Thursday, March 26, 2009

English Please...

(In which weird situations came in a row.)
I woke up at about 4:30. It was earlier than my usual wake up time which is 9 or 10 in the morning. But I needed to wake up earlier than usual because I have to get to the University of the Red Warriors before my scheduled time for taking the entrance examination for Graduate School which is 8:30. I took the bus and leaned my head against the window, hoping to get some sleep. But thanks to the television, I could hardly keep my eyes closed for two minutes.
So I took the exam. I was actually surprised that the math part wasn’t as difficult as I expected it to be. For the first time, I considered it the easiest. We were just made to solve numerical problems using three of the fundamental operations (addition, subtraction and multiplication). But the thing is, you only have eight minutes to answer all those. The English part and the General Reasoning part were especially difficult. I wonder what score I got.
The examiner didn’t tell us that there would be another exam after that. Just as I thought I could head for the office, he told me to go the Graduate School building to have my official receipt stamped or something as a proof that I have finished taking the exam.
As soon as I found the person the examiner told me to look for, I handed her my receipt and she said, “It’s yours.”
“Ugh! Yes, I know,” I thought.
“You won’t be stamping or signing it?” I asked.
Okay, then why did that guy tell me to come here?
“You were finished taking the exam, right?” she asked; to which I relied with a plain “yes”. She handed me a paper and said “Answer this in the next room.”
I scanned the paper. It’s an essay test. Bu this wasn’t what that guy told me to come here for! Anyway, I went to the next room and started answering. The questions were the type that I expected. You know, your purpose for studying and why you chose their university. But question number two had me dumbfounded.
What do you see is the difference between a graduate education and an undergraduate education when pursuing a Master’s degree?
Say what?! I didn’t get it. Seriously. So I just answered why it is important to have a Master’s degree. Hey, how am I supposed to answer that?
After I finished the essay I felt so tired and sleepy that I walked very slowly in fear of slipping or tripping. The school’s got very slippery tiles. Walking slowly, I took my time to notice signs all over the campus that says “Speak in English only” and “Speak English and talk to the world” which reminds me of “Speak English Get a job.” and “Speak English. Go global.” signs in my previous university.
I was walking slowly and a couple of pretty girls walked from behind me. They are speaking in English. Hmmm. They are obviously reading. (I wonder now why they didn’t use English for essay question number 2.) My heart swelled with admiration to know that students are actually supporting their school’s campaign. “I wish all collegiate students are like them.” I thought as I hear them doing their best to sound American. I wasn’t able to understand what they are talking about but I was able to hear what one of them said before they can completely walk past me.
“What? He don’t hire?” [sic]

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Vowels vs Consonants

(In which I remembered something original.)

During our training in our previous job, we were asked to write a story either about the five fingers or the alphabet. I chose to write about the alphabet. and my topic was how the vowels and consonants came to be.
The War of the Letters

In the Alphabet Kingdom, the letters live harmoniously though they lack a leader. They help each other in making words. They love making words! And they live a happy life everyday.

But one day, a group of letters noticed something starnge about their kingdom.

"I heard Lion called for a meeting last night," said P.
"Why he's the King of the jungle! It's his way of telling his subjects if there would be any announcements in their kingdom," replied G.
"Yes, I know. He's the leader. What I was trying to say is, we don't have any leader in our kingdom, do we?" said P.

"Yeah, P's right." sounded R.

"So you mean we also should have our leader? But we're happy this way, aren't we?" asked M.

"I understand why P's wondering. It's kinda unusual for a kingdom to be without a leader. Someone should be directing us, right? said G.

The other letters thought for a while. Then the next day, the letters huddled for a meeting.

"So you guys think we should have a leader?" asked A

"Yes!" the letters echoed.

"But who will be the leader?" asked X.

