Today is national day of mourning, Anson-Roa says
MANILA, Philippines -- His passing is cause for relief, as it marks the end of his long, arduous battle with an ailing health condition, a dear friend of the film icon said.
|Dolphy. File photo
"In a way, parang I heave a sigh of relief dahil nakapahinga na siya, kasi hindi madali 'yung pinagdaanan niya, pati 'yung sa pamilya niya," veteran actress Boots Anson-Roa said, minutes after the confirmation of the death of comedy King Dolphy on Tuesday evening.
In an interview with radio dzMM, Anson-Roa said "it is good to know that he's resting in peace. Tapos na 'yung paghihirap niya."
Anson-Roa, who starred in a number of films with Dolphy, said the film icon will be best remembered not only for his immense contribution to the entertainment industry, but also for his genuine kindness.
"'Yung pagiging total entertainer niya, kilala ng lahat 'yun, pero I am sure mas hinahangan siya ng lahat at mas mararamdaman natin ang lungkot sa pagkawala niya dahil sa pagiging isang tunay na makataong indibidwal niya.
"Hindi naman sikreto sa industriya lalung-lalong na 'yung pagiging mapagbigay at matalungin niya. That is something that is known in the industry," Anson-Roa said.
One of his most fervent of supporters, celebrity impersonator Willie Nepomuceno, remembers Dolphy in the same light.
"He's close to everyone and anyone, napakabait na tao, kahit sino ka man, babatiin ka niya. Hindi niya iisipin kung babatiin ka niya, babatiin ka talaga niya," Nepocumeno told dzMM.
"Binibigyan ka niya ng importansya, samantalang siya ang superstar," he added.
Although he will be primarily be remembered for his colorful and flamboyant portrayals on-screen, Dolphy in real life was in fact a quiet man, Anson-Roa shared.
"Si Dolphy, a man of few words 'yan eh. Mas nakikinig 'yan kaysa sa nagsasalita, pero 'pag nagsasalita 'yan, may punchline. Either matatawa ka o magugulat ka dahil nga hindi siya masalita talaga," she said.
"Maraming alam 'yan, napaka-intelihente, kasi well-read eh, pero hindi mapagsalita sa mga alam niya," she added.
Even as he was under intensive care at the Makati Medical Center (MMC), Dolphy managed to share light moments amid the health crisis.
At 8:34 p.m., July 10, however, the laughters and jokes would come to an end.
"Ambivalent 'yung aking nararamdaman dito, nalulungkot. In fact, tingin ko magiging national day of mourning ito eh. Malaging kawalan para satin lahat si Dolphy," Anso-Roa said.
Although Dolphy's passing did not come as a surprise to Nepomuceno, the stage impersonator said the film icon's death has left him with a feeling of "emptiness."
"Hindi naman ang dating sa atin ay shock o nagulat tayo, dahil more or less inaasahan nating may hindi mabuting nangyayari, at nagyari na nga.
"Alam naman kung gaano kalala ang kanyang sakit, but we still feel the emptiness. Dahil mahal natin si Dolphy, mahal ng bayan si Mang Dolphy."
According to the Dolphy’s son Eric Quizon, his father was diagnosed with COPD five years ago. The illness, which hinders the flow of air to the lungs, is generally permanent and may be progressive over time.
Reports of Dolphy’s deteriorating health surfaced in late 2010, triggering numerous rumors about his death. Since then, he had been in and out of the hospital due to respiratory problems. Quizon said Dolphy survived 10 bouts of pneumonia before the disease hit him again last June 9.
On Tuesday evening, his long-time partner actress Zsa Zsa Padilla confirmed news of his death.