DOLPHY'S HOSPITAL ROOM / ALMA: I WILL ALWAYS TAKE CARE OF VANDOLPH

[PHOTO -DOLPHY’S angels (from left): Daughters Nicole and Zia, and Zsa Zsa. photo from www.facebook.com]

MANILA, JULY 16, 2012 (INQUIRER) By: Bayani San Diego Jr. - On father’s day last Sunday, Dolphy’s youngest daughter, singer Zia Quizon, decorated his room in the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center with balloons and colorful greeting cards.

One card read: “I guess I am lucky because I can spell ‘Hero’ with three letters: Dad.”

Even his nurses wrote “Get Well Soon” messages on the white board in the room.

Singer Zsa Zsa Padilla, Dolphy’s partner and Zia’s mom, posted a photo of the Father’s Day décor in her Twitter and Facebook accounts—which were promptly deluged with inspiring messages from friends and fans.

The prayers and kind words lifted their spirits, Epy Quizon told the Inquirer in a phone interview on Tuesday. “We can feel their love for my dad. We really appreciate that.”

It was difficult to “celebrate Father’s Day,” Epy said, as his father was still in the ICU. He admitted that, until now, “we are going through a tough time.”

Progressive illness

The veteran comedian, who will turn 84 on July 25, has been in the hospital for two weeks, recovering from his latest bout with pneumonia.

Son Eric told the media on Monday that Dolphy had been removed from the ventilator. He was put back on it on Tuesday. The screen legend is under close watch by doctors and nurses, Epy said.

In an earlier interview, Eric told the Inquirer that his dad was battling Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a “progressive illness.”

Explained Eric, who had taken a leave from his work in Hong Kong: “When we visit him, we have to wear surgical masks. He is very prone to infection.”

No one is exempt from the “surgical mask” rule.

[PHOTO -In May, Zsa Zsa posted a Facebook photo of Dolphy after an earlier hospital stay, showing her wearing a surgical mask.]

In the same Inquirer interview, Eric paid tribute to Zsa Zsa for being steadfast. “Among all of us, more than his blood relatives, it’s Zsa Zsa who’s endured it all—bawa’t ungol, bawa’t sakit.”

“She’s always there,” Epy confirmed on Tuesday. Epy also stays in the ICU as often as he can.

In another interview, Zsa Zsa told the Inquirer that she was, at first, heartbroken about Dolphy’s constant trips to the hospital. “It affected me badly. Actually, he was always the strong one.”

These days, she is the pillar of strength for Pidol and the entire clan. In fact, Dolphy has described Zsa Zsa as “the real clown of the family” but also “the stern disciplinarian.”

Little-known

[PHOTO -BALLOONS, cards and happy notes on Pidol’s hospital wall. facebook photo]

Zsa Zsa shared a little-known fact about her life partner: Papa Pidol has gray eyes. None of his 18 children inherited this peculiarity, she said.

Movie and TV producer Antonio Tuviera had a mask made of Dolphy’s face, which was worn by Epy who doubled for the comedian in his 2008 movie with Vic Sotto, “Dobol Trobol.”

Zsa Zsa related: “The mask was an exact copy … except for the gray eyes.”

“My daughter Misha used to have gray eyes,” Epy said. “But now they’re turning hazel.”

On the Comedy King’s birthday, Epy will launch the Pidol Golf Cup in Eastridge. “That will be our family’s celebration,” Epy said.

Alma Moreno assured Dolphy: I will always take care of Vandolph By: Christian V. Esguerra Philippine Daily Inquirer July 12, 2012 | 5:42 pm

[PHOTO -Jenny gives comfort to her husband Vandolph at the necrological service for King of Comedy Dolphy at Dolphy Theater, ABSCBN, Wednesday night. ANDREW TADALAN / PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER]

MANILA, Philippines — She may have been one of the women in Dolphy’s life but in the Comedy King’s dying moments, former actress Alma Moreno was unfortunately not by his beside.

Now a Parañaque City councilor, Moreno instead got the sad news from Vandolph, her only child with the 83-year-old comedian. “Ma, wala na si Papa (Ma, Papa is gone),” went the brief text message that sent her sobbing.

Moreno spoke with fondness about Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon while attending an event by the Philippine Councilors’ League, of which she is the president, at the Senate on Thursday. She said she had not gone to the wake because of her many political obligations, but would do so soon.

Moreno said she last saw the ailing Dolphy when she paid him a visit at the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center not long ago. Her last words to him were that of assurance that she would take care of their only child.

“I will always be behind him,” she told Dolphy in Filipino. As if taking a leaf from the Dolphy’s signature punch lines, she held his hand, removed her protective mask and said: “Dolphy, look at me. I’m still pretty.”

It was clear that Moreno’s priority now is to continue watching over Vandolph, a constant companion of his father ever since he was a child. The bond was so strong that the son had his father’s image tattooed on his arm recently.

“Mama, it’s like Papa is still with me,” she recalled Vandolph telling her.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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