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DOLPHY AT 80 Living in a Goldfish Bowl
A confirmed bachelor, yes. He has had dozens of women in his life, siring 18 children with six of them, but has never married any of them. His current and, just probably, last Zsa Zsa Padilla might be "it," but only heaven knows.
He could run for any position and win hands down but no, as he first told The STAR in an interview a decade or so ago when he refused to join the showbiz bandwagon to the political arena, "Madaling tumakbo; paano kung manalo?" (That was his exact answer which was rephrased in the retelling.)
Rodolfo Vera Quizon, lovingly known as Dolphy, is turning 80 on July 25. To celebrate his being "weighty at 80," his son Eric has published Dolphy's biography titled Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-Isa, "as told to Bibeth Orteza," which will be launched en grande on Wednesday, July 23, at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, in cooperation with the Dolphy Aid Para sa Pinoy Foundation which provides education to the underprivileged.
Woman-lover and Ladies' Man.
Dolphy is all that - and more.
As a nod to his birthday, Conversations is giving you "80 snippets" as a preview to the predicted best-seller.
1. I was born on Calle Padre Herrera on July 25, 1928. Orig na Tondo Boy. I was about 13 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.
2. My father was Melencio, son of Modesto Quizon and Adorable Espinosa. He was earning well as tagagawa ng makina sa bapor at the Atlantic Gulf.
3. My mother was Salud, daughter of Maximo Vera and Ninay de la Rosa. She owned a tailoring shop at home. She was the first cousin of Rita Vera Avellana, mother of Lamberto Avellana. My siblings and I called our parents Papang and Mamang.
4. At that time, I could watch movies for free because I sold peanuts and butong-pakwan inside, and also singkamas-malamig.
5. Radio was a hit at that time. The couple Dely Atay-Atayan and Andoy Balunbalunan were the pioneers of radio shows.
6. I am the second of 10 children - Corazon, Rodolfo, Josefina, Melencio Jr., Laura, Aurora, Jorge, Jaime, Teresita and Jaime.
7. I was circumcised by a barber at the bathroom under our house. When I saw blood, I swallowed the guava leaves I was chewing, which was to be used to cover the wound.
8. Pre-war. I started studying in a public school when I was six. Naabot na ng right hand ko ang tainga ko sa left side so I was accepted in Grade 1.
9. My baon was two centavos when I was in elementary and 10 centavos in high school. At the Chinese store, you could buy a cup of coffee for one centavo and tinapay na may laman for another centavo.
10. My favorite subjects were History and Arithmetic. Augusto Chico, 'yung nakalaban ni Asiong Salonga, was my classmate.
11. Japanese Time. I did odd jobs, including shining shoes, pagkakabit ng mga butones ng pantalon sa pagawaan, taga-salansan ng mga bote na ika-classify mo according to size taga-karga ng bigas na mas mabibigat pa sa akin sa pier, nag-buy-and-sell at naging kutsero.
12. I watched stage shows at the Life Theater and Avenue Theater. Mga bida sina Pugo at Tugo, at Bayani Casimiro (Life) at pambato sa drama si Rogelio de la Rosa; at sina Patsy, Lupito, Lupita and Gregorio Ticman (Avenue), at pambato sa drama si Leopoldo Salcedo. May shows din sa Lyric at Majestic.
13. My idols in comedy were Pugo and Tugo; sa sayaw, sina Bayani Casimiro at Benny Mack.
14. I was turning 17 when Benny Mack got me as a chorus dancer, one month at Avenue and then I moved to Lyric. When there was an air raid, we would interrupt the show and run for cover at the air-raid shelter sa orchestra, kasama ang audience. Kapag walang bombang bumagsak, tuloy uli ang show.
15. I was also in the shows at Orient Theater. Golay was my first stage name. My dream was to have a solo dance na gaya ni Fred Astaire.
16. My first love was Aida Javier who came from a family of musicians. Mahusay siya mag-piano.
17. During my first roadshow, nakasama ko si Carlos Padilla Sr., lolo ni Zsa Zsa.
18. I met Engracia Dominguez - si Gracia - sa stage show. In our skit, she stood motionless, kunwari portrait, habang kinakantahan ko ng Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa. Nagkaroon kami ng anim na anak - Manny, Salud, Rodolfo Jr., Freddie, Edgar and Raul. Gracia and I separated in 1963.
19. I was among the original OFWs. Mga 1950 'yon. Nag-show kami sa Hawaii, sa Hong Kong. And then, Japan where I saw snow for the first time. It was also in Japan where I met Bimbo Danao, tatay ni Laura Danao at dating artist sa LVN na naging singer. Sikat na sikat siya sa Japan.
20. It was Conde Ubaldo who got me into radio in the late '40s. He was a popular radio writer, director and producer. Isinama ako sa Wag Naman, starring Pancho Magalona, Tessie Quintana and Baby Jane.
21. It was Pancho Magalona who recommended me to Dr. Jose "Doc" Perez, the starmaker of Sampaguita Pictures. That was in 1952.
