By Raïssa Robles
Yes, Dolphy was my former neighbor when I was a kid growing up on Ubay Street in Quezon City.
The entire neighborhood knew that the big house at the street corner was the “Quizon compound” and the father was “the famous comedian Dolphy”.
I was very usisera even as a child. Sometimes I would stand across the Quizon house to stare at the gate, waiting for people to emerge. Since the house held a lot of people, it wasn’t very long when I would see some of the children. They were all mestizo, I recall. I never got to find out if that was Dolphy’s real family or not.
I never spoke to them.
I did not think my parents would approve because I had earlier been told in hushed tones that they were living “in sin”. At that time, I only knew that living “in sin” meant Dolphy was not married to the mother of his children.
But I always wondered even then why Dolphy would be regarded as living “in sin”, while the priest in my hometown of San Antonio, Nueva Ecija who said Sunday mass and who had a mistress was not. In my young unformed mind, I worked out why – the priest was not married but Dolphy was.
The neighbor snubbed
The parents, including mine, in Ubay Street – a strictly middle class neighborhood – had a Catholic group called the Christian Family Movement or CFM. The only thing I recall about CFM is that meetings were rotated from one house to another in the entire neighborhood Well, not exactly. CFM did not include Dolphy or his “wife”.
So they were never there when there was a CFM neighborhood Christmas Party where the children were trotted out to sing or declaim or dance.
Despite never having met the man, I grew up hearing Dolphy and Panchito jokes. Some of them were toilet humor; some were slapstick. Some were downright funny.
Dolphy was among the first – if not the first – Filipino actor to ever portray a gay person in Jack and Jill and Facifica Falayfay.
Looking back, I think it was brave of him. He did it at a time when fathers would maul their sons if they found out they were gay.. He did it when macho man reigned supreme in Philippine society. Dolphy was not afraid to be branded gay by anyone.
Dolphy would reprise a similar role nine years later in Ang Tatay kong Nanay under the direction of the late Lino Brocka with a script written by the late Orlando Nadres, who became my professor in scriptwriting at UP, Diliman.
Watch the video excerpt below. The object of Dolphy’s character’s affection was a young man played by Philip Salvador.
Does Dolphy deserve to be National Artist? I think the best way to answer this is to look at his entire body of work. He must have made over 200 movies in all. Some of his movies were money makers, intended to support a growing brood. Some were gems.
All I know for now is that Dolphy made me laugh, and millions of Filipinos laugh. He poked fun at everything, especially the hypocrisy in our society.
And he refused to use his overwhelming popularity to run for President. He chose to stay with his craft.
The life of a person will always be intertwined between his good acts and his/her spiritual standing as far as the Bible is concerned. Here is one verse in the Bible which all our interested readers may read or search for themselves, in order for us to think about our own life based on God’s standard, without judging Dolphy or others for that matter.
Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil”. (In Tagalog: “Anuman ang gawin ng tao, hayag man o hindi; mabuti man o masama, ito’y ipagsusulit niya sa Diyos sa takdang panahon.”
Let me add a thought which might be of help too: As far as salvation is concerned the Bible is very clear about one thing: “For it is by grace (free gift, unmerited favor) are you saved and NOT BY GOOD WORKS; otherwise, man will boast”. Only through Jesus is salvation found and not through good works.
A person who has truly found the Lord and made a commitment to surrender his/her life to Him becomes a new creation and therefore leaves sin/s and old ways. This is true repentance which involves a new heart; a new sense of what is good and what is wrong.
