I know this is 15 days late but I wrote this anyway.
When the Department of Tourism launched the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign early this year, I wrote this in reply to a tweet.
I was thinking about the Philippine sitcoms I enjoyed: “Home Along Da Riles”, “Okay Ka Fairy Ko”, “Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata”, “Ober da Bakod”, etc. I wish I could say I enjoyed “John en Marsha”. My parents did. Once in a while, my father would blurt out, “Kaya ikaw, Kat, magsumikap ka.” It is the line Dely Atay-atayan’s character would often tell John (Dolphy).
Little did I know that I would go back to the same nostalgia I felt 6 months after I wrote that twitter reply. Dolphy died in the evening of July 10. Twitter was buzzing because there were two celebrities who announced his death on Twitter before media did. Because of the confusion, a lot of people wrote their condolences and retracted them and wrote them again.
I remember an episode on “The Newsroom“. (Yes, it is my new favorite show. Sorry if I refer to it often .) It was an episode where the newsroom was in a dilemma whether to report that a certain public figure is dead when every media network already did. They were still waiting for a confirmation from their sources. I remember the line: “It is the doctor who proclaims that a person is dead.” In the celebrities’ case, they should have allowed the family member to break the news or at least ask permission from the family member if it is okay to tweet about it.
I can’t say I miss Dolphy because that would be lie. What I really miss are Philippine sitcoms. I was in high school when ‘Home Along Da Riles’ aired. I was living in a dormitory and TV was not permitted during school days. I sometimes daydreamed about having a personal TV just to watch it. Almost 20 years later, my wish is now a reality. There are mobile phones with TV feature. The sad reality though: no more Philippine sitcoms and Dolphy already passed away.
The upside: Tito, Vic and Joey are still alive. I can’t remember any of their movies but I remember the experience of watching their movies. I had a good laugh every time. I just hope Tito would stop being a politician and take a cue from Dolphy. Dolphy’s reply when asked about running for public office: “Madaling tumakbo, pero paano kung manalo?” ( It is easy to run for public office. What if I win?)
My favorite Dolphy movie (I remember watching in this theater) is “Black Magic”. From what I recall, the movie was about a poor guy being handed power (or was it money?) by the devil and he used that power to do good.
As I often say (and I did not originate this thought), life is short. Even at 83, I still feel that Dolphy’s life is still short. At 69, my father’s life is too short. At 61, my mother’s life is too short. If I base my life expectancy on my parents’ mortality, I am already in my mid-life. I say life is short but it is still great.
I think this is the reason why I miss Pinoy sitcoms.
While I was writing this post, I checked Dolphy’s age again. It is coincidental that I am writing this on Dolphy’s birthday. The way I see it: it is a reminder to not dwell too much on his death but to learn something from how he lived his life.