By: Farah Trofeo-Ishizawa
To The King of Comedy!
Jeepney Press friends - I will not do my regular-numbered column this time. Instead, I will write about the one and only "King of Comedy in the Philippines", Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Sr. more popularly known as "Dolphy". His son, Ronnie shared with me the connection between his dad and Japan. "Dolphy was one of the original Filipino entertainers going in Japan, having performed here with the first batch of all-Filipino entertaining troupe that included Bayani Casimiro, Bimbo Danao, and other Filipinos in the late 40's until the early 50's. Dolphy had to discontinue his Japan stints when he signed a movie contract with Sampaguita Pictures, Inc., and the rest for him, as they say, is history. Bayani Casimiro found another dancing partner in Dolphy's place, and Bimbo Danao went on to become one of Japan's most popular and successful live performers in the 50's. While Dolphy was a performer in Japan, he had lots of fans and even became quite a ladies man, with Japanese women swooning after him. Before he signed up for Sampaguita Pictures, Inc., Dolphy also had bit roles playing a Japanese soldier in the late 1940's, under the production company of Fernando Poe Sr. and another small American Movie outfit."
Last July 10, 2012, Dolphy passed away. The Filipino people cried and mourned for him not only because he was our "King of Comedy", but mainly because he was a great man. Although he was there at the top, he made so many people feel special because of his humility and kindness to almost everyone regardless of their place in society. Many of his family, friends and "fans" have attested to this. Tito Dolphy touched the hearts of many people in his very special way.
His children, Ronnie, Eric, Donna (Dana), and Epy were our neighbors. One summer day, we became friends - and from then on, we spent our summers playing tennis or just hanging out together.
As for my "Tito Dolphy moment" - one day, I was with Donna at their home. It was a Sunday. They were all going out to lunch with their daddy. As I was about to say "good-bye", Tito Dolphy told Donna "sama mo na siya" (bring your friend along). Donna smiled and invited me to join their family lunch. The boys also smiled, and before I knew it, I was in their car. I was going to have lunch with the one and only "Dolphy of the Philippines." If I remember right, it was at Annabels restaurant. Tito Dolphy was a very quiet person. He was friendly and soft-spoken, no one would imagine that he was the King of Philippine comedy. His children enjoyed this time with their dad. As for me, I hope that I will never forget that lunch. As neighbors, we truly enjoyed those days, and the times we had parties at their home or at our home.
The Quizon's have left our neighborhood years ago but, I am happy that my siblings and I are still blessed with their friendship.
The second "Tito Dolphy moment" I had was when our family made the remake of his movie "Kalabog en Bosyo" (Strike again). I remember having so much fun at the set during the filming. One thing I regret, I never had a photo taken with Tito Dolphy because he "was always there." Knowing his children, I took it for granted - or shall I say, I knew that I would get the chance to meet him again.
Tito Dolphy, thank you for bringing your family close to us. Am grateful that my family got to know your family. Tita Babes, is a beautiful person in and out. Your lovely children will always be part of our family, I hope and pray that our friendships will remain.
Ronnie, Eric, Donna, and Epy, your father is gone. But his legacy will live on.
Stay strong and keep praying for each other. Take care of your mom. I hope to see you all again someday. Many know that Tito Dolphy spent his last 23 years with Zsa Zsa. I have never met her, but I hope that someday I will get the chance to say "hello".
God bless us all, Mama Mary loves you !