Everyone fell silent. Then E spoke, "I think A would be a good leader."
L thought E wanted A to be the leader because they're friends. So he said "Z could also make a good leader!"
Now they have two candidates. So the next thing they should do is to elect their leader. It was a very historical eventin the Alphabet Kingdom - the first election.
There are 26 of them:
M, N, B, V, C, X, Z, L, K, J, H, G, F, D, S, A, P, O, I, U, Y, T, R, E, W and Q.
And the two candidates received 3 votes. It's a tie!
"Then who will be the leader now?" asked K.
The letters started arguing. Some believe Z sounds very challenging while some think A is more useful in making words. The argument went on and on until they have decided to conduct a second election between A and Z. Both parties tried their best to win the support of the other letters.
The second election day came and the votes were counted. E, I, O and U voted for A while the rest voted for Z. A and his supporters could not believe what happened and started questioning those who voted for Z. It came to a point when they accused them of treachery. It angered Z and his supporters.
"The majority of the letters has chosen me as the leader of this kingdom. And it is my duty to maintain peace and order. I believe it would be better to send A and his supporters out of the kingdom before they cause more trouble."
So A, E, I, O and U were banished. They lived outside the kingdom and were called vowels from then on. The other lettes were then called consonants.
After months of living outside the kingdom, the vowels realized that they can't do their task of making words without the consonants.
"How can we live like this? We've been away from the other letters from quite a while now yet we were only able to make a pronoun and an article!" exclaimed U.
Meanwhile, in Z's kingdom, the consonants realized the same thing.
"Our job is to create words. But it's apparent that we need the vowels. We were only able to come up with three-letter words like fry, try, sly, spy, fly, cry, sty and the like. And the longest one we've made is rhythm." said W.
Z pondered long and after two days, the vowels were back in the Alphabet Kingdom.
"We were living happily though we don't have a leader. In our kingdom, everyone is important and we need each other to fulfill our tasks. I think it's better if we will live our lives the way we used to," said A.
Everyone agreed and the letters were back to being leaderless but they are happy and they undersatnd the importance of each letter.
Now the reason why the alphabet starts with A and ends with Z, as well as the order of the letters, is another story.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sounds Like... ^^

(In which they found an alternative.)

I remembered how we Filipinos went crazy over the Taiwanese boy band F4 way back when Meteor Garden was such a phenomenal hit. I even heard kids singing their songs using words that don’t make sense. Seriously, a Taiwanese won’t understand them as well. Let’s admit it. When a foreign song is so good that we want to sing it, we don’t care even if we sing it in a just-sounds-like-the-original-words way.

So when I suffered from LSS (Last Song Syndrome) because of Big Bang’s songs, I made sure that I sing the lines I really know and understand – even if it’s just the “I’m so sorry but I love you da geojitmal. I ya meolasso i jeya arasso. Niga piryo hae…” over and over - to myself.

Anyway, as I was downloading one of their songs (Red Sunset), I saw these videos. The title told me it’s going to be fun. Hmmm… Ever wondered how to sing Big Bang’s songs using words that are understandably close to the original ones? Some people have already done that. Check it out.

Gin Chilli? I never thought it could be this easy!

I can’t get over the “Chew the Donkey” thing. It’s just so hilarious!

These videos were still unfinished. I’ll upload the complete version when I found them.

Let's Go West Where the Red Sun Sets ^^

(In which someone shows some talent.)

As you might have guessed it, my interest for Big Bang is not over yet. And you're right again. It doesn't stop here. ^^
I was chatting with a Korean girl over Radiusim last night and we have talked about Big Bang. She told me she likes “Red Sunset”. I want to hear the song so I went to an internet café the next morning to download it. I wasn’t disappointed because the Korean version sounds good. I understand some words and lines. (As if that’s a big deal.)

붉은 노을 (Red Sunset)
Big Bang

You might have noticed this: the vehicle looks like it’s from the Philippines. And this music video reminds me of “I Lay My Love On You” by Westlife. Well, anyway, I love TOP’s face. This video is very light and refreshing. It's nice to see the boys smile. ^^ I love watching it. But don’t ask me about the lyrics now. I just love watching it.
Now the next thing I did was to look for the translation. And here’s what I saw.

I’ve got one word for her : TALENTED.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What a Big Bang!

(In which language doesn’t matter.)


There has to be at least some similarities between you and the students’ interests so that there will be a certain level of connection. And since I am teaching foreign students, connecting with them sometimes means watching their shows and listening to their songs. Connecting those with English is no longer their problem.

I used to handle a group class of middle school and university students and I remembered one of them asking me if I know a certain Korean song. They were quite amazed when I can relate to some songs and dramas (thanks to Jumong and the like). And that student started to sing some lines so badly I didn’t want to hear the rest of it. I said “No. That doesn’t sound familiar,” hoping I didn’t sound like is-that-a-song-or-what?

