First I want to extend my condolences to the family and friends of Mang Dolphy Quizon, the Philippines King of Comedy. It is sad news for all of us who touched by this man; however, on the brighter side we are assured that he’s resting in peace with our Lord.
John H. Puruntong
Apart from feeding food, my family didn’t have any problem with me when I was a kid. It was because; I could sit in front of television and watch all day long. Our black and white TV was my company while everybody was busy doing their chores.
(Don’t blame my mother she’s a single parent for almost entire years of my existence and for my other 9 siblings.)
So apart from cartoons, Japanese super sentai, variety shows, and Batibot, I grew up watching John en Marsha. This sitcom starring Dolphy and the late Nida Blanca (Marsha) was like a family for me. Imagine, a two -year- old kid without parents sitting beside her but found enjoyment watching a TV show where there’s caring mother and principled but funny father. It was like I’m the adopted young sister of Maricel Soriano ( Shirley) and Rolly Quizon (Rolly).
I never met any of my parents’ parents or grandparents but I could think maybe one of them was like Dely Atay-atayan (Dona Delilah Jones), the rich but bully mother in law of John. I felt how he reacted to her when she said something about him, especially on how poor her daughter with him. But even if John was living in simple life, he showed that happiness in the family didn’t come from material things but from love and unity from each member of it.
There were movie versions of this sitcom but among them and the scene I could remember now was when Marsha and he were invited as godparents for baptism. Since poor, he gave cheap gift for his inaanak or godchild, but they were treated outcast among the invited guests of child's parents. For example, while everybody was eating delicious food, what offered to him was a plate of peanuts. When he realized that they were being isolated badly, he said what everyone (even today’s generation) should remember when getting godparents (ninong or ninang) for their kid.
After John en Marsha, of course there was Home along da Riles (also starring Claudine barreto, Gio Alvarez, Smokey Manoloto, Vandolph, and Nova Villa). This is the last sitcom I ever watched almost religiously.
But do you know, Dolphy was also one of the actors who also made me cry. That happened when he guessed in drama anthology show Maaalala Mo Kaya in 1992. There he was a father who forced to give up his son (played by his real son Vandolph) because he was imprisoned. When he came back and worked to the family where his kid was adopted, he saw how the couple disregard his son because they had already a biological son or daughter. I was sobbing when he was crying for his son.
There were numerous Dolphy films that I watched, but my top 3 would be Black Magic (1987), Darna Kuno (1979) and si Lucio at si Miguel (1962-with his famous comedy partner Panchito). Sure these three were old comedy films but for me there a lot of lessons I learned from them especially with the first one. Black Magic told that we could have powers that maybe from or made of bad stuff. But if we use it for good things everything falls into the right place.
Why he’s deserved to be a national artist?
That was a question that I heard from a friend. She’s wondering why people are clamouring to give that award to him. She’s maybe had someone in mind and maybe she's listing the past winners who have different background from Dolphy.
But what I told her was this, “he maybe not a role model when it comes to personal life or he’s expertise (comedy) is irrelevant field for other people. However, Dolphy entertained many people in his entire showbiz career. He made people laugh when they need it and made them realized important lessons that we just laugh about.
Rest In Peace Po, Tatay Dolphy!