Dolphy’s roomBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
On father’s day last Sunday, Dolphy’s youngest daughter, singer Zia Quizon, decorated his room in the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center with balloons and colorful greeting cards.
One card read: “I guess I am lucky because I can spell ‘Hero’ with three letters: Dad.”
Even his nurses wrote “Get Well Soon” messages on the white board in the room.
Singer Zsa Zsa Padilla, Dolphy’s partner and Zia’s mom, posted a photo of the Father’s Day décor in her Twitter and Facebook accounts—which were promptly deluged with inspiring messages from friends and fans.
The prayers and kind words lifted their spirits, Epy Quizon told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Tuesday. “We can feel their love for my dad. We really appreciate that.”
It was difficult to “celebrate Father’s Day,” Epy said, as his father was still in the ICU. He admitted that, until now, “we are going through a tough time.”
The veteran comedian, who will turn 84 on July 25, has been in the hospital for two weeks, recovering from his latest bout with pneumonia.
Son Eric told the media on Monday that Dolphy had been removed from the ventilator. He was put back on it on Tuesday. The screen legend is under close watch by doctors and nurses, Epy said.
In an earlier interview, Eric told the Inquirer that his dad was battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a “progressive illness.”
Explained Eric, who had taken a leave from his work in Hong Kong: “When we visit him, we have to wear surgical masks. He is very prone to infection.” No one is exempt from the “surgical mask” rule.
In May, Zsa Zsa posted a Facebook photo of Dolphy after an earlier hospital stay, showing her wearing a surgical mask.
In the same Inquirer interview, Eric paid tribute to Zsa Zsa for being steadfast. “Among all of us, more than his blood relatives, it’s Zsa Zsa who’s endured it all—bawa’t ungol, bawa’t sakit.”
“She’s always there,” Epy confirmed on Tuesday. Epy also stays in the ICU as often as he can.
In another interview, Zsa Zsa told the Inquirer that she was, at first, heartbroken about Dolphy’s constant trips to the hospital. “It affected me badly. Actually, he was always the strong one.”
These days, she is the pillar of strength for Pidol and the entire clan. In fact, Dolphy has described Zsa Zsa as “the real clown of the family” but also “the stern disciplinarian.”
Zsa Zsa shared a little-known fact about her life partner: Papa Pidol has gray eyes. None of his 18 children inherited this peculiarity, she said.
Movie and TV producer Antonio Tuviera had a mask made of Dolphy’s face, which was worn by Epy who doubled for the comedian in his 2008 movie with Vic Sotto, “Dobol Trobol.”
Zsa Zsa related: “The mask was an exact copy … except for the gray eyes.”
“My daughter Misha used to have gray eyes,” Epy said. “But now they’re turning hazel.”
On the Comedy King’s birthday, Epy will launch the Pidol Golf Cup in Eastridge. “That will be our family’s celebration,” Epy said.
Recent Stories:Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.