I no longer handle that kind of class now. (Sigh of relief.)

One day, as I was using the computer in the company’s library-without-books, (There really is no book at all so we call it that way. It’s the multi-purpose room – meeting room, cafeteria and study room all rolled into one. See? Calling it a library was just so ridiculous.) my co-teacher was playing something on his laptop. It sounds so familiar. When it reached the chorus, I just knew it was the song my student asked me about. Man, it sounds way better than how my student sang it!

So I learned that the group’s name is Big Bang. It’s a group of five boys (Kwon Ji Yong, Dong Young Bae, Choi Seung Hyun, Kang Dae Sung, Lee Seung Hyun) who give different kind of vocals and rap to their music. They also include English parts in their songs. No, they don’t rap in English.

My phone students have been mentioning their names during our classes but I never gave a damn. It was when I heard a part of their song that I decided to give it a try since I do understand some Korean expressions and I also know how to read and write Hangul. That doesn’t mean I didn’t need the translation.

I didn’t know them, really. So I got some info from
Real Name: Kwon Ji Yong
Stage Name: G-Dragon
Position: Leader, Vocal, Rapper, Composer
Date of Birth: August 18,1988 (20)
Is the leader of Big Bang. Has been trained by YG entertainment since he was 12 years old. G-Dragon is also very interested in fashion and is known to be very fashionable.
Real Name: Dong Young Bae
Stage Name: Tae Yang; SoL
Position: Vocal, Choreographer
Date of Birth: May 18, 1988 (20)
Tae Yang started out as being a rapper, but is now the main vocalist of Big Bang. He is known to be shy, sweet, thoughtful, and most sensitive one in Big Bang. It is also known he used to be scared of girls' when he was younger. He was the first one to release a solo album, called HOT.
(I noticed something on the picture to the right. But I’m not saying! ^^)
Real Name: Choi Seung Hyun
Stage Name: T.O.P; Tempo
Position: Rapper, Beat Boxer, Composer
Date of Birth: November 4, 1987 (21)
Is known as the 'big brother' of the band. He also won KBS Radio's Rap Battle in 2003. Another one of his talents is acting. He was in the Korean Drama "I am Sam" He impressed many people, including fans, with his acting skills. He was also in Red Roc's music video for Hello and also in Gummy's mv for I'm Sorry with Sandara Park. T.O.P also got more fame when he kissed superstar Lee Hyori on stage at the 2008 MKMF (it was planned though).
Real Name: Kang Daesung
Stage Name: Dae Sung, D-Lite
Position: Vocal
Date of Birth: April 26, 1989
Dae Sung was first known as "ugly" and "Unpretty boy" but the staff team confirmed he is the most liked member in Big Bang. He has a talent of imitating people and also has a great sense of humor. Dae Sung is the second Big Bang member to star in a musical, the Korean musical "Cats". During the 2008 MKMF, his act with Korean superstar Lee Hyori was voted one of the best acts of the night.
Real Name: Lee Seung Hyun
Stage Name: Seung Ri, V, Victory
Position: Vocal, Choreographer
Date of Birth: December 12, 1990 (18)
Seung Ri is the "little brother" of Big Bang. One of his greater talents is dancing and choreographing performances. Before Big Bang, Seung Ri was part of a Gwangju dance team, II Hwa. Seung Ri is the first member to be in a musical, Sonagi. Seung Ri is also the second member to debut as an actor, after T.O.P.
Alright. Done with the boys and now to their song.

거짓밀 (Lies)
Big Bang
"Lies" became the biggest hit of 2007 in South Korea, allowing Big Bang to win 1st place for the first time in Korean TV music program in " SBS, Popular Songs" on September 9, 2007. "Lie" also swept first place in all four music programs in Korea ( MBC, SBS, KBS and Mnet) within weeks, and topped numerous online and offline charts for unbelievably long periods of time, including Juke-on (for which is #1 for 7 consecutive weeks and Melon (Music site) for 6 consecutive weeks. The group also received the Best Male Group, and Song Of The Year in the 2007 MKMF Award, contributing to their hard work. In addition, Big Bang won the "Song of the Month," (Digital Music Award) from Cyworld 2 months in a row, selling more than 330,000 songs in 6 weeks after the release of their mini-album. Big Bang also filmed the music video for their song "Always" in Hawaii. The music video was released in November. (
(I just love how they sing "I’m so sorry but I love you….”)
하루 하루 (Day by Day)
Big Bang
This song is my previous phone student’s ring tone. So I like it more when he’s not answering.

