- Published on Friday, 13 July 2012 00:00
- Written by JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR
By A Web design Company
PRESIDENT Aquino yesterday declared today, July 13, as a National Day of Remembrance in honor of Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon Sr.
Dolphy died last Tuesday after a month of confinement at the Makati Medical Center where he was treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and kidney complications. He was supposed to turn 84 on July 25.
The presidential proclamation does not make July 13 a non-working holiday.
There was no order to fly flags at half staff, as the Palace said the emphasis of the celebration should be Dolphy’s life, and not his passing.
Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the President, in signing Proclamation 433, recognizes how the country “deeply feels the passing of Dolphy.”
Aquino awarded Dolphy the Order of the Golden Heart rank of Grand Collar in November 2010. The only other recipient of the award was Helen Keller.
“In the proclamation, the President cited Dolphy as a man who will live on in Philippine cultural history, and in the hearts of many of his countrymen. President Aquino in his proclamation said that every milestone that Dolphy marked in a career that spanned decades raised the standards of the entertainment industry, and strengthened our cultural identity, giving innumerable aspirants an example to look up to,” Valte said.
She said Aquino also cited Dolphy as a philanthropist, “whose encouragement of charitable causes was driven by a deep-rooted recognition of the promise within his fellowmen and a genuinely generous heart.”
The proclamation also recognized Dolphy’s contributions to Philippine culture, arts, and entertainment. It said that Filipinos should never forget how he made generations of Filipinos laugh.
It was the wish of the late comedian to be remembered not with sadness but with the same warmth and joy that he has brought to the lives of millions throughout his career.
Aquino paid his respects to Dolphy yesterday afternoon after attending an event at the Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.
The President arrived at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City around 5:30 p.m. and was met by Dolphy’s partner Zsa Zsa Padilla and his son Epi Quizon.
He talked to Padilla before he viewed the remains of Dolphy.
The visit lasted about 15 minutes.
Aquino, before proceeding to the wake, said he favors the bestowing of the National Artist award on Dolphy but the actor’s nomination must still undergo the screening process.
He said his role in the vetting of national artists is merely ministerial as he would just receive and approve a list of nominees that would be submitted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
The NCCA, in a statement posted on its Facebook page, said Dolphy is “a true gem of the film and television industry” but, like other nominees, he must pass through the screening process.
“While the NCCA recognizes the clamor for the conferment of the National Artist Award to him, the policy stands that any nominee should go through the process of selection, which we have earlier explained to the public,” the NCCA said.
The NCCA clarified that the nomination process for the upcoming batch of awardees has not begun but Dolphy is automatically nominated because he was one of the nominees in 2009.
Dolphy failed to pass the second level of screening for the 2009 batch of national artists.
Nominations for the Order of National Artists may be submitted by government and non-government cultural organizations and educational institutions, as well as private foundations and councils.
If he hurdles the vetting process, Dolphy will join the King of Philippine movies Fernando Poe Jr. (Ronald Allan K. Poe), Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, Gerardo de Leon, and Eddie S. Romero among the national artists for cinema.
Hundreds of fans lined up outside the chapel of the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig City as early as 5 a.m. to pay their last respects to the late comedy king.
The long queue almost covered the stretch of steel fence placed outside the chapel.
The management of the Heritage Memorial Park put up some tents outside the chapel to shield mourners from the heat of the sun.
The Quizon family earlier announced that they will allow public viewing of Dolphy’s remains between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting yesterday until Saturday.
Among the early birds were former first lady and now Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos, Sen. Lito Lapid and Quezon City councilor Anthony Castelo.
Comedienne Whitney Tyson extended her condolences to the Quizon family.
Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and actor Bembol Roco arrived in the afternoon.
Alvarado said Bulacan has passed a resolution showing that the province was one with the nation in mourning the death of Dolphy who spent his youth in Wawa in Balagtas, Bulacan.
Alvarado said the provincial council would come up with another resolution endorsing the proclamation of the late comedian as national artist.
Artist Manuel Cartagena, Jr., who was among the many fans who attended the wake, brought along a portrait of the actor, which he sketched in 1997.
Cartagena, 48, handed the caricature to Dolphy’s two sons – Epi and Eric Quizon. – With Angela de Leon and Regina Bengco