So far the best tribute to comedy king Dolphy that we’ve seen is the one aired last July 22 on GMA News TV.
The tribute titled “Habilin ng Hari,” consisting of crisp vignettes alongside interviews and film clips and hosted by Carla Abellana, was straightforward and sentimental, informative and enjoyable in equal parts.
With Enri Calaycay as program manager and Floy Quintos as head writer (Ricky Lopez and Dexter Mantes, writers), the tribute was subtitled “Dolphy’s Legacy Uncovered.” That promise was delivered in the least lachrymose manner – a style befitting the illustrious subject’s public persona.
One of the resource persons was Dolphy’s son Epy Quizon, who gave some of the most enthusiastic contributions:
A true gentleman
“My dad was never rude to women; he really was the type to offer his seat to a woman. The best illustrations would be how he treated the women in his life—partners, girlfriends, daughters. That’s probably why they gravitated to him. It was like he was genetically disposed to be a gentleman.
“If we look back on his life, even those times when bad news hounded him, he just kept his mouth shut, always. He never asked to be interviewed when he was angry at someone. In fact, even if he was reminded of something unpleasant that was done to him, he would never react in a negative way.
“My dad’s drama was the life that he lived; it was filled with so many relationships. He had many children, many grandchildren, every one of them was a drama unto himself. My dad was always the center of these dramas. So if you think of the laughter that he generated… that’s why for me he really is the two faces of show business.”
On staying humble
“Back in 2001, when I won several awards, my dad said to me, ‘Don’t let it go to your head.’ At one dinner shortly after, he noticed that I have indeed become a little affected. He called me over and I sat down beside him. He said, ‘You know, son, it feels good to fly. But even as you do, remember the ground where you took off from. When you feel your feet leave the ground, nail them back if you must, before you soar so high, you will forget when it’s time to land. You may crash instead.’”
“Actually, I don’t remember exactly how he said that but to this day, I carry those words in my heart.”
“Dad also often said I shouldn’t be ashamed to start from the bottom. That was his humility talking; it was easy to see that.
“He never used his name to get special favors, not even small ones, like in restaurants. And he treated everyone equally. He always said, ‘That was where I came from. I sold peanuts in movie houses.’
“He was a king hailed by the people. But he didn’t want to be king; he just wanted to be the court jester.
Whole lotta love
“When we brought him to the hospital this last time, we thought we had lost him the first day. Still he gave us, his children, one month to be together, talk with one another, build on whatever we had at that point as a family.
“When he saw that our bond had become solid, I think that was when he said to himself—and made us feel—‘Okay, this is it, I could go with my Maker.’”
Zsa Zsa’s style
“From the start, Zsa Zsa was never selfish about my dad’s time. She wasn’t one to intrude when we visited. She gave us those moments entirely. When we went to the States and she and my mom met, Zsa Zsa gave my mom all that time with my dad. That was when I began regarding Zsa Zsa with so much respect—which increased when my dad got very sick. She never left his side, but was all for keeping the whole family together at that time.