Is that eye liner I’m seeing? If that is, it just looks so inappropriate for their eyes. Well, they might have found Gaara’s fashion cool. And I bet I didn’t have to tell you they sounded trying hard during some English parts. Well, the song is good and these guys really know how to sing. They’ve got cool voices, right?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let’s Talk!

(In which I kept memories of our conversation.)

I used to get amazed at how people constantly misspell my name. So I had removed the doubled letters when my boss asked me for the name that they would display on my Teacher’s Account. But now it’s not the misspelling I am worried about. It’s how students pronounce it.

Student: Hi, Teacher! What’s your name?
Me: Rezzell. /Ree-zell/
Student: Oh hello, Reejuhr!
Me: No. It’s Ree-zell.
Student: Ok.

The next day...

Me: Hi!
Student: Hi Leejuhr!
Me: No. It’s Ree-zell.

The following day...

Student: Hi Leyzuhr!
Me: I told you it’s Ree-zell.
Student: Oh ok. Sorry.

Later on that day...

Me: Hi!
Student: Hi Reyzuhr!
Me: (Sigh)
In one of our role-playing activities, there was a time when I need to act as the interviewer and my student was the interviewee.

Me: What do you do in your company?
Student: I am doing the manager.

Students often read /s/ as /sh/. And I almost burst into laughter when my student committed that blunder.

What is the man doing?
He is shitting on the sofa.

I have been conducting level tests for students who want to study English through telephone. Here are some conversations that really made their mark.

How do you deal with stress?
I punch the wor.
You mean you punch the wall?
Hmm.. Isn’t it painful? Doesn’t it hurt?
Isn’t it painful? Like ‘ouch’?
Ahhh… It’s ouch but it’s okay!

Me: How many rooms are there in your house?
Student: There are five rooms. But I don’t live there now. I live in a laboratory.
Me: Oh.. You mean dormitory?
Student: Yes. Dormitory.
We were talking about past continuous tense so our topic is about accidents. I asked the student if he ever had an accident.

Have you ever had an accident?
Hmmm… What happened?
I hit a truck.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Want To Go Back Too

(In which time machines would be really helpful.)


Yesterday, I had a class with one of my students and in her book, she has to answer a sentence completion activity.

I want to go back to ________________________ because _________________________.

And she said:

“I want to go back to when I was a child because that time I don’t know hardness and no worry.” [sic]

I corrected her sentence and looked at the clock. Time’s up. We said “good-bye” and I hung up the phone.

And I thought: who doesn’t want to go back to being a child? Who doesn’t want to relive those carefree days when the consequence of irresponsibility isn’t that harsh? Who doesn’t want to go back to the time when you could have your youth as an excuse for almost everything wrong you’ve done?

My student said she didn’t know hardships ad worries when she was young. Well, most of us did. But worries and hardships for a child aren’t as hard and worrying as they are for adults. When I was a child, I seriously thought that hardship is learning math and having my father as my math tutor. I was made to memorize the multiplication table and be able to recite it as soon as my father finished filing all the containers with water from the artesian well. That was so hard! I cried when I wasn’t able to give the product of 6 and 7! And it angered my father so much that we went back to table one! Oh my. I missed an episode of my favorite cartoon show because of that. And the worst part is, I screwed up in class when my teacher asked me to answer numerical multiplication questions written on flash card, against another classmate. You know that game in which you and your opponent will stand at the end of the room and the person who answers first and correctly, will step forward? Oh how my elementary teachers love that!

Anyway, I screwed up. Not that I didn’t know the answer but it was just that my eyesight wasn’t as good as my opponent’s. I could barely answer. How could I anyway? My opponent has already answered when I haven’t even read the equation yet! So imagine my classmates’ stares when I was left standing in the middle of the room. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t recognize anyone. All I saw were little black heads and my teacher’s don’t-worry-that-wasn’t-really-so-bad-after-all face. Hey, I managed to take a couple of steps forward! I tried to hide it from my parents but since I wasn’t a very good liar then, the story slipped and they knew I was a loser.

Petty things, small wounds, tolerably harsh words and little sacrifices. That was hardship for me. And that was before.

