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Francis Magalona
Francis Magalona.jpg
Background information
Birth name Francis Michael Durango Magalona
Also known as
  • Francis M
  • Master Rapper
  • The Man from Manila
  • Kiko
  • The Mouth
  • The Filipino King of Rap
Born (1964-10-04)October 4, 1964
Manila, Philippines
Died March 6, 2009(2009-03-06) (aged 44)
The Medical City, Pasig, Metro Manila, Philippines
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • actor
  • director
  • entrepreneur
  • host
  • photographer
Years active 1984–2009
Labels OctoArts International Inc. (now PolyEast Records) (1989–1993)
BMG Records (Pilipinas), Inc. (now Sony Music) (1994–2006)
Associated acts Andrew E
Hardware Syndrome
Joey Ayala
Ryan Cayabyab
Planet Garapata
Perfecto de Castro
Michael V.
Parokya ni Edgar
Ely Buendia
Evil Stepsisters

The Pin-Ups

Francis Michael Durango Magalona (October 4, 1964 – March 6, 2009), also known by the moniker Francis M, was a Filipino rapper, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, actor, and television personality. Born in Manila, He became a significant influence to artists in the Pinoy hip-hop scene and the local rap community.

Beyond music, Magalona was also a television host on MTV Asia and Channel V Philippines and on the noontime variety television show Eat Bulaga!. Magalona died on March 6, 2009, seven months after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia. Magalona was later awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award's citation noted that it had been given "for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us."

Family and early career

Magalona was the eighth of the nine children of actors Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, popular film stars of the 1940s and 1950s. His grandfather, Enrique B. Magalona, was a politician and served as a Senator of the Philippines from 1946 to 1949 and from 1949 to 1955. He graduated from high school at the Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong from 1978 to 1981 and studied at the San Beda College in Manila from 1981 to 1984.

Magalona started out as a breakdancer in the 1980s. He was cast in several Filipino movies including Bagets 2. He was the resident DJ/rapper in the IBC-13 variety show Loveli'Ness.

Magalona was introduced by co-actor Richard Gomez to Pia Arroyo at a party in a disco owned by film director Ishmael Bernal, and the couple got married in 1985. The couple had eight children, two of whom were Magalona's stepchildren: Unna, Nicolo, and television personalities Maxene (Max) (1986), Francis Jr. (Frank) (1987), Saab (1988), Elmo (1994), Arkin and Clara Magalona, who entered showbiz to follow their father's footsteps.

Music career

In 1990, he released the album Yo!, the first commercially released Filipino rap album. Yo! included several popular singles such as "Mga Kababayan" (Fellow Countrymen), "Gotta Let 'Cha Know", "Cold Summer Nights", and a duet with Pia Arroyo "Loving You" as the only song that Pia recorded. With tracks that featured politically conscious and thought-provoking rhymes in both English and Tagalog, Yo! was a big success and helped catapult Filipino hip hop from underground to mainstream status. It also marked the birth of Makabayang (nationalistic) rap in Filipino hip hop.

In 1992, Francis Magalona released Rap Is FrancisM (1992). With tracks addressing the various cultural and social problems that plagued his country, the record's complexity and conscious message quickly earned it its classic status and became the standard by which future albums of the genre were to be compared. This album helped tag Magalona as one of the most politically conscious voices of his generation.

FrancisM airport
Magalona at Ninoy Aquino Airport in Manila

The release of his third album, Meron akong ano! (I Got Something!) in 1993 marked the beginning of Magalona's experimentation with Pinoy rock. Magalona was soon cited for excellence in both genres of music.

Freeman was released the following year, 1995, and firmly established Magalona's legitimacy in the Pinoy rock scene.

Magalona's next album, Happy Battle, was released in 1996. When Magalona was diagnosed with leukemia, he and his wife Pia would use the album name "Happy Battle" as a reference to his fight against cancer.

The 1998 album The Oddventures of Mr. Cool saw a move from the last two albums' heavy guitar sound and explored mellow, urban-style rapping. It featured the song "Whole Lotta Lovin'", whose music is a sample of the Eraserheads song "Alapaap" (Heaven).

