Dolphy’s Life Lessons: 10 Wise Moves From the Comedy King

We list the lessons we learned from the larger-than-life funny guy.

Rest in laughter, Rodolfo Quizon Sr. a.k.a. Dolphy (July 25, 1928 to July 10, 2012)



It’s been said that he who laughs last, laughs the loudest. Dolphy, who reigned as the country’s King of Comedy for decades, is most probably having a good chuckle right now. He has checked out while we’re all scrambling like mad to deal with his sudden exit. Imagine an impish little boy who has suddenly found the best hiding place ever just feeling amused that nobody can find him. Then again, at 83, the veteran comedian deserved to finally bow out and rest. As a tribute to his larger-than-life existence, we list the lessons we learned from the way he lived.

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Artwork by Warren Espejo



Dolphy played working class heroes so well because he had been one of them before he became an actor.


10. Any job which doesn’t involve robbing people is a good job. Before he became a Pinoy showbiz icon, Dolphy had built up an impressive blue collar resume. He had shined shoes, worked at a pants factory, hauled heavy loads at the pier, and driven a calesa. At one point, he even made money by sorting bottles.

Dolphy’s work ethic was legendary.


9. Unless you’re incapacitated, maimed, or no longer breathing, the show must go on. Dolphy was already appearing in shows at the Lyric Theater, as well as the Orient Theater and the Avenue Theater, during the Japanese Occupation. Sometimes, while he and his fellow performers were on stage, there would be air raids. Instead of stopping the show, they would simply run to the theater’s air raid shelter while the explosions went on and get back on stage when the coast was clear (in a manner of speaking).


Not even age and the inevitability of death slowed down Dolphy.


8. When possible, plan ahead. In his autobiography, Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Ng Mag-Isa, Dolphy revealed, "Matagal na itong tsismis. I will confirm it. Mayro’n na nga akong kabaong bronze. No’n ko pa kinuha. Isa din ako sa kauna-unahang bumili ng family estate plan sa Loyola Memorial Park sa Marikina. (There has been talk about this for some time. I will confirm it. I’ve already picked out a bronze coffin for myself. I bought it a long time ago. I think I’m also among the first who bought a family estate plan Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina)." In an interview aired on GMA-7, Dolphy’s grandson, Rowell Quizon revealed that the Comedy King had actually bought the bronze coffin way back in 1976.

Dolphy remained good-natured even when there were some people who were already announcing his death.



7. Remain levelheaded, even when there are people who seem to want you dead. In December 2010, Dolphy himself addressed death hoax ringleaders in a TV Patrol interview. He jokingly told them, "Ako, hindi ko masasabing mamamatay na ’ko. Kaya sinasabi ko, kanya-kanya tayong oras ng pagdating do’n. So huwag niyo kong apurahin, darating tayo dun (I can’t say when I’ll die. I say, we all have our own time when it comes to that. So, don’t rush me, we’ll get there)."

Dolphy said nice things to his ex, actress Alma Moreno.


6. Be genuinely gracious to your ex. According to a GMA News Online report, when asked how he felt about his ex, actress Alma Moreno, the mother of his son Vandolph, getting married to a Mindanao-based politician, Dolphy said, "I’m happy for her. Basta kinakailangan magsaya siya, di ba? Hanggat ika nga e may anghang pa tayo pareho-pareho, di ba (We need to be happy, right? As long as we all still have that ’heat,’ right)?" And then, of course, he finished his statement with a laugh.


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