This past week, our local Filipino American community lost a hero, Mark Ho. He was a Marine, an Iraq veteran with PTSD, who was fighting off cancer, then eventually Covid.
Although I never had the opportunity to meet him in person-- He was a hero in our local Filipino and So Cal community, and also to the nation as he was also a Marine veteran, who served in Iraq in 2002. Unfortunately where he also got cancer, service connected to his duties, along with PTSD.
In spite of those battles, Mark Ho still made it his mission to give back and inspire others in the local community through his music and the act of just giving back.
As a veteran myself, while reading about him, I was thinking to myself (in veteran lingo) - "This dude is unreal, and of course he's going to keep fighting.. he's a Marine.. he fights, leads, and inspires until it's time to go... until you're forced to go home.. and with redeployment orders from the higher ups.."
- Jason A (Pres. FACCHO)
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Mark S. Villamac Ho (BagYo) was a combat veteran, a performer and artist, a mentor to young children, down-to-earth with no ego, that's probably why he was likable. He was the type of guy you can call at three in the morning and ask him to bail you out. Mark was a man of his word.
He impressed us with his infectious smile and his pure, driven heart. He shared his inspirational life story and his positive music to everyone. You can hear his heart and his battle ridden mind in his lyrics. His latest release, "Legendary," he pays tribute to those that he lost. In the song he raps, "with the way that you fought with a smile. That you had on your face."
Mark may be gone but, he is not forgotten.
It was an honor and a privilege to know Mark. May God give him the Peace that he seeks. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.
Rest in Power, Mark.
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Edwin Santos began blogging in 1995 when he was hired as Editor for the award-winning fansite, The Towne Cryer News on Renée Zellweger. He wrote about the entertainment business and film reviews of Zellweger's films until 2000.