was the son of 1950's legendary actors and celebrity couple Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran.

Launched as a teen star in the 1980s, Magalona's career boomed with his hit rap song "Mga Kababayan," which was included in his album "Yo!" released in 1990.

In subdued colors

Friends, fans and supporters of the master rapper continued to troop to Christ the King Church in Greenmeadows, Quezon City to pay their last respects. Most of the mourners wore either white or black clothes.

Actress Gina Alajar, “Eat Bulaga’s” Executive Producer Malou Choa-Fagar, TV magnate Tony Tuviera were in black.

Scriptwriter and character actress Racquel Villavicencio, stage and television thespian Madeliene Nicolas, sexy actor Alfred Vargas, former senator and TV host Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, controversial and erstwhile basketball player and screen goon Dave Brodette were in pure white.

Incidentally, white was one of Magalona’s favorite colors. When attending events, he would wear the same color either in tee o polo shirt.

His remains will be cremated on Wednesday at Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City and white doves will be flown to the sky.  

Filipino rappers have also gathered in his wake. Andrew E. even composed a rap to pay tribute to his “guru.”

“Dito sa aking puso, patuloy kang titimo,” Andrew E. rapped as he brought back memories of his 23-year friendship with Magalona. Reports from Boy Villasanta, abs-cbnNEWS.com, Ginger Conejero, ABS-CBN News, ABS-CBN News Channel