MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN Corp. chief executive officer and chairman Eugenio Lopez III delivered a moving eulogy for the late King of Comedy Dolphy, describing him as an "extraordinary person who became a symbol for the ordinary Filipino."
On Wednesday afternoon, Dolphy's remains were brought to the theater named after him inside the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City.
"It is only fitting that Mang Dolphy come and visit the Dolphy Theater at ABS-CBN before he goes to his final resting place. This is where Mang Dolphy like many of us, spent many, many hours," Lopez said, during the ABS-CBN tribute "Salamat Dolphy."
Like many Filipinos of his generation, Lopez said he first saw Dolphy on Buhay Artista, a show aired on ABS-CBN. Buhay Artista which was conceptualized by ABS-CBN patriarch Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr. and renowned TV director Ading Fernando.
"If today people marvel at how time stands still when Pacquiao has a fight, Buhay Artista was the original traffic, crime-stopper. The whole nation stopped and watched Dolphy and Panchito. And ever since that show, Mang Dolphy has been part of the public limelight," he said.
Lopez described Dolphy's passing as the end of an era in television-watching in the Philippines, "a kinder, gentler time, full of song and laughter." Dolphy appeared in popular comedy TV series such as "John en Marsha," and "Home Along Da Riles."
"But Mang Dolphy was more than just a comedian. He exemplified in many ways the best in the Filipino - his humble demeanor, his generosity and compassion for others, his ability to roll with the punches and evolve through the years," he said.
The ABS-CBN CEO noted that Dolphy, who was born on July 25, 1928, shared the same birth year as his father, Geny Lopez (November 4, 1928).
"(1928) the year of the blue dragon which happens only once in 60 years. An extraordinary year in which many extraordinary people were born - Mang Dolphy, FVR, Cardinal Sin and our very own Atty Jake (Almeda). Mang Dolphy was an extraordinary person who became a symbol for the ordinary Filipino," he said.
Lopez said Dolphy will always "live in the heart and soul of ABS-CBN" and remain a "Kapamilya."
"He is an inspiration to all of us in the broadcast industry with his humility, his talent, and above all, his ability to constantly reinvent himself to live and fight another day. Paalam, Mang Dolphy. To all of us here at ABS-CBN, you wil always be Kapamilya," he said.
ABS-CBNnews.com is the news website of ABS-CBN Corp.