Maxene Magalona conscientiously keeps dad’s legacy ablaze

The saying that “an apple won’t fall far from its tree” holds true in Maxene Magalona’s case.
Born Maxene Sofia Maria Arroyo Magalona on November 23, 1986 in Manila to Pia Arroyo and Francis Durango Magalona, Maxx (as friends address her), has an impressive lineage of distinctly recognized and creative assemblage of personalities in her family tree.
Consider these: her great grandfather, Enrique Magalona, was a reputable senator during the late 40s while her grandfather, Enrique Gayoso Magalona, Jr. (better known to movie fans as Pancho Magalona), was a popular screen idol, dancer, singer, and television host of the 40s to 70s as well as her grandmother, Teresita Duran (widely known as Tita Duran, the reel and real screen partner of Pancho), was considered the movie queen of her time. And not to forget her dad, the famed Pinoy rapper Francis Magalona, who strappingly established the Magalona moniker in Philippine showbiz.
Currently, there are also her siblings, sister Saab and brothers, Frank and Elmo, who are out in the same business trying to create their own niches in the field from where their father provided them with. Acting is a pathological compulsiveness and the Magalona siblings are bound to be with it.
Maxene had her first ever taste of show business via an ABS-CBN kiddie-oriented show, “Ang TV.” Since then her acting blood was boosted and her creative skills, stimulated.
Dilemma came when she was made to choose between a showbiz break and continuing education. She unhesitatingly chose the latter knowing that she could still have the chance to return to the limelight after finishing her course or just accept projects that won’t demand much of her study time. She didn’t regret having turned down the role of  “Alwina,” one of the main characters of GMA’s 2004 TV drama series, “Mulawin,” which landed on Angel Locsin’s lap.
But her decision paid off! In 2010, Maxene proudly walked out from the Ateneo de Manila University campus with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences.
But, just like the two-sided face of showbusiness, life wasn’s all glitz and glam and celebration for Maxene. The untimely demise of her dad on March 6, 2009 from acute myeloid leukemia came as a torturing shock to her family…’though the rapper’s death wasn’t that sudden at all. It was almost lingering that gave them ample time to prepare for the worst.
Despite the passing of time personal wounds inflicted by her dad’s death never mends and heals. The scar brought about by the excruciating loss left an indelible mark not even time could expunge.
“He always did what he wanted to do…and never let anyone or anything stop him from doing what he loved,” Maxene sentimentally spoke of her dad. “The pain is still there but I embrace it. Ang sarap ng feeling ng nami-miss ko siya!”
Francis Magalona’s passing delivered a sudden blow not only to her family but to her flourishing entertainment career, as well. There were moments when she almost gave up after her enthusiasm and zest for life seemed diminishing with his passing but there were her mom and siblings that needed her and an assurance that their solidity would rebuild what might have been shattered. She must be firm. There ought to be a wick to fuse and ignite the dying ember encapsulating the flagging spirit of the Magalona household.
The accumulated smooth gush of ruptured emotions eventually fuels the dormant sentiments and bursting passion long embedded within constantly providing her with that much needed control and power to come up with an incredibly convincing performance. It must not had been undemanding and easy for Maxene to come up with an incredibly sterling presentation for the pain of her dad’s loss was still kept fresh and lingering but, with her mom constantly by her side, the anguish and torturing pains were positively charged knowing that that was exactly what her dad wanted her to be—to successfully resume his legacy.
Her mom, Pia, stood closely by her side and tried in all her powers to cope up with was left and singly raises their family while simultaneously acting as her and her siblings’ manager and business adviser.
The acting genes undoubtedly run in her blood and as expected, there would constantly be doors opening for her like a major role as one of Richard Gutierrez’s leading ladies in “Kamandag” and as “Jessa Mallari” in “Una Kang Naging Akin,” a protagonist role originally delineated on the screen by Sharon Cuneta.
With limitless talents and innate acting capability, Maxene was cast in “Ganti Ng Puso” opposite Marvin Agustin and Geoff Eigenmann and in “Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin” with JC Tiuseco, Glaiza De Castro, and Patrick Garcia.
