the only time i was ever brought to tears and despair by the death of a public figure whom i had never even seen in person (except in a coffin in times st.) was when ninoy was assassinated. so i wondered, when francis magalona died, and i found that my kids were such fans pala and so saddened and distraught — they thought he was getting well, responding to medication, winning the happy battle, and now he’s gone, as in, for good! aaargh! — i wondered what it was all about. could it be as bad as when we lost ninoy?
all that i remembered of kiko offhand was “mga kababayan ko” (aba, masaya), and much much later when he was arrested allegedly for using marijuana (aba, masaya ;) . but the past few days of tv tributes, eat bulaga‘s in particular, and hearing his songs over and over on other media, has been for me quite a crash course, an eye-opener, on francisM, and i’ve moved on to being deeply impressed not only at how far he took “mga kababayan ko,” all the way to “three stars and a sun,” (great imagery!) but also at how masses of filipinos, jologs and burgis, young and not-so-young, opened their hearts and minds to his message and his music. he was the one bright spot, surprisingly successfully proudly pinoy, in a firmament of dull and dreary stars uninspired unmoved by any sense of nation or purpose.
being faced with a death like kiko’s is always nakakapag-paisip. made me stop to think, and ask, what’s the rule, why is he dead and we are alive, why do the good ones die young? in occult thought, one of the theories i subscribe to, because it makes death easier to accept, is that one dies when one has done all one was meant to do in this life. ninoy was meant to die just then, when he did, or the marcoses would never have been ousted. kiko was meant to die just then, his work (at all levels) was done, it’s now for the musicians, artists, fans he touched, to keep the torch alive, and take the three-stars-and-a-sun to a new level of pinoy consciousness.
which brings me to ninoy’s kris, who recently has been using her showbiz talkshow snn to express her resentment at the early release of 10 soldiers convicted of killing ninoy and how parang nakakalimutan na si ninoy, huwag naman daw kalimutan that he sacrificed his life for the sake of the country.
matindi ang reaksiyon ni katrina:
dear Kris, we can never forget that Ninoy died. because your presence in our everyday lives – on television and billboards, in newspapers and everywhere else – is a constant reminder of the truth of his death. …in many ways, i like to imagine that Ninoy wouldn’t have allowed you to be who you are now, because he has written against everything you stand for.
i imagine that, given all your excesses, he would be turning in his grave.
in the buzz‘s coverage of kiko’s wake, kris interviewed family members and friends and kept going back to francisM’s patriotism, nationalism, pagka-filipino, love of country na naipahiwatig niya sa kanyang body of work kung kaya’t love na love siya ng taongbayan. parang hangang-hanga si kris, bow na bow kay kiko.
sana nainggit din siya. sana maisipan niya rin to use her fame and powers and charisma to keep the spirit of nation, the spirit of ninoy and EDSA86, alive. sana alamin niya how EDSA 1 worked. sana mag-research siya, basahin niya ang writings ng dad niya, lalo na yung Testament from a Prison Cell. sana hanapin niya’t basahin ang writings ni ninoy while he was in america, thinking about the philippines, and crafting an alternative program of government, post-marcos.
i’m not saying she should give up her showbiz rackets, or the tens of millions from product endorsements, well, not all of it. i’m just thinking that once she has done her homework — i.e., read up on and internalized her dad’s plans for the nation, the changes he would have made — she might as well go into politics and do her dad proud at last.
it’s a big job, yes, but kris is big enough to take it on. (with that kind of material, kiko would, in her place.) finally people would be loving her for the right reasons.