MANILA, Philippines - King of Comedy Dolphy and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla lived the life of a happy couple even if they never got to exchange wedding vows, the late actor's biographer said Wednesday.
Bibeth Orteza said she was able to observe Dolphy and Padilla up close while working on her definitive Dolphy biography titled "Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Ng Mag-Isa."
"Observing him and Zsa Zsa in their house, they were very much married. They were very much married na naisip ko 'ah yung papel, what was a piece of paper between them.' Kapag magkasama sila at 'yung biruan nila...," Orteza said in an interview on ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda."
In his biography, Dolphy admitted that he asked some of the women linked to him to marry him but they refused.
In 1989, Dolphy and Zsa Zsa fell in love. They have been living together since.
Their plan to tie the knot was derailed pending the annulment of Padillla's marriage to her ex-husband, Dr. Modesto Tatlonghari.
In May 2011, Padilla announced that after ten years, her petition for annulment was granted by the court with finality.
Never got high school diploma
Orteza said she once asked the Comedy King to take a high school equivalency test to get his high school diploma.
"Let me tell you this, noong ginagawa namin 'yung libro (2007) I was very impressed with Tito Dolphy kasi maalam na tao. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Tito Dolphy bakit hindi ka kumuha ng high school equivalency test para makakuha ka ng high school diploma.' Primero pumayag pero hindi na nagawa dahil nagpunta ng Amerika at one point ay nagkasakit," she said.
"Isang araw naisip ko bakit ko pa siya pipiliting magkaroon ng high school diploma eh higit pa naman sa college graduate ang narating ng taong ito," she added.
Asked to describe the King of Comedy in three words, Orteza replied: "Mapagmahal, mapagkalinga at malambing."