Dolphy condition better, but doctors stop dialysisBy Jaymee T. Gamil, Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) is now processing the nomination of the seriously ill comedian Dolphy as national artist.
The “King of Comedy” is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and is under intensive care at Makati Medical Center.
His condition improved on Friday, although doctors discontinued his dialysis treatment because he had high blood pressure.
Dolphy’s son, Eric Quizon, told reporters Friday night that his father’s doctors discontinued his dialysis because his heart rate and blood pressure had shot up.
Doctors were regulating his father’s heart rate and blood pressure, Eric said.
His condition on Friday was much improved, and doctors may resume dialysis on Saturday, Eric said.
The city government of Manila conferred on Dolphy the Gawad Diwa ng Lahi award at the annual Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan artists’ awards Friday on the occasion of the Araw ng Maynila festivities.
The awards have been given since the 1960s, honoring Manila artists who have contributed to the city’s cultivation of culture and the arts.
Dolphy, whose real name is Rodolfo Vera Quizon, was born in Manila’s Tondo district on July 25, 1928.
His colleagues in the entertainment industry and politicians have called on the government to confer on Dolphy the national artist award while he lives, but the Palace insists on following the proper process rather than bestowing the honor on him by fiat.
The selection of national artists goes through a long process overseen by the NCCA and the Cultural Center of the Philippines. President Aquino wants the two agencies to decide the question of Dolphy’s nomination.
But the Palace said a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court in 2009 in connection with a controversy involving questionable choices by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for national artists had stopped the selection process.
Maybe not. Trixie Angeles, a lawyer for the NCCA, said in a statement posted on Facebook on Friday that the stoppage was a “misappreciation” by the NCCA board members of the effects of the TRO on the selection process.
Only for Gloria Arroyo board
The TRO applied only to the NCCA board in the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo. With the assumption of a new board in 2010, Angeles said, the process goes on again.
“For the moment we understand that Mang Dolphy has been nominated and is now undergoing the process of evaluation—along with other noteworthy artists,” Angeles said. “In the meantime, we continue to pray for his recovery and return to full health.”
Angeles said the selection of national artists is a long process, sometimes taking up to two years.
She said Mr. Aquino should not be blamed for Dolphy’s not being given the recognition despite the growing clamor for his being named national artist.
“That Mang Dolphy has not been awarded the recognition yet does not reflect on the government’s or the arts sector’s wanting or not wanting to do so,” Angeles said. “In short, it’s not the President’s fault.”
According to NCCA records, Dolphy was nominated as national artist for film in 2009. He made it to the second phase of the deliberation process, but failed to get enough votes from the NCCA board.
Several NCCA members have earlier assured Dolphy’s fans that the actor would be on this year’s list of nominees for national artists.
Dolphy’s son, Vandolph, accepted for him the Gawad Diwa ng Lahi award at ceremonies held at Manila City Hall Friday.
“He has brought great honor to the city of Manila by being a great artist and comedian in performances on radio, television and in Filipino films that have brought much entertainment and joy to the public … and have been praised by critics,” Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim said in Filipino.
“His excellence has paved the way for him to receive in 2011 the prestigious Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart award, the highest honor bestowed by the President of the Philippines on citizens,” Lim said.
Arts and culture city
“The Gawad Diwa ng Lahi award is conferred on Dolphy as a celebration, recognition and in appreciation of his inimitable contribution in making Manila renowned as a city for culture and the arts,” Lim said.
Among the other awardees in the local arts awards were Abdul Mari de Leon Imao Jr. for sculpture, Angel Cacnio for painting, and Saul Hofileña for historical writing.
Lim said he and Dolphy were born in Tondo and they had been friends since the start of their careers. He said he supported calls for the conferment on Dolphy of the national artist award. With a report from Marinel R. Cruz
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Tags: Cultural Center of the Philippines , dialysis , Dolphy , Makati Medical Center , National Artist , National Commission on Culture and the Arts , NCCA , Rodolfo Vera Quizon , “King of Comedy , ” chronic obstructive pulmonary disease