The following year saw her join the cast of the boobtube remake of “Trudis Liit,” and in 2011, another juicy role in “My Lover, My Wife” with Luis Alandy kept her juggling busily.
She also took her most challenging antagonistic role as the ill-madrasta, Vicky, in “Mga Basang Sisiw,” a GMA afternoon tear-jerker series.
But change inevitably happened regardless of who would be affected or what end-result it would bring. And Maxene wasn’t spared. If others fear change, Maxene was firm and absolute. It was an amorphous issue…conversely controversial that change yielded positive results defining Maxene’s identity as a strong-willed woman.
Call it a change of heart, disregarding loyalty or merely in search for a career-empowerment…an earnest intention for self and professional upliftment. She jumped out of GMA’s talent wagon and signed an exclusive management contract with its rival network, ABS-CBN.
Initially fielded as a guest to establish her newly inked affiliation, Maxene made the rounds of literally every program: Kris TV, Maala-ala Mo Kaya, The Singing Bee, Gandang Gabi Vice, and a couple of talk shows until she was given a major project as a Kapamilya artist in “Dream Dad” with Zanjoe Marudo.
Having had her presence felt and the association with ABS-CBN firmly instituted, Maxene enjoys the enviable privileges the network accorded her. Just recently she was hailed as one of the heavy favorite finalists in “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” where she pitted talents with screen partner Edgar Allan Guzman, Jay-R, and Melai Cantiveros, who romped away with the huge sum at stake.
Although a star’s popularity isn’t always based on numerous television exposures and voluminous publicities, it cannot be denied that awards serve as ultimate barometers gauging an artist’s outstanding achievements.
Maxene, for this matter, has had a number of movies credited to her name and awards neatly stashed beneath her dainty sleeves. She’s mighty proud of projects like: “Rekrut,” “Happily Ever After,” “Kuya,” “Singsing Ni Lola,” “ Mano Po: My Family,” and “Ang Bahay ni Lola.”
During the 27th PMPC (Philippine Movie Press Club) Star Awards for Television (2013), she was awarded “Best Reality Competition Program Host” for Protégé: The Battle For The Big Artista Break and has received nominations and recognitions for her works.
Aside from her acting and terpsichorean skills, Maxene’s naturally sculptured figure and smooth complexion couldn’t just be ignored. In every FHM’s annual popularity poll of the country’s 100 Sexiest Women of the Year, Maxene’s name never failed to make the cut and during the 61st Famas Awards (2013) she was named Celebrity Skin of the Night.
With Maxene Magalona’s current stature while armed with an unflinching determination to succeed in this topsy-turvy world of make-believe, it won’t be far from having her dad’s legacy live beyond imagination.
Maxene is set to perform in the flesh at the Fiesta in America stage to greet and entertain her fans. Be part of her audience on Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, when she, together with Vina Morales and Edgar Allan Guzman, perform at the 17th Fiesta in America indoor event at the Meadowlands Expo Center at 355 Plaza Drive, Secaucus, New Jersey 07094.
Or better yet take an early glimpse of celebrity guests Vina Morales, Edgar Allan Guzman and Maxene on Friday, August 14, at Double Tree by Hilton along 128 Frontage Road, Newark, NJ (07114) when they grace the 7th People’s Ball. To attend, reserve tickets, or for more information about the People’s Ball, please call: 212-682-6610, 201-300-5234, or 201-993-8815.
Incidentally, 2015 Fiesta in America, a 501-(c) 3non-for-profit corporation, showcases the best of everything Filipino: Trade Exhibitions, Business to Business Networking, International and Local Entertainers, Cultural and Food Festival, and the rare opportunity to meet and bond with friends, old and new. Being the largest indoor gathering of Filipino businesses in the Northeast, Fiesta in America’s 17 years of leadership in event planning guarantees a whole world of satisfaction and approval among its regular and first time fiesta-goers.
To sponsor, exhibit, or attend the 2015 Fiesta in America, call: 212-682-6610. or or get updates by visiting

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