|Bibeth Orteza, author of Dolphy's biography "Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa.”
Born to Melencio Quizon, a boat mechanic and Salud, a seamstress from Tondo, Comedy King Dolphy spoke highly of his parents but also of his humble beginnings.
Speaking on ANC’s "Headstart", Bibeth Orteza, author of Dolphy's biography "Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa,” shared her thoughts on the passing of an icon.
“The last of the great initials, RVQ, FPJ...When you say RVQ, its Dolphy," she says. "He was a feeling man. A feeling actor so even in the movies that he did, you remember his performance just the same because he attacked it with as much sincerity and as much truth, with no judgment on who was directing or who wrote the script."
Bibeth says the idea for the book was hatched by Dolphy's son, Eric, during the Toronto Film Festival in 1999, and was forced into life when Bibeth had a mastectomy in 2004.
“Eric visited me in the hospital said ‘Hoy! Wag kang mamatay. Hindi ka pwedeng mamatay. Ang libro ng daddy ko susulatin mo.' Then Tito Dolphy visited me. He was in a red shirt, I remember that: red, red, shirt. My doctors were so surprised kasi down to his Nike, pula yung sapatos niya kasi gusto niya to cheer me up,” she says.
Bibeth says she was struck at how thoughtful Dolphy was, going as far as footing the bill on one family celebration, or visiting the wake for her mom.
Five months in the making, Bibeth says the book also helped forge a stronger friendship, and showed her Dolphy's impact on everyday Filipinos.
“When he would enter a restaurant, there would be a hush. Whether Class A restaurant, whether Class B--they would all just stare in frank admiration at this man who had touched their lives,” she says.
Dolphy's dream: A monogamous relationship
Despite having fathered 18 children with 6 women, Bibeth says Dolphy had dreamt of having a monogamous relationship with just one woman.
But she believes Dolphy finally found his true love in Zsa Zsa Padilla, his partner of 23 years, and understands why they didn't feel the need to get married.
“One time, I wrote about them in a separate magazine interview. Zsa Zsa was giggling about something, a bag she had just bought. I wrote it exactly as I saw it happen. Tito Dolphy's eyes rested on her. And it just really went soft. I mean if that's not a marriage, tell me what is,” Orteza says.
Dolphy's narrations spoke of a sentimental man who deeply cared for his friends, who loved his children equally, and nursed regrets about the loves in his life.
“For each of the relationships na nagwakas, the pain was there especially on account of the children. He really felt so bad when Junior was in jail. He was in anguish when Edgar got into a diabetic coma, when Madonna, the sister of Eric, had a hemorrhage when she gave birth to twins, when he lost Freddie. The pain was so much. Umiiyak siya,” she recounts.
Dolphy's wishes beyond himself
Asked for his thoughts on dying, Bibeth says Dolphy spoke of sharing a meal with his friends who have passed on, and only had wishes beyond himself.
“Kung makakaharap ko na si Lord at pagbibigyan niya ako ng isang hiling, ang hihilingin ko peace talaga. Hindi lang dito sa atin, kundi para sa buong mundo.
“Ang kukumbidahin ko ay ang mga mahal sa akin, ‘yong mga ininda ko, no’ng nawala. Si FPJ, Pancho Magalona, Panchito, Ading Fernando, Chaning Carlos, Bayani Casimiro, Tommy Angeles, Manding Garces, Teroy de Guzman, Willy Mariño, Conde Ubaldo, at si Nida Blanca. Masa-shuffle pa ang guest list na ‘yan, from time to time, masasama si Pugo, Leopoldo Salcedo, at Benny Mack.
“Kukumustahin ko sila, tatanungin, ‘Saan ka, up o down?’ O kaya, ‘Maganda ba do’n? Or,‘Mainit?’
“I imagine them now. They’re having dinner,” Orteza says.
While the nation mourns the passing of an icon, Bibeth believes the King of Comedy is happily exchanging laughs in vaudeville-heaven.