Now, as a young adult, I realize that hardships dwell everywhere in this forest called life where it’s all about survival and fighting for your dreams seems to be an endless process. Hardship is seeing all the things you’ve put up being crushed. It’s seeing people you love suffer. It’s having your heart bruised and wounded and torn. It’s having your dignity and reputation questioned and tested. It’s having your faith shaken. It’s having your eyes swollen for crying only to have it flooded again the next day. It’s knowing that one day, the people you’ve shared your life and dreams with will be gone for good. It’s the anticipation of suffering and loneliness that you have to endure each day. It’s about climbing and being pulled and starting again from the bottom.

My student might have thought of the same things that I just did. That’s why she wants to go back to the time when she “don’t know hardness and no worries.” [sic]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

To a Pilgrim

(In which travelers should decide where their hearts truly live.)


Fain would I write to you.
You who have lived your life in the arms of foreign lands,
You who have admired the glory of the east and the west,
but forgot the resplendence of your homeland.
You who have felt the coldness of snow
and smelled the scent of falling leaves
but never felt the sensation of your homeland’s shores beneath your feet,
I write to thee.

Go on.
Travel to your heart’s contentment.
Have a taste of lives beyond this land.
Fly among the clouds that float on lands of your desires.
Climb the peak of magnificent snow-capped mountains.
Explore the beauty of the blue seas.
Lose yourself in the harmony of violins.

Bathe your soul with the sweetest of wines.
Dance and make love to princesses and queens.
Feel the warmth and passion burning within them.
Listen to the songs of the nightingale.
while looking at the vast panorama
of kingdoms
and neon-lit cities.
But never forget to go back to the real hearth of your heart.
For sweetest is the embrace of one’s native land’s breeze
and sacred are the golden rays of sun over the hills in a child’s first memories.

Go places.
And come back home.
For a traveler without a home is a vagabond.
And futile is luxury without peace.
Then it is just far to say
that fate will send you back to your Mother Land’s embrace.
And in finality you’ll kiss her loving hand as dust.
Home at last.

***March 11, 2007***

11:41 pm

Monday, March 9, 2009


(In which a middle school student taught me what happiness means.)

I used to work in a company that caters to Koreans who want to learn English over the internet. There are times when I wasn’t having a class and I tried to listen to some teachers while they were conducting theirs.
Teacher: Hello Students, how are you today?... Oh let’s welcome Happyday (one of the students’ names)… Wow! Everybody seemed happy to see you, Happyday!... And there’s a message from Julia and it says “Did you have a happy day today, Happyday?”… Anyway, I was curious, why did you choose the name Happyday?... Oh, so that every day is a happy day? Wow! You’re so optimistic!


I left the company and went to another one and had a job related to what I used to have. Now I teach Korean students over the phone. I’ve been working there for more than eight months and recently, I had a student who is so much like Happyday.
Me: Hello, Eun Su!
Eun Su: Hello, teacher!
Me: How was your day?
Eun Su: It’s happy! I always happy! [sic]
Me: (After correcting her grammar) Did anything special happen today?
Eun Su: I’m practice piano and study English and Math! [sic]
Me: (After correcting her grammar) Isn’t it tiring?
Eun Su: Tiring? (After understanding what “tiring” means…) Ah, yes! But, I’m happy!
Me: Really? Why?
Eun Su: Because life is fantastic! I see blue sky and friends and people, parents love me, so happy! [sic]

The Music of the Colors

(In which he continues to amaze me.)


I was watching the tribute for Francis Magalona on "Eat Bulaga" when my sister came. After Doggie "welcomed" her, she sat on the nearest sofa and looked at the TV.

"Why did you have your hair cut short? Didn't you consider that you'll be styling it when you have your recital?" I asked.

"It's so hot nowadays," she answered and stood up to look at herself in the mirror. she stroked her hair which flowed some centimeters below the level of her chin. "Besides, it's still ok to have a short hair and wear a gown."

"Yeah, but don't you think it is still more elegant to have your long hair styled? I heard from Mama that you bought a really beautiful gown. i thought you were also thinking of having a really nice hairstyle to match it," I said, without taking my eyes off the show. "Anyway, Francis M.'s dead."

"Oh?" she exclaimed. Well, she uttered that word very calmly. But you have to understand that she usually exclaims in an as-if-I-really-care manner. I just knew it's an exclamation.