Later albums with BMG (now with Sony Music) would include Interscholastic (1999) and Freeman 2 (2000).

Magalona founded his own record company called Red Egg Records, and a production company, Filipino Pictures Inc., where he served as the resident director. Through his production company, Magalona produced and directed music videos for several bands and solo artists.

Television career

In addition to co-hosting LoveliNess, Magalona was one of the original members of the youth oriented show That's Entertainment in 1987. He was also a co-host of the Philippine noontime variety show Eat Bulaga! as well as being a VJ for MTV Asia and Channel V. He was MTV Asia's first Filipino VJ and remained with the network from 1996 to 2000.

He was also known for starring in the second installment of Bagets. In 1997, Magalona played the lead role in the made-for-TV movie Kamada by Raymond Red. The film, a full-length feature shot on 16 mm, received awards from The Philippines Broadcasting Television and Asian TV Awards during the same year.

He was also chosen by Fremantle Media, owners of American Idol as one of the judges of in the first Philippine Idol season that aired on ABC (now TV5). Magalona and his fellow judges Ryan Cayabyab and Pilita Corrales were not retained when the franchise transferred to GMA Network in 2008 with a different title: Pinoy Idol. Aside from television, he also hosted live events and presentations.

Other endeavors

FrancisM Pride
Magalona wearing clothing his company had designed.

Magalona was a photographer and submitted pictures to magazines for publication. News reports note that he was overjoyed when he was accepted as a member of the Camera Club of the Philippines, and eventually received critical acclaim for his photographs.

Magalona also established a clothing line named FMCC, which stood for "FrancisM Clothing Co." FMCC is sold in stores called "3 Stars & A Sun."

He also started a foundation with Ely Buendia called Heartist Foundation, which aims to help Filipino artists with health and commercial concerns.

Illness and death

Magalona was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia on August 8, 2008 at the Medical City Hospital, Pasig.

On March 6, 2009, at 12 noon, Magalona succumbed to multiple organ failure secondary to septic shock, secondary to pneumonia in the immunocompromised (immediate cause); acute respiratory failure secondary to acute respiratory distress syndrome (antecedent cause); underlying cause: Chronic myelogenous leukemia blast crisis. He had undergone several chemotherapy sessions since he was diagnosed the previous year and had been expected to undergo a bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (PBSCT).

Magalona was cremated before daybreak on March 11, 2009. Hours later, his ashes were laid to rest at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina, causing traffic to stall in the Marikina Riverbanks area near the park as fans and numerous people from the entertainment industry joined the convoy. The Philippine Army rendered military honors to Magalona in recognition of his patriotism and service as a sergeant in the reserves. His widow, Pia, received the flag draped on his coffin.



OctoArts International (now PolyEast Records)

  • 1989: Francis M. (Extended of Loving You)
  • 1990: Yo!
  • 1990: Mga Kababayan (E.P. Dance Remix)
  • 1990: Gotta Let 'Cha Know (E.P.)
  • 1991: Man from Manila (E.P. Dance Remix)
  • 1992: Rap Is FrancisM
  • 1993: Meron Akong Ano!
  • 1997: Francis M. - OPM Timeless Collection (Gold Series 2)
  • 2001: The Story of Francis M. - (The Ultimate OPM Collection)

BMG Records (Pilipinas), Inc. (now Sony Music Philippines)

  • 1995: FreeMan
  • 1996: Happy Battle
  • 1998: The Oddventures of Mr. Cool
  • 1999: Interscholastic
  • 2000: FreeMan 2
  • 2002: The Best of Francis M
  • 2003: Rap Public of The Philippines, Vol - 1 (with Andrew E., Michael V., Crazy as Pinoy and the other rap artists)
  • 2005: Rap Public of the Philippines, Vol - 2 (with Loonie, Crazy as Pinoy, Pikaso, Gloc-9 and the other rap artists)
  • 2005: Ultraelectromagneticjam!: The Music of the Eraserheads
  • 2010: In Love and War (a.k.a. ILAW, originally The Sickos Project) (with Ely Buendia, Hilera, Hardware Syndrome and other artists; released posthumously)


