MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - The city government of Manila conferred the "Diwa ng Lahi" Award on King of Comedy Dolphy in recognition of his contributions to Philippine arts and culture.
The Diwa ng Lahi Award was presented during a ceremony on Friday.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, a close friend of the veteran actor, made it clear that they invited Dolphy last June 5 to personally receive the award.
The mayor said it is just right to give the award to Dolphy, who was a recipient of the city government's "Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan" award in 2007.
Dolphy was born on July 28, 1928 in Tondo, Manila to ship mechanic Melencio Quizon and seamstress Salud Vera.
Dolphy as National Artist?
More and more Filipinos are rooting for the King of Comedy to be named as a National Artist as the veteran actor remains in critical condition.
Among them are party-list Akap Bata, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Manuel Villar.
Celebrities and ordinary Filipinos were also one in pushing for the recognition of Dolphy as National Artist as they turned to microblogging site Twitter to air their sentiments.
Malacañang, however, said on Thursday it will not fast-track the process of conferring the National Artist award to Dolphy, saying that it might be politicized.
"Let me emphasize that the President strongly believes in the tremendous contribution of Dolphy to our industry, to the Philippine cultural society. But having said that, again, there is a process and it is a very tedious, stringent process one that should be free from politics," residential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said
Lacieda said it is up to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines to jumpstart the process.