[PHOTO - Willie Revillame and Comedy King Dolphy in a duet during a birthday tribute to Dolphy, titled Talentadong Pidol, on the Kapatid Network TV5 ]

MANILA, JULY 21, 2012 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricardo F. Lo - Years ago when Willie Revillame was down (though not totally out even if his then ABS-CBN show had just been cancelled), losing almost all his fair-weather friends, it was Dolphy who consoled him and told him, “Hindi pa katapusan ng mundo!”

Recalled Willie, “I was then going to the States, not knowing what to do with my life. Dolphy gave me an envelope and he whispered to me, ‘Baon mo!’ I was touched.”

And Willie never forgot that.

“I call him Gamot sa Kalungkutan,” said Willie in a phone interview with Funfare Update, “and a lot of other titles such as Bayani ng Masa, Inspirasyon ng Mahihirap. He was one of a kind.”

So when Willie received the sad news last Tuesday night, he promptly interrupted the Family Apir! segment of his TV5 show Wil Time Bigtime and, holding back tears, aired a film clip of him doing a song-and-dance routine with the Comedy King during a birthday tribute, titled Talentadong Pidol, on TV5.

Willie didn’t stop there.

He rushed to the Makati Medical Center where Dolphy succumbed to complications of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) after a month at the ICU and asked Dolphy’s family what they needed.

“They requested me to ask for a discount on the hospital bills (Which amounted to several millions. — RFL) at binigyan sila ng 25 percent. It was after midnight but I immediately texted our TV5 big boss, MVP (Manny V. Pangilinan).”

At the TV5 tribute to Dolphy Thursday night at The Heritage Park where Dolphy’s remains are lying until tomorrow when he’s buried also in the same park, MVP handed the Quizon Family a certificate indicating that they didn’t have to pay a single cent.

“Si MVP ang sumagot sa lahat,” Willie added, his voice cracking. “It was also MVP who came to Dolphy’s rescue by signing him up when Dolphy lost his show. He was idle for almost two years. When Dolphy’s contract with TV5 expired, MVP renewed it and continued paying his talent fee even if he couldn’t shoot or tape anymore.”

Willie didn’t say it but according to Funfare Update sources, he returned Dolphy’s kindness during his (Willie’s) own dark days by assuring Dolphy and his beloved Zsa Zsa Padilla that they didn’t have to worry about Dolphy’s medical needs.

“That was the least that I could do for him,” said Willie who also revealed that when he feels low, all he needs to perk up is to remember how jolly Dolphy was and all’s well with his world again.

“That’s why I call him Gamot sa Kalungkutan,” he qualified.

Zsa Zsa revealed during her tearful thank-you speech at the ABS-CBN tribute to Dolphy Wednesday night that Dolphy’s month-long confinement at the Makati Med ICU united the family even if the 18 Quizon children have different mothers, “even if we are not the conventional family.”

Willie sadly noted that the entertainment industry has lost two pillars, both kings — Dolphy The Comedy King and FPJ The Action King.

“Sana mag-kaisa at maging united na rin ang lahat para sa lalong ikauunlad ng industriya lalo pa ngayong dalawang haligi ng industriya, dalawang hari, ang nawala na. Dapat wala ng Kapatid, Kapuso at Kapamilya. We should start being one big happy family; dapat gayahin ng mga taga-industriya ang ehemplo ng Quizon Family.”

True to form, Willie broke the seriousness of the phone interview when asked what “legacy” he would want from Dolphy.

“Alam mo kung ano ang gusto kong pamana mula kay Dolphy?” asked Willie, adding with a pained laughter, “ang kanyang bombilya!”

That would have made the Comedy King laugh inside his gold coffin.

And here are what other comedians have to say about Dolphy:

• Sen. Tito Sotto: Si Pidol is the epitome of a well-loved Filipino. We should celebrate his life, and pray for the eternal repose of his soul as he is now called to perform for a much greater audience.

(From Tito’s wife Helen Gamboa (photo): Dolphy and I did quite a number of movies together and I would say that he has a great sense of humor. It was really fun to be with him. At the same time, I learned a lot from him. He would always share his experiences in life, and I am amazed by his humility, compassion and generosity. All this I will never forget. I am honored to have worked with the one and only King of Comedy. A true National Artist. His legacy will live forever in the hearts of all Filipino.)

• Vhong Navarro: Ang hirap po para sa akin dahil hindi ako makaiyak at hindi ko alam ang gagawin ko. Tinuring ko kasing pangalawang ama si Tatay Dolphy, siya din ang naging inspirasyon ko kaya ako nag-comedian.

Sobrang dami kong natutunan sa kanya mula nang makasama ako sa Home Along da Riles at doon niya rin pinaramdam sa akin na para niya akong isang tunay na anak.

Basta hinding-hindi ko malilimutan ang sinabi niya sa akin na TUMAWA KA AT ITO’Y NAKAKAHAWA! Basta po nag-iisa lang ang Hari ng Komedya at walang papalit sa kanya. Kung ano ang sinimulan niya ipagpapatuloy lang din naming mga bagong comedians. Magiging isa siyang alamat para sa akin.

• German “Kuya Germs” Moreno: Dolphy was selfless. Matulungin lalo na sa mga nagsisimula pa lang sa showbiz. Pareho kami ng pinagmulan. Siya nagtitinda ng butong-pakwan sa sinehan at ako naman ay janitor. Siya ang inspirasyon ko sa pagtatag ng Walk of Fame na katulad ng nasa Hollywood.

• Eugene Domingo: I will always be reminded of the good values I experienced and I saw when I worked with him. When we shot Nobody Nobody But Juan, I remember him sitting on a wheelchair to bring him around the set at times when he seemed tired. He was very professional. There was a scene when he needed to dance in diapers. It was the first time I saw him in a wheelchair with a nurse and I was worried. He caught me looking at him and he winked at me saying, “Ayos lang!” When his son Eric (the director) shouted, “Action!”, Dolphy instantly became his character. For me, that moment was magic!

• Pokwang: Sobrang malungkot talaga at mabigat. Ang unang-unang time nakita ko si Tatay Dolphy ay sa Baclaran Church, talagang natulala ako nung makita ko siya, at sabi ko, sana makatrabaho ko siya someday. At nakatrabaho ko siya sa TV show na Quizon Ave.

During Quizon Ave. siya yung unang-una tumawag sa akin ng “Aru! Aru!” after Aruray. Tapos minsan pagod kami lahat at nakatulala sa set ng Quizon Ave., may mga one-liner siya na bibitawan na di mo akalain na bibitawan niya ng ganun, so di ka nakahanda, buhakhak talaga ang tawa mo. Tapos lagi niya kaming sinasabihan na pag may bagong komedyante na darating, suportahan n’yo, magtulungan kayo.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved