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DOLPHY …. The icon of Philippine Entertainment. The King of Comedy. The household symbol for comic husbands and fathers.
Who doesn’t know YOU, Tatay DOLPHY? You’ve been in the industry for so long that four generations in our family can sit together to enjoy any of your countless movies and have no age barrier.
I have watched you for as long as I can remember, before I entered school, before I learned to count or read. I distinctly remember watching you at “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita” with Pancho Magalona, and how well you danced with Aruray. I thought you were funny and crazy in “Jack and Jill,” and I literally watched you and tatay Panchito many times in “Si Lucio at Si Miguel” among many other movies; remembering it more because it was the first angel and devil movie I saw and one that I enjoyed so much.
I’ve watched your every movie and every tv show that I could possibly afford to see (and when the oldies allow us use of the television which was fortunately, often ^__^). I’ve shared you with my own kids and had fun times at the cinema with them, watching your movies.
Your movies and shows never failed to impart lessons about life, love, faith and friendship. Mixed with humor and sometimes, drama. How not to enjoy them more? Add that to the fact that my dad is also named Juan, and John Puruntong exemplifies the father that many has; simple, kind, responsible… and with pride. Like mine! ^__^
How I wish your family could read this to you, Tay!
And how I wish the generation of today know more about you.
So to those who know you less, I’d like to share this piece with them.
Dolphy, who is Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life, was born on July 25, 1928, to parents Melencio Espinosa Quizon and Salud de la Rosa Vera. He is the second among ten children.
He started school at age six and according to him, his favorite subjects were History and Arithmetic. Truly his favorites; he made HISTORY in showbusiness and he needed his skill in ARITHMETIC to count the many movies, appearances, friends and fans he made in his chosen profession – to entertain people.
Wikipedia tells us that Dolphy was about thirteen when WW II started and that he did odd jobs to earn some cash: shoe shine boy, button-atttacher at a pants factory, bottle arranger and classifier, stevedore at the pier, trading, horse and buggy driver. He managed to watch stage shows at the Life Theater and Avenue Theater, and was impressed with the comedy duo Pugo and Togo; learning from their comic stunts. His interest in dancing was greatly sparked by Benny Mack and the well-known tap-dancer Bayani Casimiro.
It seemed inevitable that Dolphy was destined to be a star. He started as a stage performer during the Japanese Occupation at age 17, when Benny Mack gave him a break as a chorus dancer at Avenue Theater. After a month he moved to Lyric Theater, and also appeared in shows at the Orient Theater. He used GOLAY as his first stage name, and was one of the performers who took cover with the audience during air-raids.
“The show must go on”. Interruptions during air-raids were kind of common then, being WW II; but when bombs didn’t explode in their area, they resumed the show. So that’s why Dolphy can’t be stopped by minor ailments in the past. He’d been through the worsts!
Dolphy also found the way into the radio industry through a popular radio writer, director and producer named Conde Ubaldo in the late 40s when he joined the program Wag Naman which starred Pancho Magalona, Tessie Quintana and Baby Jane.
PLUS …. his comedy duo with PANCHITO ALBA made its historic start also on Conde Ubaldo’s radio shows, and not in the movies as we thought. Since then they were inseparable as a comic duo, becoming best friends in real life until Panchito died in December of 1995.
Trivia has it that Dolphy’s pen name was “Rudolf Histcock”, coined from his name and from the combination of the wheezing sound of asthma (Hist) and his favorite Hollywood director, Alfred Hitchcock.
From radio, Pancho Magalona (who became a good friend, too) recommended Dolphy to the owner of Sampaguita Pictures, Dr. Jose Perez, in 1952.
Yes, he was said to have been afflicted with asthma since he was a child. But that didn’t seem to stop him from learning how to dance, and dance well he sure did; evident in his first major role as contract artist with Sampaguita Pictures in the 1952-53 movie “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita”, with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran.
However, he actually started in the movies under the production of Fernando Poe Sr. in the movie “Dugo at Bayan” (I Remember Bataan) in 1946, at the age of 19, billed as Rodolfo Quizon. It was the father of his future friend actor FPJ who first paved the way for Dolphy by giving him a break in films playing bit roles as a character actor.
Being able to watch movies for free as a seller of peanuts, watermelon seeds and jicama snacks (singkamas na malamig) in the movie house during his younger years, he probably decided there and then that he would grace the screen in the future (which he rightfully did!), with his aquiline nose as his greatest physical asset, according to him! The Dolphy Nose!
“Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita” became a big hit that Sampaguita Pictures decided to launch him in a starring role in the movie “Jack and Jill”. He played Gorio (turned Glory) with Lolita Rodriguez as Benita, in 1953, where they played twisted roles as siblings. Rogelio Dela Rosa also co-starred in said film as the love interest of Jack, played by Lolita. His screen name at Sampaguita then was Pidol.
Since that first starring role, countless movies ensued. Countless as in… lost count already. The King of Comedy isn’t king for nothing!
Jack and Jill was followed by Maldita and Vod-A-Vil on that same year.
