ABS-CBN Corporation, led by its chairman and chief executive officer, Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III paid tribute to a ‘Kapamilya’ for more than 40 years, the late King of Comedy Dolphy via necrological services themed “Salamat, Tito Dolphy: Pagsaludo sa Hari ng Komedya,” held last Wednesday, at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN.
“He is an inspiration to all of us in the broadcast industry with his humility, his talent, and above all, his ability to constantly reinvent himself to live and fight another day. Dolphy will always live in the heart and soul of ABS-CBN. To all of us here at ABS-CBN, you wil always be Kapamilya,” said Lopez. Together with channel head Cory Vidanes and other ABS-CBN executives, he welcomed Dolphy’s remains and his family at the network’s compound,
ABS-CBN president and chief operating officer Charo Santos-ConcioSantos, who worked with Dolphy initially as a production assistant and later as a leading lady in a movieremembered Dolphy for his utmost modesty who never changed despite his stature in life.
“Tulad ng lahat, tinitingala ko si Dolphy bilang isang Hari ng Komedya. Pero ang haring nakita ko ay isang haring nakatuntong sa lupa,” she shared. “Ang paghanga ko sa isang ‘idol,’ ay naging pagkamangha ko sa isang totoong tao.”
Dolphy’s relationship with ABS-CBN spanned four decades. ABS-CBN renamed its studio 1 to Dolphy Theater in 2008 in honor of Dolphy during his 80th birthday in 2008 for his loyalty to the network and his legendary contribution to the Philippine entertainment industry.
In her eulogy, Dolphy’s long-time partner ZsaZsa Padilla expressed gratitude to ABS-CBN, which had been his second ‘home.’ She said, “Salamat sa ABS-CBN na sumugal kay Dolphy nooong 1992, para makabalik siya sa pinakamamahal niyang telebisyon. Maraming salamat, ABS-CBN, for taking care of his legacy, preserving his body of works for generations of Filipinos to enjoy in perpetuity.”
“I know that this service will make Dolphy so happy dahil mula pa sa panahon ni Kapitan Geny Lopez, si Dolphy sa buhay, kamatayan at sa langit ay isang tunay na Kapamilya,” added ZsaZsa who ended her speech by singing their theme song,“Through the Years” that moved everyone to tears.
In addition, Dolphy’s son Eric Quizon, imparted how his father wanted to be ‘home.’ “My dad kept on saying, ‘uwi na ako.’ That was the phrase that he kept on saying to all of us. his wish was granted. Today, we brought him home to Marina, and then we brought him here, to his family, his Kapamilya; and then now, he’s home with His Creator,” shared Eric.
Among those who delivered their touching tributes in the eulogy program were Nova Villa, Dolphy’s on-screen partner for 15 years on Kapamilya TV sitcom “Home Along Da Riles;” Victor de Guzman, former director of “Home Along Da Riles” and son of veteran comedian Teroy de Guzman; and film producer Marichu Vera-Perez of Sampaguita Pictures.
“He was our biggest yet humble star (in Sampaguita Pictures); he will always be the Filipino people’s artist,” Vera-Perez said.
Aside from ABS-CBN talents, those celebrities who also attended the necrological service in Dolphy Theater were Sen. Loren Legarda, Mayor Alfredo Lim, MTRCB chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Gloria Diaz, Boots Anson-Roa, Celso Ad Castillo, Bella Flores, brothers Randy and Rowell Santiago, Noel Trinidad, Edgar Mortiz, Matutina, and Maricel Soriano, who played Dolphy’s daughter in the long-running sitcom “John En Marsha.”
After the necrological services and eulogy, Dolphy Theater welcomed almost 6,000 fans who trooped outside the vicinity of ABS-CBN and patiently waited for hours for the first public viewing of Dolphy’s remains. Fans were given free snack and drinks after the viewing.
Dolphy’s homecoming in ABS-CBN did not only serve as a reunion among comedy king’s families and friends, but also brought together competing TV networks following ABS-CBN’s decision to allow other TV news organizations to cover the necrological services and provided video of the arrival honors and public viewing inside the Dolphy Theatre.
“Salamat, Tito Dolphy: Pagsaludo sa Hari ng Komedya,” was aired on Studio 23, ANC, DZMM TeleRadyo, and livestreamed via abs-cbnnews.com