Dolphy 'mounted' uniting event among 3 networks
MANILA, Philippines -- For the family of the late film icon Dolphy, the unity among the country's three biggest television networks to celebrate the comedian's life and works was an unexpected "outpouring of love."
Over two months since his passing, the Philippine King of Comedy, through his family, united performers and celebrities from networks ABS-CBN, GMA-7 and TV5 in a charity concert dubbed "Dolphy Alay Tawa: A Musical Tribute to the King of Comedy," held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.
"This is a dream project. Ang nag-conceptualize nito daddy ko," Dolphy's son Eric Quizon told reporters on the sidelines of the concert held Wednesday night.
"Ako lang ang naging vessel para maisakatuparan, para mabuo itong show na ito," said Quizon, who became the spokesperson of his family during the hospitalization of the late veteran actor early this year.
The rare coming together of Kapamilya, Kapuso and Kapatid talents for a single cause would have brought a smile to Dolphy's face, according to Quizon.
"Makikita mo 'yung unity ng lahat ng nasa industriya. Ang telebisyon ay buhay na buhay, at dahil sa three networks na 'to, mas naging makulay ang daigdig ng telebisyon," he said.
"Kung nabubuhay pa and daddy ko, ito ang gusto niya mangyari, na masaya ang lahat, walang problema. Lahat nagkakaisa, walang nag-aaway, walang nagdadalamhati, walang nasasaktan," Eric said.
On July 10, Dolphy died after a five-year battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He was 83.
On same stage
On Wednesday night, his life and career as a performer, which spanned 65 years, were celebrated by way of performances that brought together celebrities from the three networks on the same stage.
In a comedy dance number inspired by the film "Black Swan," TV hosts Iya Villania, Ruby Rodriguez, Jhong Hilario and comedienne Ai-Ai delas Alas entertained audiences donning ballet outfits.
Maricel Soraino, Dolphy's onscreen daughter in the long-running sitcom "John 'N' Marsha," hosted segments of the concert tribute, along with celebrity sisters and TV hosts Toni and Alex Gonzaga, and GMA stars Glaiza de Castro and Carla Abellana.
Also seen hosting the event were Edu Manzano, Lovi Poe, Paolo Bediones, Raymond and Ruffa Gutierrez, Lorna Tolentino, Heart Evangelista, Dennis Trillo, Marian Rivera, Judy Ann Santos, Ryan Agoncillo, news personalities Rhea Santos and Bernadette Sembrano, and "Bandila" anchor Boy Abunda.
Big-name singers from competing concert variety programs also came together on stage. Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, Janno Gibbs, Ogie Alcasid and Sharon Cuneta performed "Buhay-Artista," the theme song of Dolphy's popular '60s TV show with the same title.
In a comedy skit inspired by the film icon's various portrayals of gay characters onscreen, Michael V, Wendell Ramos, Keempee de Leon, Martin Escudero, Smokey Manaloto and Gio Alvarez drew laughs from the audience.
Joining them in the number were Aljur Abrenica, Daniel Matsunaga and Rayver Cruz.
Child stars from ABS-CBN's kiddie gag show "Goin' Bulilit" also took the stage as they spoofed memorable scenes from the sitcom "Home Along Da Riles" and "John 'N' Marsha," which saw the decade-long team-up of Dolphy with the late veteran actress Nida Blanca.
The comedy king's sons Epi, Ronnie, Vandolph and Eric and grandson Boy 2, meanwhile, performed a number inspired by the singing group The Jackson 5.
Channeling Dolphy's talent as a dancer, Gab Valenciano and Mark Herras reprised Dolphy's dance steps in a duo performance.
Singing Dolphy's favorite hits from the '60s and '70s were Nikki Gil, Angeline Quinto, Jolina Magdangal, Rachelle Ann Go, Danita Paner and Arci Muñoz.
This was followed by an all-star dance number featuring the tap-dancing duo Happy Feet, Vhong Navarro, Shaina Magdayao, Pauleen Luna, JC de Vera, Edgar Allan Guzman, Rocco Nacino, Eula Caballero, Enzo Pineda and Wynwyn Marquez.
Although they were not able to attend the event, comedian-host Vic Sotto, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos, and comedienne Eugene Domingo also paid tribute to Dolphy via taped messages.
The "Alay Tawa" concert shifted gears when veteran actress Nora Aunor delivered a brief speech in memory of the comedy king. Aunor turned emotional as she thanked Dolphy for "sharing his life" with the Filipinos, before she was seen briskly exiting the stage in tears.
The veteran actress' speech was followed by a number from Dolphy's family.
'We are a family'
On stage to sing "We Are Family" from the musical "Dreamgirls" were Dolphy's sons Epi, Vandolph, Eric, Ronnie, Manny, his grandson Boy 2, and his daughters Sahlee and Zia. They were also joined by the film icon's partner of 23 years actress-singer Zsa Zsa Padilla and her daughter Karylle.
Before performing the finale number "What A Wonderful World," Dolphy's favorite song, Padilla thanked those involved in the concert tribute.
"Maraming salamat, mula sa aming pamilya, ang taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong lahat for being here tonight for the love of Dolphy," she said.
"Miss niyo na siya, alam ko. Miss na miss ko na rin siya. Miss na miss siya nating lahat. But I'm sure that Dolphy is watching, enjoying every bit, laughing at every turn, singing along to the many songs, and of course dancing kasabay ng lahat," she added.
Shortly after the show, Karylle spoke on behalf of her mother, who had become emotional after the program, in thanking the "unexpected" success of the tribute concert.
"We didn't expect this outpouring of love again. Syempre iisipin mo, 'Ganoon parin kaya?' Pero hindi nawawala yung pagmamahal niyong lahat kay Tito Dolphy, kaya maraming, maraming salamat po," she said.
"Dolphy Alay Tawa" was held for the benefit of charity organizations, including Eyebank Foundation Philippines, Hope in a Bottle, Philippine Red Cross, and Dolphy Aid Para sa Pinoy Foundation.
The entire concert will be aired on Sunday (Sept. 30) on ABS-CBN, TV5, and GMA-7.