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: â€œBaka ako manaloâ€ (“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…
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â€œThat time tinutukso nila ako na â€˜anak sa labas, anak sa labas!â€™ So parang masakit iyun kasi at that age hindi mo iniisip yun eh,â€ Eric told ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda in an interview at The Heritage Park in Taguig City.
â€œSabi niya (Dolphy), â€˜wala iyun, walang anak sa labas. Anak kita paano ka magiging anak sa labas,â€™â€ 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.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.