Friday, July 13, 2012

National Day of Remembrance for Dolphy, Philippine Showbiz's King of Comedy

Some say that Friday the 13th is freaky.  Today, 13 July 2012, is Friday the 13th.    It isn't freaky but quite special, at least to Filipinos!  Malacanan Palace declared today as the National Day of Remembrance for Dolphy - Philippine Showbiz's Comedy King.  Pidol (i.e., an anagram of his name as some fondly calls him) passed away at the age of 83 last evening of Tuesday, 10 July 2012.  From such humble beginnings, this man in his more than 5 decades of making people laugh, has become a Filipino icon short of a conferment for the title of National Artist.  So, just what do we do in a day of remembrance?

Dolphy is Rodolfo Vera Quizon in real life.  Instead of a "day of mourning", a day of remembrance seems more appropriate.  It's worth remembering Dolphy's films and TV shows, and the man himself.   I do feel however, that this day of remembrance isn't really necessary.  Why did I say that?  It's because Dolphy has always been, and will always be forever in our hearts... in the hearts of Filipinos.  Although not necessary, Dolphy is well-deserved of this day.  He has transcended time and space!  Dolphy is already immortalized in his sitcoms "John and Marsha",  "Home Along the Riles", and "Home Along the Airport"; and in his out-of-this-worldly hilarious films "Facifica Falayfay" and "Darna Kuno" (my personal favorites).

Did you know that we studied Dolphy and his works in high school?  I am not sure if it's officially in the high school curriculum now.  The curriculum in our laboratory science high school some decades ago is completely unconventional because most subjects were advanced (e.g., 4 years of biology which includes taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, etc., instead of just 1 year in ordinary high school) and some were experimental (e.g., 2 years of science research with thesis).  Anyway, I remember my 4th year high school's "panunuring pampanitikan" (literary criticism course).  Our teacher made us watch the sitcom John and Marsha and write some paper and technical review about some of its episodes.  I still recall what my teacher told us about art - that one, "art imitates life" and two, "art should reflect the truth".  The sitcom John and Marsha mirrors the lives of Filipinos in the 80's, and considered by many critics as a definitive "work of art".  John Puruntong, the main protagonist was played by Dolphy.  He embodied the typical Filipino man, and effectively showed how he tackled everyday problems, and his relationships with his wife, children, in-laws, and the community at large amidst economic hardships.  It was beyond comedy.  It's a sliver of Philippine history, a satire on FIlipino customs, and an archive of Filipino ingenuity.

Rest in peace, Dolphy, and thank you!

(Note: the picture was taken from

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