Clamor for Dolphy's National Artist award rises

By Karen Flores,

Posted at Jun 21 2012 01:58 PM | Updated as of Jun 22 2012 07:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – More and more Filipinos are rooting for King of Comedy Dolphy to be named as a National Artist as the veteran actor remains in critical condition.

On Thursday, Akap Bata party-list urged Malacañang and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) to give the prestigious award to Dolphy, who is suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Arlene Brosas, national secretary-general of Akap Bata, said Dolphy’s National Artist award is long overdue.

Hours later, several politicians joined the call to proclaim Dolphy as a National Artist. Among them are Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Manuel Villar.

Last April, Dolphy admitted that he would like to be named National Artist. He was included in the second round of the selection process in 2009, but didn’t make it to the final list of recommendees forwarded to the office of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

In 2010, President Benigno Aquino III conferred the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart to Dolphy for his contributions to the Philippine entertainment industry, as well as his charitable work.

NCCA board member supports Dolphy

A board member of the NCCA, meanwhile, believes that Dolphy deserves to be a National Artist.

According to a report by, Rep. Salvador Escudero III of Sorsogon said he supports the King of Comedy.

“I, for one, would fully support him [as a National Artist],” Escudero said.

According to the NCCA, the National Artist award shall be given to those who have met the following criteria:

  • Artists who, through the content and form of their works, have contributed in building a Filipino sense of nationhood
  • Artists who have pioneered in a mode of creative expression of style, thus earning distinction and making an impact on succeeding generations of artists
  • Artists who have created a substantial and significant body of works and/or consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form, thus enriching artistic expression and style
  • Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through prestigious national and/or international recognition, critical acclaim and/or reviews for their works, and respect and esteem from peers

Government and non-government cultural organizations, educational institutions and private foundations and councils may nominate candidates under one or more categories, which include dance, music, theater, visual arts, literature, film and broadcast arts, architecture, design and fashion.

Dolphy is known for his comedy films such as “Jack and Jill” and “Facifica Falayfay,” as well as the long-running sitcom “John En Marsha.”

He has also appeared in critically acclaimed dramas such as “Ang Tatay Kong Nanay” and “Markova: Comfort Gay,” for which he won several acting awards.

Twitter users unite

On microblogging site Twitter, ordinary Filipinos and celebrities were one in pushing for the recognition of Dolphy as a National Artist.

Below are some of their tweets:

Raymond Gutierrez, television host: “Prayers go out to Tito Dolphy and his family. Get well soon to our true National Artist.”

Chuckie Dreyfus, actor and songwriter: “Ang National Artist award ay hindi ‘consuelo-de-bobo’ award na ibinibigay na lamang kapag wala na ang paparangalan. #DolphyforNationalArtist.”

Gang Badoy-Capati of Rock Ed Philippines: “Dolphy is my National Artist. For years now, many have been campaigning for this. Way before the Caparas/Alvarez year. WAY before that year.”

Teddy Locsin Jr., TV anchor: “Noynoy, go to him now, go to Dolphy with the New National Artist Award in your hand, do something for Chrissake, please.”

Boyet Sison, TV anchor: “Praying for a person who should have been hailed as National Artist a long time ago. I hope you get better Mang Pidol! #PRAYFORDOLPHY.”

Ogie Diaz, actor and TV host: “Ndi (Hindi) man lang nagawaran bilang National Artist si Tito Dolphy. Kelan (kelan) ibibigay? Pag wala na? #Politics.”

‘National Artist’ campaign

Several Filipinos began rooting for Dolphy to be named as a National Artist early this year.

Among them are award-winning actresses Sharon Cuneta and Vilma Santos, and even writer Bienvenido Lumbera, who was proclaimed National Artist in 2006.

Zsa-Zsa Padilla, Dolphy’s long-time partner, earlier expressed her appreciation for the campaign. – With a report from radio dzMM