1954 yielded six more movies: Maalaala Mo Kaya, Dalagang Ilocana, Sa Isang Halik mo Pancho, Sabungera, Menor de Edad, and Kurdapya.
1955 released nine Dolphy movies: Tatay na si Bondiyng, Artista, Sa Dulo ng Landas, balisong, Despatsadora, Waldas, Hindi Basta-Basta, Hootsu-Kootsu and Mambo-Dyambo.
1956 gave him six movies: Chavacano, Vaccacionista, Teresa, Gigolo, Boksingera, and Kulang sa Pito.
1957 scored five : Hongkong Holiday, Bituing Marikit, hahabol-Habol, Paru-Parong Bukid and Tatang Edyer.
1958 showed five movies: Dewey Boulevard, Mga Reyna na Vicks, Pulot-Gata, Silveria and Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang.
1959 gave him six: Ipinagbili Kami ng Aming Tatay, Isinumpa, Kalabog en Bosyo, Pakiusap, Sa Libis ng Nayon, and Wedding Bells.
1960, six more movies: 7 Amores, Ang Magkakapitbahay, Beatnik (I loved this one!), Dobol-Trobol, Lawiswis Kawayan and Love at First Sight.
1961 had six: Eca Babagot, Hani-hanimun, Kandidatong Pulpol, Sa Linggo ang Bola, Kasal Muna Bago Ligaw and Operatang Sampay-Bakod.
1962 released six again: Barilan sa Baboy Kural, Si Lucio at si Miguel, The Big Broadcast, Lab na Lab Kita, Susanang Daldal, and Tanzan, The Mighty.
1963 proved to be a highly energized year for Dolphy when he did TEN movies in a year. And it wasn’t even high-tech time then! Whew! Didn’t he ever rest? Ten scripts to review in a year, wow! Adiana Waray, Detektib Kalog, Ecu Tatacut, Ikaw na ang Mag-Ako, Pasiklab ni Long Ranger, King and Queen for a Day, Magtago Ka na Binata!, Mga Manugang ni Dracula, Mr. Melody, and Tansan vs Tarzan.
1964 was “please slow-down Dolphy” year. After ten movies in 963, he did only five in this year: Babaing Kidlat, Captain Barbell, Adre Ayos Na, Sa Daigdig ng Fantasia, and Utos ni Tale Hindi Mababale.
1965 pushed him to TEN movies again: Agent sa Lagim, Dolphinger, Dr. Yes, Keng Leon Keng Tigre, Kulog at Kidlat, Operasyon ni Adan, Scarface at Al Capone, Show Business, Dolphinger Meets Pantarorong, and Genghis Bond.
1966 really took all of Dolphy’s time, surely! With 18 films in a year…omg! How did he manage that? Rapid shooting …only a professional and a master can do that! Here are they: Alyas Don Juan, Mga Bagong Salta sa Maynila, Alyas Popeye, Mga Bagong Salta sa bahay Engkantada, James Batman, Dalawang Kumander sa WAC, Doble Solo, Dolpong Istambol, Dolpong Scarface, Dressed to Kill, Dr. Laway, The 7 Faces of Dr. Sibago, Keni Brothers, Napoleon Doble, Operation Butterball, Pambihirang 2 Sa Combat, Pepe and Pilar, and Sungit Conference.
1967 brought out nine movies: Ayaw ni Mayor, Buhay-Artista, Buhay Marino, Hey Boy Hey Girl, Like Father Like Son, Shake-a-Boom, Sitsiritsit Alibangbang, Da Best In Da West, and Together Again.
1968 yielded eleven movies. I hope you’re keeping count: Artista ang Aking Asawa, Buy 1 Take 1, Dakilang Tanga, Good Morning Titser, Kaming Taga-Ilog, Kaming Taga-Bundok, O Kaka O Kaka, Pag-ibig, Pagmasdan Mo ang Ginawa Mo, Private Ompong & The Sexy Dozen, Tiririt ng Maya Tiririt ng Ibon, and Utos ni Mayor.
1969 had nine movies: Adolpong Hitler, Ang Sakristan, Buhay Bumbero, Facifica Falayfay (which was a blockbuster), Golpe De Gulat, Kangkarot, Mekenis Gold, 10 Labuyo, and The Graduation.
1970 was perhaps a more relaxing year, because he only made five movies (only???): Boyoyoy, El Pinoy Matador, Rodolfo Valentino, Tayo’y Mag-Up Up and Away, and Tulak ng Bibig, Kabig ng Dibdib.
1971 was perhaps luring Dolphy towards television, so he only had three movies: Family Planting, karioka Etchos De America, Kung Ano ang Puno, and Siya ang Bunga.
1972 was “hapit” year again, totaling eight movies: Anthony at Cleopatra, Florante at Laura, Love Pinoy Style, Ta-ra-ra-dying Pot-pot, Nardon Putik (as Guest), Pinokyo en Little Snow White, itik-Itik, and Si Romeo at Si Julieta.
1973 had another eight movies: Ako’y Paru-paro Bulaklak Naman Ako, Captain Barbell Boom, Cyrano at Roxanne, Dracula Goes to RP, Fefita Fofonggay, Ibong Adarna, Kitang-kita ang ebidensiya and Fung Ku.
