A memorable visit with Mang PidolBy Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
One afternoon three years ago, Dolphy and partner Zsa Zsa Padilla opened the doors of their home to the Inquirer. It turned out to be a very happy and memorable visit, as the King of Comedy regaled his awed visitors with stories of his show biz career that started six decades ago.
This recollection is a long-overdue expression of thanks to the couple for welcoming us to their private space, a well-appointed home in a subdivision along Manila Bay.
Mang Pidol, as he is known in the biz, revealed to us a seldom-seen side of his personality: homebody. He showed off his favorite nook in the house, the den-trophy room.
Here, he said, he spent hours in the den, watching TV or playing tong-its with the drivers.
The flat-screen TV is a gift from Zsa Zsa. He said he was an avid follower of the NBA games and of the programs on the cable channels Crime/Suspense, Discovery and Animal Planet. “You learn a lot from them,” he said.
This home by the bay overflows with love and memories. They have accumulated all sorts of mementos: his-and-hers awards, even his-and-hers souvenir items.
Zsa Zsa related that his friends kept giving him clown and Charles Chaplin figures, and her pals gave her angel figurines.”
They moved here 20 years ago, right before daughter Zia was born. They picked a beach front property because they both had asthma “We used to hold parties by the sea,” Dolphy recalled.
But the sea slipped farther away on account of sea reclamation efforts and their beach front is now a busy concrete road.
He quipped, not without a tinge of sadness, “Noong araw pag labas mo, may sariwang hangin. Ngayon sariwang buhangin na lang.”
Dolphy’s fondest wish at the time was to build a beach house in Batangas.
That was not the last time we sat down for merienda and nostalgia with Dolphy. In subsequent chats, he related to us his experiences as a bodabil dancer in the 1940s and 1950s.
“Kaya ako maraming anak kasi magaling akong mag-sayaw,” he boasted, half in jest, only to take it back quickly: “But Zsa Zsa is the last woman in my life. Z is the last letter of the alphabet!”
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