Dolphy laid to rest amid cheers
Family, friends bid Dolphy goodbye in solemn funeralBy Marinel R. Cruz, Miko Morelos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
When all the tributes were said and the rituals done, Dolphy’s grieving relatives and friends turned their tears into cheers, just as the “King of Comedy” would have wanted to be sent off.
Rodolfo “Dolphy” Vera Quizon was laid to rest Sunday afternoon at Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City and got a hearty cheer from his family just before the tomb was shut.
“He would not want to see you crying,” said Fr. Larry Faraon, who led the ceremony on Heritage Drive at 2 p.m. He asked those present to give the late comedian a rousing applause, and then led the shouting of “Hep hep! Hooray!” thrice and “Mabuhay si Dolphy!”
“Dolphy is now happy. He is with the Lord,” Faraon said.
White doves were released, while funeral staff twisted several cardboard tubes that launched confetti into the air as the glimmering casket, adorned with white petals, was placed inside the tomb.
Dolphy, 83, succumbed to complications arising from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder on Tuesday. He would have turned 84 on July 25.
His gold-plated casket, which the comedian purchased way back in 1977, was brought to its niche by pallbearers, including Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, whose city bestowed upon the comedian the honor of being one of the capital’s outstanding citizens last month. The coffin would now cost P1.8 million, according to a TV report.
Dolphy’s family and friends all wore white, his favorite color. However, his longtime partner, singer-actress Zsa Zsa Padilla, donned a sleeveless black dress, black strapped wedges and was devoid of any makeup.
She walked hand-in-hand with daughters Nicole and Zia.
Brothers Epy and Vandolph, wearing a pair of aviator shades and a fedora, were also spotted doing the kilometer-long walk together from the chapel to the comedian’s niche.
Maricel Soriano, who worked with Dolphy on the sitcom “John en Marsha” in the 1980s, sobbed uncontrollably throughout the hourlong burial rites.
She was comforted by actor-director Eric Quizon, who acted as the family spokesperson. Sisters Mariquita, Madonna and Sally were seated together.
At one point, family members were given white dancing lady orchids, which each of them placed inside the niche that measured 2.5 meters by 1.5 meters.
Faraon then asked Dolphy’s children to say their last goodbyes. It was at this point when most of his children broke down and cried.
Padilla was the last to approach the coffin, which she kissed and hugged for nearly two minutes. It seemed to people around her that she was whispering something to her late lover. She then thanked everyone who condoled with the family and came to pay their last respects.
Padilla also acknowledged Dolphy’s huge impact on the Filipino people. “Thank you to all those who loved Dolphy,” she said.
She then addressed Dolphy: “We love you Dolphy. [I] love you, Lovey! Until we meet again.”
Some 200 Monobloc chairs were set up around the comedian’s niche, which sits on a
39-square-meter lot. Enlarged pictures of Dolphy, taken by renowned fashion photographer Jun de Leon, were mounted close to the niche. White flowers—lilies, daisies and anthuriums—were seen all around the area.
The song “Seasons of Love,” theme of the musical “Rent,” was played shortly after the ceremony. Dolphy was then given a standing ovation for his last performance.
Written on his niche, made from black granite, were his real and stage names, and title: “Rodolfo Vera Quizon, Dolphy, King of Comedy.”
Among the celebrities who attended were Roderick Paulate, Nova Villa, Eddie Garcia, Vhong Navarro, Ricky Davao, Maybelyn dela Cruz, Yael Yuzon and Bibeth Orteza. It was Orteza who wrote the comedian’s biography titled, “Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-Isa.”
A small crew from Rescue 5 gave first aid to a number of guests who fainted due to the intense heat.
Vandolph relayed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer his message to his father: “Papa, thank you for everything. Kasama mo na ang mga tropa mo d’yan (You are now with your gang), and the Lord. Guide me, guide the country, guide all Filipinos all over the world. In times of heartaches, make your presence felt. Make us smile just like old times.”
Vandolph said his two kids, Kiera, 5, and Vito, 3, had yet to understand the concept of death. “Vito, once asked me to wake up his grandpa because he wanted to ask for chocolates from him,” he said.
“I’m preparing myself for a life without Papa. We will all die eventually. What’s good is that Papa lived a full life. He was an inspiration to many Filipinos,” Vandolph said.
Days without enough sleep took their toll on Padilla when she complained of palpitations on Saturday night. She also had low blood pressure, according to her publicist Chuck Gomez.
Daughter Karylle, who took care of Padilla that night, made the singer-actress sleep for a few hours and eat “balut” before attending the “Comedy Night Tribute” that local comedians organized for Dolphy.
Comedian Mel Kimura, who worked with Padilla in the drama series “Budoy,” was worried about her friend. “I never knew her to be a coffee drinker, but since Dolphy died, she started drinking the [brew]. This probably caused the palpitations. I instructed her to just rest whenever she felt her body needed it.”
Singer-actress Vina Morales, also a close friend of Padilla’s, said she had been aware of Dolphy’s deteriorating condition for years but chose to just keep quiet about it.
“Zsa Zsa and I share a dressing room for the show ‘Asap’ and I get to spend time with her for more than three hours every week,” Morales said.
“I sometimes see her cry. She once told me that she came straight from the hospital and hasn’t had any sleep yet. I feel her pain. She really tries hard to be strong.”
Morales added: “Zsa Zsa patiently took care of Tito Dolphy. I would sometimes see them together in the dressing room. I would see Zsa Zsa making sure he drinks his medicine. She would even help him operate his nebulizer sometimes. The love they shared was so pure that I secretly wish for it for myself.”
The Taguig police chief, Senior Superintendent Tomas Apolinario, who oversaw the security arrangement at the funeral, said about 200 people went to the periphery of the cemetery starting yesterday morning.
The number was much lower than the estimated 15,000 people who came for the final public viewing of Dolphy’s remains on Saturday night, Apolinario said.
Less than 100 people lined the gates of Heritage Memorial Park, hoping to get a glimpse of Dolphy’s interment, which the family closed to the public. Private television stations, however, beamed the funeral live to homes.
Evelyn Bulahan, 37, drove all the way from Imus, Cavite province, with her extended family, to see off the comedy king.
“The dog will take care of the house,” Bulahan said as her nieces and nephews took turns in taking a peek at the chapel driveway where Dolphy’s relatives and friends gathered.
Novo Espinosa, 38, a blind masseur, said he knew of Dolphy through the comedian’s son Manny Boy Quizon, who was his client from 1994 to 2000.
“The first and only time I met Sir Dolphy was in 1997 when Manny brought me to his house in Marina Village (Parañaque),” Espinosa said on Saturday.
“I was made to sit on a sofa and was offered bread and coffee. The person carrying the tray asked me how I wanted my coffee: ‘matamis, matapang o lumalaban (sweet, strong or extra-strong)?’ After the meal, I asked where Sir Dolphy was and the man said, ‘’Di mo ba ako nakikilala (Don’t you recognize me)?’ It was actually him! I never imagined Dolphy would personally serve food to somebody like me.” With reports from Christine Avendaño and Radyo Inquirer
Originally posted: July 15, 2012 | 2:30 pm
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