ngayon nailibing na si dolphy sana naman tumigil na tayo sa pagbulatlat sa kanyang personal na buhay. kahit paano nabigyan tayo ng kaligayan ng isang DOLPHY. kung may nagawa man syang immoralidad eh sya naman ang nagdadala nun. kumita sya yun ang ipinangtustos nya sa mga sinasabing immoralidad nya. hindi sya nagnakaw kahit kanino. hindi sya namilit na panoorin ang kanyang mga pelikula kusa natin pinanood at hinangaan sya. igalang na natin ang kanyang pagkamatay. wala na sya. nakakaawa naman ang mga anak nya na wala naman kasalanan sa pagsulpot nila sa mundo at hanggang ngayon eh pinagtatalunan pa din kung ano anong award ang ibibigay sa kanya. HINDI NAMAN HUMIHINGI SI DOLPHY NG AWARD. PATAY NA SYA KAYA IGALANG NA NATIN ANG KATAHIMIKAN NYA. yung mga gustong magbigay or ayaw magbigay ng award tumigil na kayo at patay na yung tao. baka gusto nyo lang na kayo ang mapansin na kunwari eh may pagtingin kayo kay dolphy. bakit kakandidato ba kayo sa election? gusto nyo ang simpatiya at boto ng mga maka dolphy? PATAHIMIKIN NA NATIN ANG KALULUWA NG TAONG NAGIBGAY NG KASIYAHAN KAHIT KONTI SA MGA PILIPINO.
I think Dolphy is a great artist. He has made many people laughs. His legacy will always remain in our heart. Nice Post!
Noong bata pa ako, sa simpleng mga kilos at patawa ni Dolphy ay na appreciate ko ang sense of humor. Pag araw ng John en Marsha, dapat tapos na kaming kumain ng hapunan para masarap tumaw pag busog! Angkop ang kanyang patawa sa masang Pinoy. Minsan corny sya pero kalimitan ay patok ang pataw nya.
Marami akong nababasa sa blog na ito na wala daw karapatan si Dolphy na mahirang na National Artist dahil sa kanyang immoralidad?
Sa akin, kung deserving syang maging National Artist ay okay lang kung hindi hindi, pero ang basehan ay dapat dahil sa kanyang galing at kontribusyon sa industriya ng pagiging artista.
Ang problema ng utak ng ating mga self-appointed na moralista ay sarado ang mga utak nila dahil nauuna ang kanilang pagiging anghel at gwardya ng moralidad at hindi marunong mag appreciate ng art.
Eto ang effecto ng influensya ng ating simbahang katoliko, bale parang laging may inquisition. Kaya yong mga magagandang idea tulad ng RH Bill, Divorce, at Woman’s right to choose eh hinaharang ng mga pari ng hindi naman babae, may asawa, at nagpapalaki ng maraming anak.
Kung si Raissa ay kandidata sa Pulitzer Prize at halimbawang sya ay isang diborsyado, naanakan, maraming lalaking nakarelasyon, free spirit at iba pang halimbawa ng imoralidad sa antas ng panlasa ng Pinoy, kokontra ba kayo sa kandidatura nya dahil sa mga bagay-bagay sa buhay nya na wala namang koneksyon sa kanyang pagigiging mahusay na manunulat?
Karamihan kasi ng mga self-appointed na moralista ay hindi nabigyan ng kahit katiting na talento sa larangan ng “arts” kaya iba ang nakikita ng kanilang mga mata…
Wow, of all the people si Raissa pa ang ginawa nyong example, pero ok lang yan ang panglasa nyo, Bakit nga ba pursigido kayo na gawing national artist si Dolphy, ang problema sa yo ihihantulad nyo ang sarili nyo sa mga harado, eh ano ang magawa nyo kung ganun ang kanilang pananaw ? Sa isang bagay ay tama ka , ang mga paki alam ng simbahang katoliko, lalo na ang mga hipokritong mga pari at obispo, na ang akala nila sila na ang may otoridad mag salita ng moralidad, kesyo sila daw ay nag aral ng theology, pero ano ba ang pinag aralan nila, KUNG PAANO TAYO LAHAT LOKOHIN, MGA ARAL NA WALA SA BIBLIYA, MGA ARAL NA KONTRA SA BIBLIYA, MGA IMBENTO PARA KUMITA NG LIMPAK LIMPAK NA SALAPI…ARAL NA TULAD NG,, BINYAG, LIMBO PURGATORYO, ORIGINAL SINS, MGA PAG SAMBA SA REBOLTO, MGA MILAGRO DAW PARA MAGING MASUNORIN ANG TAO… SANA MAGISING NA TAYO, TAMA NA ANG ISANG JOSE RIZAL NA PINAPATAY NILA PAGKAT NALAMAN NI RIZAL ANG KANILANG KASINUNGALINGAN, for the information, Iam a catholic by the virtue of baptism done by my parents, studied in a catholic school since grade 1-6 and high school from 1st year to 4th year , but never had a chance to even read the bible on those