Dolphy laid to rest
MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) -- The Philippines’ King of Comedy Dolphy was finally laid to rest on Sunday afternoon in a solemn funeral attended by hundreds of the popular actor's relatives and friends, as well as members of the entertainment industry and politicians.
Dolphy's family, led by long-time partner Zsa Zsa Padilla, brought him to his final resting place at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig.
Almost all the people who attended the burial wore white, and black umbrellas were given out. Padilla, Dolphy's partner of 23 years, chose to wear black.
Dolphy's remains were encased in a glass-topped golden metal casket that he himself bought in the 1970s. It is now estimated to cost around $40,000 or around P1.7 million.
Many in the star-studded crowd openly wept as the casket shimmered in the afternoon sun while pall bearers carried it a short distance from inside a chapel to the grounds of a heavily secured exclusive cemetery.
Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim snapped a salute in front of Dolphy's casket. Padilla tightly clung to it before it was shut and placed inside a black stoned crypt.
The final prayer for Dolphy was led by Father Larry Faraon, who reminded the crowd that the late comedian wanted everyone to smile in his funeral. He led the crowd in giving cheers to Dolphy.
Before the tomb was sealed, Padilla also delivered a brief but emotional speech.
“Mahal na mahal ka, Dolphy, ng sambayanan. Maraming salamat sa mga ibinigay mo sa amin. I love you, lovey ko. Until we meet again,” she said.
“Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical "Rent" was then played in the background as white doves were released.
The ceremony was closed to Dolphy's grieving fans, many of whom travelled from different parts of the country to pay their respects to the comedian, officials said.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Dolphy's grandson, John, the son of Freddie Quizon, apologized to the many fans who stayed outside the gates of the Heritage Park.
"Sa mga 'di nakapasok, sana maintindihan ng publiko na gusto magkaroon (namin) ng panahon with (Dolphy)," he said.
Dolphy passed away last Tuesday at the age of 83 after battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for years.
The veteran comedian spent over 60 years in show business taking on memorable roles such as John Puruntong in “John en Marsha” and Kevin Cosme in “Home Along Da Riles.”
Before the burial, a requiem Mass was held by Father Tito Caluag on Sunday morning.
Among those who attended the Mass were ABS-CBN chairman and CEO Gabby Lopez, ABS-CBN president Charo Santos-Concio, actresses Susan Roces and Carmi Martin, movie producer Lily Monteverde, actors Bembol Roco and Edu Manzano and talent manager Annabelle Rama, among others.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Roces said the mood at the Mass was very emotional.
“Emosyonal ang mga bisita at pamilya sa loob, nagkaroon ng misa. Sa TV na lang ako manonood ng libing. It's the time for family to be alone with Dolphy. May TV coverage naman, doon nalang tayo manood. We should respect the family and si Zsa Zsa,” she said.
Monteverde said she will definitely miss the veteran actor but added that she finds comfort in knowing that Dolphy is now with God.
“I feel sad for Dolphy but at the same time happy he will rest with the Lord. Dolphy, he's the king of love. I thank him for the strength and inspiration for the industry. He always makes me smile and happy,” she said.
Martin said she made it a point to make it to Sunday's burial.
"Humahabol ako ngayon -- sad but happy that he already received the Lord. It's time for family and friends to be comforted," Martin said, thanking the veteran actor for "discovering" her.
"Sobrang miss ko si Tito Dolphy. Nung nandon ako sa hospital, nagpapasalamat sa kanya sa tulong niya sa akin at lahat ng mga Pinoy na natulungan niya," she said.
"At si Zsa Zsa, I admire her for what she did for Dolphy at sa buong pamilya," added Martin, who was part of the so-called "Dolphy's Angels."
Rama, meanwhile, repeated her apology for creating a scene during Dolphy’s wake last Friday.
Rama said she couldn’t stop crying during Dolphy's last mass, as she also asked for forgiveness from Dolphy for what she did the other night.
Dolphy's was brought out of the chapel to his final resting place at 2 p.m. today.
On Saturday night, family and friends gathered to give Dolphy a final tribute.
The tribute began with a Mass where Fr. Caluag talked about the comedy king's humility.
In the program that followed, stars from the ABS-CBN show “ASAP 2012,” among others, sang songs to pay tribute to the veteran comedian.
Several politicians and celebrities also spoke at the wake to share their fond memories of Dolphy. Among them were Vice President Jejomar Binay, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, comedienne Pokwang and Herman Salvador more known as Brod Pete. – With reports from Gretchen Fullido, ABS-CBN News, and Agence France Presse