MANILA, Philippines – Rafe Bartholomew, author of the book "Pacific Rims," commended Philippine basketball legend Robert Jaworski and King of Comedy Rodolfo "Dolphy" Quizon in a story on ESPN affiliate Grantland.
Bartholomew lived in the Philippines from 2005 until 2008, after which he wrote a book on Philippine basketball, entitled "Pacific Rims: Beermen Ballin' in Flip-Flops and the Philippines' Unlikely Love Affair with Basketball."
He is now an editor at ESPN's Grantland and often mentions his experiences in the Philippines in his stories.
When Bartholomew received news of Dolphy’s passing last July 10, the author tweeted: "First Tagalog film I ever saw was one of Dolphy's 'John en Marsha' movies. I was clueless, but I still loved it. Maraming salamat Dolphy, RIP."
Dolphy, the Philippines King of Comedy, died last Tuesday at age 83 due to multiple organ failure.
Bartholomew also noted that Dolphy’s death came just days after Jaworski's number 7 jersey was retired by the PBA’s Barangay Ginebra franchise.
"Hard to think of two men who’ve brought more joy to the country than them," Bartholomew said.
On Grantland, Bartholomew wrote that Jaworski and Dolphy "both enjoyed the kind of career longevity that strains belief."
Bartholomew wrote that Jaworski was already 29 years old when the PBA was founded in 1975, yet played on until his early 50s.
"He left only because he got elected to the Senate, and even then, he didn't officially retire because there were concerns his fans wouldn't support his political career if there were no chance of him returning to the court," he said.
"He was known for rough, smart play and a 'never say die' philosophy – it was about winning, but it could also apply to his never-ending, Mathuselah-like career."
Of Dolphy, Bartholomew wrote: “When I first learned I’d be moving to the Philippines in 2005, I was told to go to the New Manila Food Mart on First Avenue near 14th Street and rent Dolphy movies.
"I did, and though I had no clue what anyone was saying, it was pretty easy to enjoy the endless fart jokes and people's pants falling down.
"The rest, you could say, is history. Thanks, Jawo, and thanks, Dolphy."
Yesterday, Dolphy returned to his old home television network ABS-CBN, where his life was celebrated by family, friends, and colleagues in the media and entertainment industry.
Today, Dolphy's fans have started going to the Heritage Park in Taguig City to pay their last respects to the King of Comedy.