COMMENTARY: Dolphy, an actor for all cultures and ages

MARAWI CITY (MindaNews/11 July) – There are few actors who capture Muslim audiences across ages. FPJ was one. Dolphy was as incomparable as he.

Dolphy made many Muslims laugh. When conflict seems to be what describes our sad state, Dolphy gave us respite. I grew up with John en Marsha as a staple watch. So I salute him and pay tribute to Dolphy or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr., OGH, (July 25, 1928 – July 10, 2012) as he passed yesterday after suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease since 2009.

Films are not divisive. Comedy brings us together. For an hour or so, we are transported into a make-believe zone where our everyday life is made fun about. We can actually laugh at ourselves and draw lessons from them.

The 83-year-old King of Comedy had an outstanding seven-decade career which blossomed from being a mere extra to Fernando Poe Sr. films to a full-fledged comedian, raking awards in film festivals abroad (i.e., “Markova: Comfort Gay,” where he played a transvestite at the height of World War II). Wasn’t Home Along da Riles a major memory of our life?

His humility stems from his Tondo roots. Dolphy sold peanuts and watermelon seeds at movie theaters as a boy, which enabled him to watch movies for free.

As chairperson of the committee in the Assembly tackling Culture in ARMM, I join those who propose that he be conferred a National Artist award. His father and mother both have National Artists for Film in their kin: Gerardo “Gerry” de Leon and Lamberto “Bert” Avellana, respectively.

[Samira is OIC assemblywoman at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s Regional Legislative Assembly representing women.]