LONDON – Inside a small salon in Earls Court, Filipinos were glued to the television the moment the news broke that the Philippines' King of Comedy, Dolphy, died due to multiple organ failure.
Dolphy, or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life, was one of the first Filipinos who went abroad to work as a performer in Hong Kong. That’s why he was so close to the hearts of the overseas Filipino workers.
His fans here remember the legacy that he had left behind.
The salon is symbolic to the colorful showbiz life of Pidol because of his several portrayals of a "parlorista," a gay cross-dresser who works in a salon.
Philip De Vera, the owner of the salon in Earls Court, remembered fondly how he was a die-hard a fan of the King of Comedy when he was young.
“I was a high school student--that was around the 70’s--when I first watched his films. I remember cutting classes and convincing my friends to watch his movies like Facifica Falayfay,” he said.
“My friends and I idolize Dolphy,” he added.
According to De Vera, Dolphy’s convincing depiction of a gay man made him closer and more popular to the gay community.
“Dolphy was one of the most popular Filipino comedians especially to the gay community. For us, he is the goddess of kabadingan,” he said.
Ping Ruado, who works in the salon, also raved about Dolphy’s unmatched acting talent and impeccable humor.
“He was the best actor when it comes to playing a gay man because he was so very straight but he played the role so perfectly,” he said.
“He also had a big time humor because he could make people laugh so hard,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ruth Harte Saturno, who is visiting London from The Netherlands, could not forget her first encounter with her idol when she spent her vacation in the Philippines 10 years ago.
“I saw him in the airport with Zsa Zsa Padilla. I approached them and told Dolphy that he was my idol,” she said.
“I was so happy that day when I met him. He was really the idol of the masses, very charismatic,” she said.
Pidol had also captured the hearts of OFWs who do not idolize him but commend him because of his movies and shows that promote family values.
Ellie Florida, a remittance staff, admitted that she is not a fan of Dolphy but she liked watching some of his shows.
“I’m not a fan of Mr. Dolphy but I admire him as a comedian,” she said.
“His show that I remember the most is Home Along Da Riles. I liked watching it because it’s funny and it has some family values in it,” she said.
The popular feng shui expert of the celebrities, Maritess Allen, sent a text message to ABS-CBN Europe saying she even named her son after Dolphy’s character in Home Along Da Riles.
“My second son, Kevin, is named after his popular sitcom,” she said.
Dolphy played the role of a widower, Kevin Cosme, in Home Along Da Riles. Stars like Claudine Barreto, Smokey Manaloto and one of his sons, Vandolph Quizon, played his children in the show.
She also had her own feng shui analysis of Dolphy’s death.
“He was born in the year of the dragon and his time of death was 8:34 pm which is a dog hour so it’s a clash,” she said.
Dolphy was not only idolized by kababayans, but he was also the inspiration of many Filipino migrant workers.
Lina Tacadena, a TFC subscriber, recognized Dolphy as her personal inspiration.
“Dolphy had inspired so many people and that includes me,” she said.
“I’m inspired how he worked his way to become a famous actor. Since he was young, he really worked too hard to achieve his dreams,” she said.
Serbia Migrino, also a fan of Dolphy, looked up to him since she was a kid.
“I grew up watching his movies. He’d appeared in maybe hundreds of movies,” she said.
“His comedic timing is incomparable,” she said.