The late Dolphy: the Filipino Filipinos were meant to be

He was humble, simple, and funny — three things that endeared him to the Filipino and made him the cultural icon that, specially in death, secured his place in Philippine history. In a country of celebrities-turned-politicians and divinely-anointed officials Dolphy was most famous for his seminal response to calls for him to run for office: “Baka ako manalo” (“I might win”). And in a country of devout Roman Catholics, the late Dolphy fathered 18 children through several different women.

As such, though the man is now celebrated as the quintessential Filipino, he does not fit the mold of the two big social edifices that wield the most influence on and even define Filipino lives — politics and religion. He shunned politics and thumbed his nose at religion. While Roman Catholics reserve some of their most severe judgment for children born out of wedlock, Dolphy assured his children that they were equally loved. His son, actor Eric Quizon recalls how his father defended him from that judgment

“That time tinutukso nila ako na ‘anak sa labas, anak sa labas!’ So parang masakit iyun kasi at that age hindi mo iniisip yun eh,” Eric told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda in an interview at The Heritage Park in Taguig City.

“Sabi niya (Dolphy), ‘wala iyun, walang anak sa labas. Anak kita paano ka magiging anak sa labas,’” he added.

Indeed, the Roman Catholic Church seems to be noticeably silent in the face of a vast chunk of its flock locked in silent reverence for the fallen showbiz icon. Last time the Church had something to say about Dolphy, it was sitting on its usual high horse calling on its followers to boycott one of the Comedy King’s movies, the film Father Jejemon which featured in one scene the main character (played by Dolphy) after whom the movie was titled “dropping a host into the cleavage of a woman taking communion during Mass”. Suffice to say, Catholic judgment was, as usual, swift

[Church officials] have called on the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) to delete the offensive scenes or face a boycott of moviegoers.

In short, though averse to politics and ambivalent to dogma, the late Dolphy attracts ten times the vote and one hundred times the reverence. Indeed, he is the Filipino Filipinos were meant to be.


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13 Comments on "The late Dolphy: the Filipino Filipinos were meant to be"

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I visited his house some years back to feature it in a magazine. He said he was invited many times to get into politics. He declined every time, saying something like, “I’m already a comedian, do I need to join other comedians?”

Daido Katsumi

He’s also a smart guy. He even said this:

“It’s easy to win in a election. But what if I won?”


100x the reverence, indeed. The Philippines is now without it’s funnybone. All that remains is the continuing comedy of errors from politics, religion, and daily life.

Jon Limjap

Indeed, for all his flaws when it came to women one of the most common things his grandchildren would attest to is him saying to not imitate his love life!

I wish he had made more political comedy like his 1961 movie “Kandidatong Pulpol”:


Dolphy in a way lacks the classic flaw of the Filipino… the KSP that Gogs wrote about, which I call Amor Propio.