What a delight it was to chill with my BFF (best friend forever) Sally Quizon and her siblings at Bar 360 at Resorts World Manila on her birthday on April 2. Epy, Vandolph and his wife Jenny were around to celebrate with her, too. “It’s my first birthday without my dad (Comedy King Dolphy),” Sally sighed. “I miss him sending roses to me every time I turn a year older.”
Then she pulled out a picture of her with Tito Dolphy taken during her 16th birthday when the latter visited her on the set of the movie she was shooting then.
“I miss my dad’s comforting voice,” Epy said. “Whenever I had a problem, he was the first one I turned to. Just hearing his voice reassuring me that he was there for me eased my burden.”
Vandolph added: “When I’m having a tough time in my career, all I have to do is remember what my dad told me. (He said) that for him it’s only me who can continue his legacy. That’s why I’m striving hard to improve my craft.”
I’m more than happy that Vandolph and I have let bygones be bygones.
Many intrigues ago, I wrote about his lovechild, Gabbie, with my friend, Gia. At first, that didn’t sit too well with Vandolph. But now, he fulfills his fatherly duties to Gabbie just like he does to his two kids with Jenny—Vito and Kira. “Gabbie is graduating with honors,” he beamed. “And Vito will soon join ‘Goin’ Bulilit.’ He really wants to join show biz. We’re not forcing him to. Di mapigilan. Nasa dugo talaga. (Can’t stop him. It’s in the blood).”
If plans materialize, there will soon be Dolphy apps/games for mobile devices, which Eric and Epy are conceptualizing. This month, Dolphy’s monument will be unveiled in the Manila Bay area.
With all the laughter that night, it felt like Tito Dolphy was tickling us. It was his way of reminding us that as long as we have not forgotten how to laugh then his awesome life and work were not in vain.
I had a blast bonding with one of my fave couples in the biz—Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Rep. Lani Mercado—and their wonderful family at the Discovery Shores Boracay during
the Holy Week break. It’s their yearly tradition to spend Semana Santa in “Boradise.”
They were the picture of doting grandparents, swimming in the pool with their adorable apos, Gab (8), Alexa (4) and Iñigo (1 year and 2 months).
“It’s our last chance to unwind before the grueling campaign period. We did the Stations of the Cross via the Internet,” said Lani. “Jolo idolizes his dad so much that’s why he wants to follow in his footsteps, be it in show biz or politics. His son, Gab (lovechild with Grace, the daughter of Rosanna Roces) is doing well in school and is so hyper.”
She went on: “We are also busy preparing for the debut of (our daughter) Gianna. I didn’t have a lavish debut celebration so her party will be a vicarious experience for me. But Bong and I are giving her options—whether to just travel or buy a car instead of having a grand party. Gianna also wants to feed kids in an orphanage on her birthday. Bong and I are happy that she has also joined show biz via GMA 7’s ‘Teen Gen.’ Funny that her director warned the young actors on the show, ‘Beware! She’s the daughter of Bong Revilla.’ We raised her well so we need not worry. She knows what’s right and wrong.”
When Bong joined us, I teased him: “Since you and Lani have weathered many storms in your marriage, you should give a crash course to other show biz couples on how to save their relationships.” Lani retorted: “I’ve learned to become like a bamboo. I bend where the wind blows!” Then Bong kissed her on the cheek, saying, “That’s why I love her and will never leave her.”
Many controversies ago, Lani and I were at odds when I wrote about Bong’s lovechild, Luigi, with my friend, Lovely. But the kindness of Lani’s heart prevailed. Now, she treats Luigi like her own.
“When Luigi got sick while he was at our place, we rushed him to the hospital,” she said. “But when they were asking for his medical history, I told Bong to call Luigi’s mom because I’m clueless about it.”
It was so heartwarming to see them in their unguarded moments devoid of anything showbizy.
Thank you, Bong and Lani for showing me that true friendship can be found in this unreal biz we move in. Your amazing love story makes me want to believe in “happy ever after” again.
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PERSONAL: Thanks more than words can say to my ever kind friend, Boy So, and his efficient staff for the red carpet treatment at my home away from home, La Carmela de Boracay. Muchas gracias to my Boracay Angels, Mavic of Cez Manor and Vicky Salem of Boracay Plaza. Damo gid na salamat to my pangga friend, Mark Ortiz, Tita Cora and Tito Tony Ortiz, Patrick and Thursday Honrado, and Jessica Yu for always taking care of me like family at their San Antonio Resort, my oasis in Capiz.