I don’t make it a habit to poke my nose into other people’s business—whether it’s valid or chimpanzee makes little difference.
But days do arrive when I feel like ironing a wayward crinkle in the social media fabric. It’s the least anyone can do to lend a helping hand if you ask me.
On such crinkle is the hullaballoo about Francis Magalona’s alleged mistress, Abegail Rait, a former flight attendant, whose claims of having a relationship with the “King of Philippine rap” nudged the late rapper’s kids—Frank and Maxene—to react.
This little window of disclosure said that the rapper is a father to a 15-year-old daughter through this “secret” relationship. The mother herself alleged that she had done all she could to keep the relationship under wraps for more than a decade. She did such a good job at it that she hardly seized any claim to legal rights for her child even after Magalona had passed away in March 2009.
From photographs that had since been uploaded on a couple of social media platforms, it is apparent that Francis and Abegail, after they’ve met, hit the ground running.
While I find blabbermouthing about other people’s open-ended lives quite an intellectual and spiritual bore, there is something here that needs a bit of smoothing: It is the question “Why are people so caught up in this?”
We can all understand why Frank and Maxene would react to such a disclosure. They’re Francis’ children. Their right over their father is their own. Most children (with a rather great many exceptions these days) regard their fathers with the highest esteem, almost always in ways that may even seem unequivocally highfaluting to some.
In fact, being a child’s first hero can be a trap, one that may ultimately lead to a father’s humiliation.
Why? Some fathers live up to the expectations of their children (although I still have to meet one) while a great many others could hardly stand up without their heads bowing in shame. As a father myself, I can only boast of feet of clay, of hands that ache as we work and age, and of a soul soiled by errors and mistakes it’s well-nigh impossible to look in the mirror without cringing.
The real kicker here is that no one knows if Maxene and Frank (or their Mom and other siblings) knew about the relationship even prior to the disclosure of Abegail. Regardless, the children have a right to react.
In the same breath, Abegail has the right to disclose a secret relationship with a public figure. Exposing it in such a manner that excludes any legal claims on Magalona is already exemplary in and by itself. It is commonplace to make exposures of such nature with claims to the legal tender, but it did not happen here—not of this writing. What happens in the future is anybody’s guess, of course. For now, it all seems well and clear.
And even if Abegail forwards a claim 15 years thereafter, it is within her legal right as mother to Magalona’s child (that is, if I remember our laws correctly). See, in a country where laws are as ambiguous as confidential funds, it pays to recheck your memory.
Here’s the rub: What’s this got to do with us?
Nothing—nothing by any standards fashioned by God and humans. Nothing by way of empathy or compassion unless one is driven, by intense angelic need, to go out of his or her way to help both parties iron out the crinkle.
Their lives now intertwine, at once immediate and without question. So far as our lives matter to theirs (or vice versa) are concerned, there’s a whole philosophical, practical, even philological chasm that separates both.
What am I getting at? Simple.
Bringing to bear anything other than the legal aspects surrounding the issue (something we need desperately to learn) is by all standards moot—and certainly not academic.
Investing in social justice tells me that discussing the lives of others, with the exception of lives that raise issues about the state and nation, is a waste of vim and oomph. Invest your time in screaming against confidential funds, against corruption, against the moral degradation in our youth, and the violence in our streets, why not?
Other than these, let us refuse to snack on people’s privacies. They are accountable for their lives just as we are accountable for our own.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions of PhilSTAR L!fe, its parent company and affiliates, or its staff.