"Yesterday. 12 noon.'

"Yesterday? But why are they paying tribute to him today? Isn't it a bit late?"

"Duh?! Were you expecting them to pay tribute to him right after they received the news about this death? A TV program isn't that flexible."

"So they learned the news during the show?"

"Yes. They suddenly called for a commercial break in the middle of 'Sa Pula, Sa Puti'. After loads of commercials, they came back with Vic Sotto announcing that Francis M. passed away."

"Were they able to finish the program?"



"Like how they're supposed to do it. 'The show must go on', they said."


"And yesterday, someone won the one million-peso jackpot plus 30 000 pesos is 'Taktak mo o Tatakbo' (another segment of the show)"

"Really? Cool! Anyway, did you know that Francis Magalona is included in the CCP's (Cultural Center of the Philippines) dictionary of Filipino music?"

I didn't know that. Well, I guess it's my sister's turn to give me some information after asking some weird questions.

"He deserves it," I said. "He really is an icon of Pinoy rap. Plus the fact that he's proud of his race made him one of a kind."

That's very impressive. In my opinion, most rappers nowadays don't show real artistry in their music. Some just use foreign music as background and some translate English songs. Worse, some rappers make music with so much stuff about sex and is rich in profanities. They sing about how they're way better than other rappers and how rock and rockers suck. Francis M., I believe, is different. He makes music to show his pride for his country and to influence his fellows to share the same pride. When most Filipinos would rather embrace foreign ideas and patronize foreign things, it's good to have people like Francis M. who use music to inspire others, enlighten minds and show people what Filipino artists can do and what contemporary Pinoy music is all about. In his songs, he discusses poverty, inequality, crab mentality, drug addiction and colonial mentality. His music isn't something for the ears only. It feeds your being and it tells you to look around and see what change you could bring.

The last tribute was a song from Tito, Vic and Joey. They sang a song which I am really familiar with the lyrics. I hear it being sung by drunken young boys of our place in karaoke during weekends. I find the song really good but I always forget to download it. So when Mama and I went to the market to buy dinner, I told her that we'd drop by an internet café. Besides, I need to edit the course outline that my boss asked me to do. After I finished the document and sent it to my boss' e-mail, I searched You Tube for the song. I typed the words which, I believe, make up the title and found out that it was Francis M.'s song. You see, I am not a die-hard fan of his. I just know some of his famous songs. And when I learned that that wonderful song was also his, I couldn't help but go "Wow!"

Kaleidoscope World

So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure an some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat ad stout and some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color, every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin' round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Some are great and some are few
Others lie while others tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while act dumb
Let the bass line strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while other run
You can't talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don't ask me how, don't ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most

Every color, every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin' round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

Goodbye, Master Rapper

(In which a pillar of Original Pinoy Music said farewell.)


I was watching “Eat Bulaga”, a noon-time show in the Philippines and one of my favorite segment was “Sa Pula, Sa Puti” where people from opposing groups battle it out in a fun game and quiz. Today, their guest players are from two of the most popular radio stations in the country – Love Radio and Energy FM. It was so fun! Imagine seeing the face of your favorite D.J.’s! I was having a great time seeing the D.J’s exchanging retorts on why their radio station is number one and how their better than the other station when all of a sudden, the hosts (Allan K. and Pia Guanio) called for a commercial break. When they returned, one of the main hosts – Vic Sotto – announced that the Pinoy Master Rapper Francis Magalona, died noon today.

“Kiko”, as he was fondly called, has been reported to be suffering from acutemyelogenous leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. I read from Wikipedia that he died “a few days after his fourth chemotherapy session and a few days before his supposed stem cell transplant.” It broke my heart to see the hosts cry in the show – in the middle of a supposedly fun and happy segment.

I told my mom about the news and she was as equally shocked as I was. They aired some videos of Kiko’s performances as a tribute to him which made me remember stanzas from his most inspiring song for me. He might have left us but his music and his legacy remain.

Mga kababayan ko
Dapat lang malaman nyo
Bilib ako sa kulay ko
Ako ay pilipino
Kung may itim or may puti
Mayron naman kayumangi
Isipin mo na kaya mong
Abutin ang yung minimithi

(From “Mga Kababayan Ko” by Francis Magalona)
***Friday March 6, 2009***