22. My first movie was Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita, with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. And then came Jack and Jill. Mga bida sina Rogelio de la Rosa at Lolita Rodriguez. I wasn't the first choice. Sina Batotoy at Bayani ang unang kinonsider.
23. Jack and Jill was a komiks serial by Mars Ravelo. After that, I did other komiks characters - Silveria, Captain Barbell, Facifica Falayfay, all by Mars Ravelo.
24. The first time I did drama was in a 4-in-1 movie, with Barbara Perez who played a blind girl. 'Yung episode namin was inspired by the Charlie Chaplin's movie City Lights.
25. When I joined Sampaguita, my fee was P1,000 per movie. When my contract expired, P7,000 per picture na ako.
26. I fell in love with a fellow Sampaguitan but I'd rather not reveal who she was. Sa amin na lang 'yon. She's now in America.
27. It was also in Sampaguita where my team-up with Panchito became popular. Actually, our tandem started on radio, sa mga shows ni Conde Ubaldo.
28. 'Yung song-translation gimmick namin ni Panchito started in Tawag ng Tanghalan, the amateur talent search that produced Pepe Pimentel, Ric Manrique Jr., Diomedes Maturan, Nora Aunor and Edgar Mortiz. Panchito and I stayed in Tawag for six months, then sinimulan namin ang Buhay Artista where we continued the song-translation portion. Click na click sa audience 'yon.
29. It's not true na naging girlfriend ko si Miss Aruba (Maureen Ava Viera). Sumali siya sa Miss Universe pageant dito noong 1974. Muntik lang naging kami.
30. I met Gloria Smith in 1956. Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak - Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino and Edwin.
31. As a father, I couldn't give my children all my attention when they were growing up. I was really working full time.
32. I was practically jobless when I left Sampaguita. It was Eugenio "Geny" Lopez Jr., na kung tawagin ay si Kapitan, who got me into television. Channel 3 pa noon. Sa kanila nagsimula ang Student Canteen. Hosts sina Eddie Ilarde, Leila Benitez, Pepe Pimentel at Bobby Ledesma.
33. My first TV show was Buhay Artista, sa ABS-CBN, idea nina Geny at Ading Fernando. Sa radyo, my talent fee was P250-P300 per program. Sa TV, mas mataas ng kaunti, P500 per show.
34. I met Baby Smith. Artista rin siya, Pamela Ponti ang screen name. She was 17, I was 36. Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak - Ronaldo, Enrico, Madonna and Jeffrey.
35. I began doing movies for independent studios - LEA Productions, Balatbat Productions, Filipinas Productions, Zultana Productions and D'Lanor ni FPJ.
36. FPJ got me to star in two movies in 1964, Captain Barbell and Daigdig ng Fantasia (with Nova Villa), both directed by Herminio "Butch" Bautista, tatay ni Herbert.
37. I put up RVQ Productions in 1965. My first venture was Buhay Artista, released in 1966. Kami ni Panchito pa rin, kasama sina Susan Roces at Ronaldo Valdez.
38. Ronaldo Valdez's real name is Ronald James Gibbs. He's my discovery, for Pepe en Pilar, pelikula namin ni Susan. We wanted a new face as Susan's partner. I saw Ronaldo in a basketball court and brought him to the presscon so Susan could see him. "Wala bang iba?" Susan said. I brought Ronaldo to the barber shop, bought him a pair of boots at Glenmore and lent him my terno. When I presented him to Susan again, she said, "Iyan pa." She didn't know that he was the same guy I introduced to her earlier. Then I changed his name to Ronaldo Valdez.
39. Because of Jack and Jill, I was typecast in gay roles. My biggest hit is Facifica Falayfay, directed by Luciano "Chaning" Carlos. I did 23 other movies with Chaning.
40. When agent movies were the fad, I also played a secret agent, Dolpinger 1-2-3. Si Chiquito naman, Agent 0-2-10.
41. It's not true that Chiquito and I had a rivalry. May gumawa lang ng ganoon because at that time mayroong Nora-Vilma rivalry.
42. In the '60s, naging fad ang bomba films nina Merle Fernandez, Rossana Marquez, Rosanna Ortiz at Yvonne. Nag-lie low ako for a while.
43. In 1978, balik ako sa gay role, sa Ang Tatay Kong Nanay where I played a parloristang bakla, directed by Lino Brocka. Kasama ko sina Niño Muhlach as the son of my boyfriend, si Phillip Salvador. Si Jessie Yu ang producer, brother ni Mother Lily.
44. RVQ produced more than 100 films. It had sister companies, Rodzon Film Organization and Rodessa Films.
45. The tsismis was that I had a relationship with all my leading ladies. Hindi naman po lahat. Mayroon ding hindi natuloy.
