Friday, March 06, 2009

Kiko R.I.P.

There's a small carinderia down the street where our office is in Makati. I've been frequenting the place come lunchtime, coz the food is good and it's cheap, compared to neighboring eateries. I just got up to pay a hefty meal, while pondering why most, if not all, such food joints, canteens and places of gastronomic satisfaction always serve guisadong mongo on a Friday,
when the din of commercials suddenly died on the nearby TV, cutting back to its host, who announced the passing of Francis Magalona, noontime today.

As I shook my head, quietly brooding with the bad news, my mind suddenly wandered to my radio days at GMA, where I first met Kiko. He'd hang out at LS almost every night, reading phoned-in greetings and freestyle rapping over instrumental
tracks we'd spin on the wheels of steel. We also played his first single "Loving You," an LS exclusive that also featured his wife, Pia. I also remember bumping into him at Broadway, where I did v.o. for GMA's then noontime show, where he jovially shook hands with me, pulling me to the backstage dressing room where he gave me a copy of his then new CD Rap Is Francism, much to my delighted surprise. Always with a ready smile, the guy was simple and down-to-earth, regardless of his fame and celeb stature.

I remember him with his band, Hardware Syndrome, composed mostly of musicians I knew from back then, tearing through material from Freeman. I remember Kiko once saying in a magazine article that he gauged his music by the ebb and flow of the current local trend; if the scene got light, he'd turn up the volume and heavy up the beat, and if it got heavy, he'd mellow out and chill. Aside from being the savvy singer/rapper/songwriter, he was always Pinoy-proud. Above everything else, for him, the Three Stars And The Sun came first.

It's futile to discourse on the why's and why-not's of his eventual passing. Instead, we should just go back to Kiko's true love, and that was his music. The words of wisdom he left us are indelibly etched into Pinoy music, and thus ours for the taking, should we choose to lend an ear and listen to what the Master Rapper had to say.

We're gonna miss Kiko.
We already do.

Even if we do envy him.
All told, I'm certain he's in a
better place than where we all are now.

Rest in peace, brotha.


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