years, we were taught by spanish priest on that time, only catholic teaching called catechism, and not biblically based.So I think we have one thing in common, it is in our fprced faith that had made our country stagnant, kaya ang turo sa atin pag may baby tayo, kailangan daw mabinyagan ka agad para pag ano man mangyari ang baby ay siguradong mapunta sa langit,,, at kung hindi mapunta daw sa LIMBO,, kalokohan isipin nyo, naloko tayo sa tagal na ng panahon,,, Magkano ang bayad, may special pa kung gusto nyo na sa ibang araw,, special din ang bayad,,Di na nga sila nagbabayad ng buwis, nakiki alam pa sa gobyerno na para bang sila ang laging TAMA, hoy mga pari , obispo ka man, wag na kayo maki alam ,pag butihin nyo na lang ang negosyo nyo,,,,
Nakakatuwa ang mga aktwasyong ng mga moralista sa ating mga lipunan. Gaya ng lang ng artist na si Mideo Cruz dahil sa kanyang kontrobersyal ng depiksyon ng mga kinikilala nating mga religious images. Nalimutan nating lahat na ang mga sinasamba nating mga religious images ngayon ay nanggaling lamang sa mapanglikhang isipan ng mga artists noong unang panahon. Na kung tutuusin, maliwanag naman sa bibliya na hindi dapat gawan ng imahe ang ating panginoon pero dahil kila Micchaelangelo at iba pa, tinanggap natin ang kanilang mga likha bilang isang katotohanan at parte ng ating religious belief.
Hindi naman nagbago ang pamantayan ng pagpili ng National Artist pero ang hindi maarok ay bakit naging national artist si FPJ gayong buhay na buhay sa ating paligid si Lovi Poe, si Lino Brocka, si Ishmael Bernal at iba pang national artists.
Kung tutuusin, siguro hindi rin pwedeng maging pambansang hero si Jose Rizal dahil obvious namang isa rin siyang chick boy di ba?
Ang rationale dito ay by choosing Dolphy as a National Artist you are honoring his art and not his private life.
Gusto nating gawing moral isyus ang lahat, what about priests, cardinals, Christian ministers who sexually abuse their followers.
I hate to say it, but being a christian follower, I can say, we easily are all in the wrong destiny,
I don’t really know where i am now, We have been taught to be religiously dependent. to our faith, but ?????? after so many long years , where are we now????? Where is the center of our faith? Is it the BIBLE? Yang po bang mga teyoligiya tongkol sa religion , saan po ba ang ating pamantayanan???
When I was a kid, my sisters would go to a second-run theatre and would take me along to watch B & W LVN and Sampaguita pictures. That’s where I saw Mang Dolphy and later on as a grown up, in the famous Buhay Artista and John N’Marsha.
Dolphy had the true glamour of a vaudeville star, ika nga ay suave. Most stars of the 50’s had this aura of classiness absent in today’s stars.
Dolphy was the first actor to have portrayed a gay role in Jack N- Jill and subsequently became famous for his “facifica” and other gay characters. I am sure that Dolphy, when he portrayed those gay roles drew on real gay people he knew as understudies; there were lots of gay people in the cinema industry (make up artists, fashion designers, etc).
On my part, watching him do those facifica falayfay etc. gay roles didn’t affect how I treated or saw the gay population. It was just a movie (we all know that cinema is exagerated), and I enjoyed it very much.
I think Dolphy deserves to be a National Artist. Even without looking at the requisites for a National Artist and just looking at the list of past National Artists ( e.g Atang de la Rama), I see that Dolphy is in the same league as the great ones.
No one (this Tiongson is an elitist snob) can claim the creative attributes of a Dolphy; he is THE ONLY ONE. He was a vaudeville star, a radio and TV and a cinema great. He played a wide ranging role, he mixed with different types of creative talents and support, and most of all PROVIDED LAUGH to the Filipino people. We saw the throng of fans who went to his “burol and lamay.”
What more proof and requisite do we need to declare one a NATIONAL ARTIST.