46. Did I court Nida Blanca, my leading lady in John en Marsha? Hindi po. Ni minsan hindi ko naisipang ligawan siya.
47. John en Marsha started in 1971, a year before Martial Law, on Channel 9. It was the idea of Kitchie Benedicto, head of the station. Before Nida, who was doing Wala Kang Paki with Nestor de Villa, Boots Anson-Roa and Helen Gamboa were considered as my wife Marsha. Before Dely Atay-Atayan, kinonsider din si Chichay as my mother-in-law na mayaman at matapobre. Mga anak namin sina Rolly (Quizon) at Maricel Soriano.
48. John en Marsha was such a big hit that it was made into a movie eight times.
49. I don't need Viagra. Zsa Zsa is my Viagra.
50. Ang type ko sa babae 'yung mestisahin at siempre, maganda.
51. I am known as a Bombilya King, pero imposibleng dahil "doon" sa, alam mo na. Kumalat 'yon after I did El Pinoy Matador. As a torero, my costume was tight, no underwear. Kapag nakaharap ako, naka-marka talaga 'yung akin, parang bombilya.
52. I am shy with women. I start with touching her hand. Pag hindi inalis, may gusto. Pag inalis na may kasamang gulat, medyo ayaw. Pero pag dahan-dahang inalis, ok-ok pa, nagpapakipot lang.
53. In the late '60s while we were shooting in a hospital, I met a nurse, Evangeline Tagulao. Nagkaroon kami ng isang anak. Nasa States na sila ngayon.
54. I met Pilar Pilapil in 1969 when we shot Tayo'y Mag-Up, Up and Away in Rome, Paris, London, New York, Hawaii and Las Vegas. That was two years after she won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title. We almost got married. Ayaw ng parents niya.
55. Then, I fell in love with Lotis Key. I also almost married her. Ang mga babae ko, kadalasan nagkakasabay-sabay, nag-o-overlap sila.
56. In 1981, I met Alma Moreno. We have a son, Vandolph. Why did we break up? Ayoko na lang mag-elaborate. Basta, nahirapan ako sa lifestyle niya.
57. Nang naging kami ni Zsa Zsa, nabulabog ang buhay namin. Nawalan ako ng show; tinanggal ang mga commercials ko. At that time, we seriously thought of living in the States. Nakabili na nga kami ng bahay doon, eh.
58. Zsa Zsa and I have a daughter, si Zia. We also have an adopted daughter, si Nicole who was just a few months old nang ibigay sa akin ng nanay niyang Amerikana. Nasa Hizon's ako noon.
59. Hizon's is my favorite restaurant, sa Ermita 'yon. Masarap ang ensaymada nila. 'Yon ang pang-regalo ko sa mga friends ko.
60. When Nicole was baptized, the priest asked me, "Ang dami mo nang anak; bakit gusto mo pang mag-adopt?" Sabi ko, "Tingnan n'yo, padre, parang anghel. Kung sa'yo ibinigay, hindi n'yo ba tatanggapin?"
61. One of my embarrassing moments...Sa Orient, sumasayaw kami. May lifting-lifting. E, may colds ako. Lumobo ang sipon ko habang binubuhat ko ang partner ko. Palakpakan ang audience.
62. I love shirts by Italian designers. Armani. Gusto ko rin ang Gap at Banana Republic.
63. Sa perfume, Angel.
64. Sa kotse, Mercedes Benz.
65. Sa books, biography. Nabasa ko na 'yung books tungkol kay Frank Sinatra at Charlie Chaplin.
66. Sa color, partial ako sa white. At red na nakuha ko sa Chinese Feng Shui. Red daw is good luck to wear on a Monday.
67. Sa music, ballads. Fan ako nina Frank Sinatra, Doris Day at Ella Fitzgerald.
68. Gone With The Wind was the first color movie that I saw. Other movies that I love are Singing in the Rain and all the Chaplin movies.
69. I also like musicals, 'yung starring Fred Astraire and Gene Kelly. Oo, Sound of Music.
70. My other favorites: Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jack Lemmon, Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank at marami pang iba.
71. Sa local, 'yung mga paborito ko namayapa na - Leopoldo Salcedo, Rogelio de la Rosa, Jose Padilla Jr.
72. Ay si FPJ siempre. Alaga ako noon ng tatay niya, si Fernando Poe Sr. Ayoko sa pulitika pero nag-kampanya ako para kay FPJ.
73. Oo nga pala, I started in the movies in 1946, kay Fernando Poe Sr. Nanding ang tawag namin sa kanya. I was only 19 then.
74. My zodiac sign is Leo.
75. Mahilig si FPJ sa jacket, so everytime I traveled, ang pasalubong ko sa kanya ay jacket na ginagamit naman niya sa kanyang mga pelikula.
76. Yes, it's true. Mayroon na akong kabaong, bronze. Matagal na. I was among the first to buy a family estate sa Loyola Memorial Park sa Marikina.
77. Totoo. Madasalin akong tao. Habang nagtre-treadmill, nagro-rosary ako.
78. Do I have any regrets? None. I may not be a multi-millionaire but I feel like one dahil marami akong kaibigan.
79. How do I want to be remembered? As a good person.
80. At 80, of course hindi na ako bagets. Na-kidney operation na ako. Na-bypass. Nagka-tubig sa lungs.