  • 2008: F Word


  • "Loving You" (with Pia Arroyo), his debut single
  • "My Only Love" (1989)
  • "Mga Kababayan" (1990)
  • "Ito ang Gusto Ko" (1993, theme from Royal Tru Orange Soda)
  • "Kaleidoscope World" (1995)
  • "Pikon" (1996)
  • "Kabataan Para Sa Kinabukasan" (1996)
  • "Saranggola ni Pepe" (with Andrew E.) (2000)
  • "Here We Go Part 2" (with Dongalo Wreckords, Andrew E. and Carlos Agassi) (2004)
  • "Pambihira Ka" (2004)
  • "Lando" (2005, featuring Gloc9)
  • "Superproxy" (2005, a cover from Eraserheads feat. Ely Buendia)
  • "Bagsakan" (2007, featuring Parokya Ni Edgar & Gloc9)
  • "Higante" (2010, featuring Ely Buendia)

Awards and nominations

Year Award-giving body Category Nominated work Results
1991 4th Awit Award Best Dance Recording "Mga Kababayan" Won
Best Rap Recording "Mga Kababayan" Won
1992 5th Awit Award Best Rap Recording "Man From Manila" Won
DM 95.5 FM 1st Pinoy Music Award Best Rap Recording "Man From Manila" Won
1994 7th Awit Award Best Rap Recording "Ito Ang Gusto Ko" Won
1996 RX 93.1 Year End Countdown Male Solo Performance of the Year "Lab Song" Won
9th Awit Award Best Produced Song of the Year "Kaleidoscope World" Won
Best Rap Recording "Kabataan Para Sa Kinabukasan" Won
1997 10th Awit Award Best Folk Pop Song Recording "Rainy" Won
RX 93.1 Year End Countdown Male Solo Performance of the Year "Girl Be Mine" Won
1998 11th Awit Award Album of the Year "Happy Battle" Won
"RX 93.1 Year-End Awards for OPM artists" Male Solo Artist of the Year N/A Won
"Nu Rock Awards" Best Music Video "Whole Lotta Lovin'" Nominated
Best Album Packaging "The Oddventures of Mr. Cool" Nominated
Vocalist of the Year N/A Nominated
1999 "RX 93.1 Year-End Awards for OPM artists" Male Solo Artist of the Year N/A Won
MTV Philippines Music Awards Favorite Group Video "Whole Lotta Lovin" Nominated
2000 13th Awit Award Best Rap Recording "Watawat" Won
2001 14th Awit Award Best Rap Recording "Luv 4 Lyf" Won
MTV Pilipinas Music Award Favorite Male Video "Luv 4 Lyf" Nominated
2005 18th Awit Award Best Rap Recording "Pambihira Ka Pinoy" Nominated
2006 MYX Music Awards Favorite Collaboration "Koro" with Greyhoundz and Gloc9 Nominated
19th Awit Award Best Engineered Recording "Superproxy 2k6" Won
2007 MYX Music Awards Favorite Collaboration "Superproxy 2k6" with Ely Buendia Nominated
"Umaasa" with 6cyclemind Nominated
2008 Awit Awards Best Rap Recording "Lando" with Gloc-9 Won
Best Performance by a Duet "Lando" with Gloc-9 Nominated
GMMSF Box-Office Entertainment Awards Outstanding/Special Merit Award for Music(Posthumous Award) N/A Won
MYX Music Awards Favorite Collaboration "Lando" with Gloc-9 Nominated
Favorite Urban Video "Lando" with Gloc-9 Nominated
2009 Eastwood City Walk of Fame Celebrity Inductee(Posthumous) Hip Hop Performer, actor, TV Host, Endorser Won
NU Rock Awards Hall of Fame Inductee N/A Won
2010 NU Rock Awards Artist of the Year (with Ely Buendia) Nominated
Album of the Year (with Ely Buendia for "In Love and War") Nominated
Song of the Year (with Ely Buendia for "Higante") Nominated
Producer of the Year (with Ely Buendia for "In Love and War") Won
2020 Myx Music Awards 2020 Myx Magna Award N/A Won

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Francis Magalona para niños

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