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Francis Magalona confirms leukemia, but says he’ll return

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INQUIRER.net, Aug. 14, 2008

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) Actor-host and rapper Francis Magalona has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the noontime TV show “Eat Bulaga” after confirming that he has leukemia but assured his friends and fans that he would return.

In a text message read on air Thursday by co-host and comedian Vic Sotto, Magalona said he was preparing for his upcoming treatment and expressed confidence that he would recover.

Magalona, son of former matinee idols, the late Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran, described his situation as a “trial” and asked for “understanding.”

“With the help of God, watch out for my return,” said Magalona.

“Di ko lang kayo miss, love ko kayong lahat [I not only miss you, but I love all of you too],” said Magalona

The full message read:

“Sa lahat ng mga dabarkads ko dito sa Eat Bulaga miss ko na kayong lahat. Araw-araw, magkakasama tayo at kayo’y naging second family ko na. Pati na rin ang lahat ng mga viewers sa mga bahay at sa studio. Ngayon, meron akong isang pagsubok na dapat daanan at ang hiling ko lang ay pangunawa at suporta. I have been diagnosed with leukemia and I am preparing for my treatment. Sa tulong ng Panginoon, kakayanin ko poi to. Abangan nyo ang aking pagbabalik. Di ko lang kayo miss, lab ko kayo lahat. [To all my friends in ‘Eat Bulaga,’ I miss you all. As I spend each day with you, I consider you all, my colleagues on the set and viewers, like a second family to me. I need to face this big challenge and request for your understanding and support. With the help of God, I know I can face this. Please wait for my return. I don’t only miss you but also love you all.]

Magalona, one of the country’s leading rap musicians and popular TV host, said in a previous interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer that he did not want his condition turned into a “media circus” and would rather keep his ongoing battle with the disease “private.”

-Gerry Plaza

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