WRITTEN BY MISS DOLLY ANNE CARVAJAL
(at Philippine Daily Inquirer’s “DOLLYWOOD” Column)
Ronnie Quizon’s post on Facebook caught my attention. The concerned son feels bad that erroneous reports make it seem his father, Dolphy, desperately wants the National Artist award. Ronnie says people are putting words into Dolphy’s mouth.
It is not Ronnie’s intention to antagonize anybody. It’s only natural though, for a son to come to his father’s defense. So I deem it best to let Ronnie say his piece:
“My dad eliminated the double standard practiced by big theater owners in the past, who only screened Hollywood films, while local movies were relegated to the small cinemas.
“His groundbreaking movie, “Facifica Falayfay,” which premiered at New Frontier cinema, beat all foreign films in ticket sales …
“He was also one of the first independent movie producers to break the studio system… My dad and FPJ were bold enough to compete with the so-called bomba films that were the rage then. If it hadn’t been for them and the subsequent intervention of the censorship board to ban bomba movies, our industry would probably have gone to the dogs.
“My father was one of the very first Filipino entertainers abroad… Today you can find a Filipino entertainer everywhere in the world, whether at a bar, lounge, hotel or cruise ship.
“Popular comedians today have patterned their ‘formula for success’ on the way my dad made and sold movies. And who can forget that my dad always made it a point to provide a moral lesson in his TV shows, notably on “John & Marsha” and “Home Along da Riles?”
“Together with FPJ, Erap, and Ramon Revilla, he helped create Mowelfund (Movie Workers Welfare Foundation Inc.) which helps fellow artists financially. Mowelfund also educates other artists who want to develop or expand their craft.
“My dad also created the Dolphy Aid Foundation, which awards college scholarships to promising students. He started the practice of giving tributes to people while they were still alive. Before that, all tributes were given posthumously, including lifetime achievement awards. My father has helped many people through the years.
“Some people make it appear that my dad is practically begging for the (National Artist) award, and go as far as taking his statements out of context. These were in interviews where he was asked, “Gusto niyo po ba na gawin kayong National Artist?” Naturally he said “yes,” but what my dad meant was, who wouldn’t want to be a National Artist? If you’ve been involved in the arts all your life, it’s the highest of all honors!
“But it’s one thing to admit honestly that he would be honored to be given the award, and quite another to say that my dad is desperate to be given that recognition, and worse, insinuate that he’s desperate because he’s sick. Not only does it impugn his integrity, it hurts all those who love him, especially our family.
“It is, in fact, his fellow artists and friends in the industry who have been clamoring for his recognition. Kuya Germs started it. Leo Martinez followed, on behalf of the Film Academy of the Philippines, during the last National Artist announcements. Only two from the film industry were on the list, and one of them was my dad.
“Jinggoy (Senator Jinggoy Estrada), Ate Vi (Governor Vilma Santos), and Shawie (Sharon Cuneta) have also endorsed him.”
Well said, Ronnie. Tito Dolphy has entertained Filipinos with his incredible talent and unique brand of comedy all his working life. He came from humble beginnings and worked hard to become known nationally as the King of Comedy. It is only fitting that he be proclaimed National Artist. He has earned the respect of every Filipino. Let’s not deprive him of an award that he deserves.
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