I first met Francis Magalona in 1995, when Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya put him, me, and broadcaster Karen Davila in the TV show of Randy David (Public Life). We were billed as "the young opinion makers." I just smiled at the title of the hour-long segment, which dealt with nationalism, the young (which, we noticed in 1995, was so addicted to sending pager messages) and what the future held.
I liked the show because we weren't so dead serious on so somber and heavy a topic. Francis M. sang "Mga Kababayan Ko," I told jokes about my students, while Karen analyzed the life of a young, female broadcaster as role model.
A year later, I was a judge in the Super Sireyna finals of Eat Bulaga. It was the national gay beauty contest. The whole country would stop on its tracks, turn on their TV sets, and watch the gay men like so many shining, shimmering stars sashay on the stage. I was a judge along with Boy Abunda and Melanie Marquez, who arrived late.
Before show time, when Francis saw me, he went up to the elevated area, greeted Boy and I and talked to me. He asked me how I was, my teaching, my students. He was not one of those showbiz stars who are no longer Tupperware but Orocan, very plastic, and tough at it.
I liked his music, especially the raps driven by Pinoy lyrics and a thumping rhythm. And I am sure he will be sorely missed.
See you in the great Lucy in the Sky and Diamonds later, Masta Rapper.