When I learned that our Creator gloriously ended Francis Magalona's battle with leukemia, I dug out the June 08 ish from the stash of Seventeen mags in my shelf. Here, I rekindled the most "personal encounter" I had with this unbelievable man:

Artist and cool dad FRANCIS MAGALONA opens up his heart

To My Dearest Daughters,

When I first learned that I was going to be a father, I felt a sense of pride, unlike anything I had felt before. Suddenly, I was going to be responsible for this "unborn being" that would have to be nourished, nurtured, and protected. It bought on a rush of different emotions --- anxiety, uncertainty, excitement and happiness. I was also hit with afeeling of exclusivity: I was going to join a fraternity called "fatherhood." It was, in my perception, something that separated the men from the boys.

Before you were born, I prayed to God for a safe birth for you and that no untoward incident would happen to you and to your mom. The first time I ever laid eyes on you, I felt tears well up in my eyes. I felt pure, unadulterated joy.

My most memorable moments from your childhood are your first steps, your first words, your first days at school, but most importantly, something I still experience now that you're all grown up, your hugs and kisses.

Of course, I remember the good times more than the bad, and I am grateful that you are all obedient, respectful, God-fearing and loving children. All of you are special in your own way. Unna, you have displayed wonderful characteristics as a mother and you've shown great responsibility for a woman your age. Maxene, you're naturally gifted as a speaker and as an actress. You're very articulate and you have a commanding presence. You are also a very fine specimen of a woman --- gifted with height, beauty and brains. Plus, you're a hard-worker --- and very generous to your family.

Saab, you are special because you are beautiful, period. In my eyes, I see myself in you --- loner, a non-conformist, and a passionate person. Gifted in the literary arts, you exude intelligence way beyond your years. Clara, you are, pound for pound, the best seven-year-old in everything. A natural born talent who started singing at age three, who has a penchant for fashion, and is truly, intelligent, academically and theatrically. You have finished First Honors this 2008 with an average of 94.67 percent --- now that [i]is[/i] special!

What I love most about our father-daughter relationship is the fact that it is based on mutual respect, admiration, friendship, and love. I respect that you all need your personal space; I never intrude in your personal affairs, except maybe when you get hurt emotionally or physically. I let you fight your personal battles so you'll learn to be strong. Always remember that I have an open hotline 24/7, for any problem you may have --- mentally, spiritually or emotionally.

Please understand that I am an ally at all times and never the enemy. Your welfare is my only concern. Heaven forbid that anything bad happens to you, I only wish you the best. And I will always be here for you - my home and my heart are open for you at all times. I am your friend, protector, and father all the days of my life.

Like all fathers, I just want to love you unconditionally. And I write this with tears in my eyes.



With swollen eyes, I closed the mag and remembered my dad. I felt as if he talked to me through this letter. He might not be as well-versed and as poetic to tell me of his love through a letter like this, but my heart has engraved all the unconditional sacrifices he's done for me. From buying my notebooks at the MCGS bookstore and delivering it right through my first-grade classroom, to hugging me tightly after theater auditions I failed to pass.

Thank you Francis M for braving a teen magazine and pouring out yourself not only to your family and friends, but to everyone. My dad deserves a big hug from a stubborn girl like me, and I hope you see me from above and know how much you have touched many.


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