He is fondly called as ‘Mang Pidol’ by his colleagues in the movie industry. He is well respected especially from those in the industry that he is since the 1940s. Political and business leaders as well as other celebrities bow to him. But Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr., his real name, is the idol of the masa (ordinary citizen). He is surely a big loss to the film industry.
His death immediately clouded news services around the world including from those in the United States, where Dolphy has millions of Filipino fans. He had gone there many times to perform and make them happy while away from home just like many of his contemporaries and proteges have been doing.
Makati Medical Center late Monday night, accordingly, sent information to news organizations that he died of multiple organ failure and complications from pneumonia and has also suffered from kidney failure. He had been rushed at the hospital weeks ago. Thi sparked an outpouring of grief and prayers were offered even before his demise.
Long-time partner long-time partner, actress and singer Zsa Zsa Padilla revealed that Dolphy had a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
I was in Grade 5 when I first saw a movie of Dolphy along with the late Martin Marfil, who was then my favorite character actor. Dolphy was just a side kick in that movie (I forgot the name) but this was the era of black and white films. The setting was rural 50s. He was a skinny gay that he was portrayed the oppressed individual from the neighborhood. A role that later led him to fame. I also seen his somewhat romantic movies with Lotis Key, one of the most beautiful actresses of her time in the 70s. Later in college, I was able to watch Dolphy’s best portrayal of such odd character roles in “Ang Tatay Kong Nanay” with child wonder Nino Mulach and “Pacifica Falaypay.”
I became a solid Dolphy fanatic, a regular follower of the John En Marsha TV series with another fame, the late Nida Blanca, who played as his loving and caring wife. Dolphy. Also in that series was the late Dely Atay-Atayan, who played the role of a contemptuous mother in law for John Puruntung (played by Dolphy), who has to endure the odds. That long-time series also made Maricel Soriano one of the most prolific actresses in the local movie industry.
Some of Dolphy’s children (from several wives) who made it to movie and television stardom include Vandolph, Eric and Epy., who are also fine comedy actors.
“Heaven is a happier place with him there,” says Eric, now a successful director.
Dolphy portrayed a priest in his last movie appearance in 2010.
Quizon starred in more than 200 films in his 66-year career, according to the state-run Philippine News Agency.
What President Benigno Aquino III said of Dolphy was true. He says that ‘Mang Pidol’ gave his countrymen a reason to smile for the daily happenings in their lives.
There has been a call to give him the prestigious National Artist award. That would be a fitting tribute to him.
Giant TV network ABS-CBN in its online service accounted that “apart from his work as an actor, Dolphy was just as known for his colorful love life.” True enough.
“Dolphy had 18 children with six women: Manny, Salud, Rodolfo Jr., Freddie, Edgar and Raul with Engracia Dominguez; Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino and Edwin with Gloria Smith; Ronaldo, Enrico, Madonna and Jeffrey with Baby Smith; Vandolph with actress Alma Moreno; and Zia and adopted daughter Nicole with Padilla. He also had a child, who’s now living in the United States, with Evangeline Tagulao.”
Even as a kid, living in the poor neighborhoods of Tondo, Dolphy sold peanuts and watermelon outside a nearby theater, porter, shoe shine boy and later a dancer and chorus boy in an arts theater. This led him to the movies.
The late Fernando Poe Sr. gave him the opportunity to appear in “Dugo ay Bayan,” Dolphy’s first movie when he was 19 years old.