Trust the King of Comedy to draw laughter from the most somber situations.
In an exclusive interview, singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla recalled that during a recent hospital stay their daughter Zia did a double take when she saw Dolphy in bed using an iPad!
By the time he left hospital, Dolphy, 83, had become iPad-savvy. “He knows the basics. He looks at photos. He talks to his children abroad on Skype,” Zsa Zsa said.
Friends were impressed. “So much so that we convinced [his fellow Sampaguita star] Barbara Perez to use an iPad and iPhone too,” Zsa Zsa said.
Zsa Zsa made a music playlist for Dolphy with songs from his youth by Frank Sinatra, Nat “King” Cole, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and others.
Health-wise, she related, Dolphy has highs and lows like any man his age. “But mostly he is in high spirits.”
Happy at home
She is thankful for the “overwhelming” show of concern from fans and friends. “He has been in and out of hospital lately, but by God’s grace he’s doing fine.”
He’s happy at home, Zsa Zsa said, and still jokes around with them. “One night I came in from a shoot all dolled up. I caught him looking at me so I teased him: ‘You still have a crush on me, no?’ He smiled mischievously.”
The hardest part for her is accepting the challenges that life brings as her partner grows older. “I cried at first; it affected me badly,” she said of the latest health scare. “But I’ve come to realize that everything that’s happened has been for the best, because it has brought us all closer.”
Dolphy has always been Zsa Zsa’s pillar of strength, but now she has to be that for the family.
Recently hit by two personal crises—a burglary (during the holidays, while they were away) and a Twitter attack (ongoing)—she had felt vulnerable.
“Dolphy felt helpless that he couldn’t protect our home. I assured him we were fine,” Zsa Zsa said. She herself fell sick recently. “The fatigue and the stress finally caught up with me.”
She recovered in time for last Saturday’s dance rehearsals for her latest film—Chris Martinez’s Apo Hiking Society musical entitled “I Do Bidoo Bidoo,” produced by Unitel.
At the studio during a break, she reflected on her 20 years with Dolphy—the laughter as well as the tears.
“It’s heartening when you reach this level of commitment. You rediscover and reassure yourselves that you will both be there for each other during the good and the bad times.”
It’s a valuable lesson that she can pass on to her daughters Karylle Tatlonghari, and Nicole and Zia Quizon.
“My daughters and I are closer now,” she said. “Zia opted not to study abroad so she wouldn’t have to be away from her dad.”
In a recent gathering, Zia sang “My Heart Belongs to Daddy.” Zsa recounted: “My manager (Nene Atilano) put a tissue box in front of me. I thought she was overdoing it, but when Zia dedicated the song to other daddy’s girls, I wept buckets.”