1973 ——–John en Marsha …which was aired from 1973 until 1990 was the longest-running and most watched prime time comedy sitcom. It was a smash hit by Ading Fernando, aired on RPN and starred Dolphy with the late Nida Blanca; where they played John and Marsha Puruntong, depicting typical average Filipino families together with the cast of otherwise great artists in their own right : Dely Atay-atayan, Maricel Soriano, Rolly Quizon, and Matutina.
1974 had five films for Dolphy: Bornebol, Biyenan Ko ang Aking Anak, Huli-huli Yan, John en Marsha the Movie, and Sarhento Fofonggay (sequel to Fefita)
1975 had four: The Goodfather, Jack and Jill and John, John and Marsha in America and meron Akong Nakita.
1976 had six: Ang Banal, Ang Ganid at Ang Pusakal; Brutus, Taho-itchi, Kisame Street, Omeng Satanasia, and Kaming Matatapang ang Apog.
1977 had four: John and Marsha ’77, Kapten batuten, Omeng Satanasia, and War Kami ng Misis Ko.
1978 had four: Ang Tatay Kong Nanay, Facundo Alitaftaf, Jack and Jill of the Third Kind, and Mokong.
1979 had three: Bugoy, Dancing master and Darna Kuno.
1980 had more than past years: Dolphy’s Angels, John and Marsha ’80, Max en Jess, Superhand and The Quick Brown Fox.
1981 was back at four: Da Best in Da West 2, Dancing Master 2, Stariray and Titrser’s Pet.
1982 was higher with five films: Good morning Professor, Mga Kanyon ni Mang Simeon, My Hear Belongs to daddy, My Juan en Onli and Nang Umibig Ang Mga Gurang.
1983 had four: Always in My Heart, Daddy Knows Best, My Funny Valentine, and Tengteng De sarapen.
1984 had only two: Daddy’s Little Darlings and nang Maghalo ang balat sa Tinalupan.
1985 went up to three: The Crazy professor, Goatbuster and John en Marsha sa Probinsiya.
1986 had three again: Balimbing, John and Marsha ’86 TNT and Kalabog en Bosyo 2
1987 gave Dolphy more energy to make six films: Action is Not Missing, Bata-Batuta, Black Magic, Mga Anak ni Facifica Falayfay, My Bugoy Goes to Congress and Once Upon a Time.
1988 went down to three again, maybe he had to rest. Lol! He had a heavy shooting biting the apple in Bakit Kinagat ni Adan ang Mansanas ni Eba, had to tend to his Haw-haw De Carabao and then switch to Ompong Galapong.
1989 was another three films: Balbakwa, My Darling Domestic and May Pulis sa Ilalim ng Tulay.
1990 had three films shown also: Atorni Agaton, Dino Dinero and Espadang Patpat.
1991 had only one film John en Marsha Ngayong ’91; perhaps owing to his age of 63, he was ready to take things easy because he also had other television shows and guestings. Besides, he was also preparing for the new TV sitcom for ABS CBN.
1992 ——-Home Along Da Riles……. aired on ABS-CBN from 1992-2003 was a sitcom which featured the lives of a typical Filipino family living along the tracks of trains, patterned after Home Alone. It caught the heart of the masses because it dealt with the life of the below average families who managed to be happy, contented and with a positive outlook on life.
1993 prompted a movie from the success of his new sitcom Home Along Da Riles.
1994 gave him energy for three movies: Abrakadabra; Hataw, Tatay, Hataw; and a sequel Home Along Da Riles 2.
1995 also gave him three movies: Father en Son, Home Sic Home and Wanted: Perfect Father.
1996 had Aringkingking.
1998 was graced with the Tataynic
2000 gave him the movie Daddy O! Baby O! with Serena Dalrymple and Angel Aquino.
PLUS … the award winning Markova: Comfort Gay. Together with his sons Eric Quizon and Jeffrey Quizon, Dolphy won the Prix de la Meilleure Interpretation or Best Actor Award in Belgium for playing the role of Walterina Markova.
Becoming more cautious with his health (remember that Dolphy had a history of asthma), Dolphy did only a few more movies: Home Along Da Riber (2002), Dobol Trobol (2008), Nobody, Nobody But Juan (2009) and Father Jejemon (2010).
2010 gave Dolphy his weekly entertainment series Pidol’s Wonderland aired every Sunday at TV5. The showman that he is, he continued to mesmerize the whole family with a collection of wonderful stories as the endearing Mang Pidol.
Not to count the television shows, just how many movies did Dolphy entertain us with? Did you keep count? I did. But as I kept counting and recounting, I was becoming more confused with my Arithmetic. There are just soooo many. I quit. Lol. Scrolling up and down as I counted made me dizzy.
He has given us so much of himself, inspiring us and prodding us with lessons via his movies and shows, conveying that we have to go on despite life’s challenges and face everything with smiles and prayers … and love.
NOW… the curtain has been closed. We can only bid you Adieu…. Farewell, Tatay Dolphy!
You will remain in our hearts… always!
from Definitely Filipino