DOLPHY AT 80 Living in a Goldfish Bowl

Philippine Star – Sunday, July 20 Ricky Lo/Philstar

A confirmed bachelor, yes. He has had dozens of women in his life, siring 18 children with six of them, but has never married any of them. His current and, just probably, last Zsa Zsa Padilla might be “it,” but only heaven knows.

He could run for any position and win hands down but no, as he first told The STAR in an interview a decade or so ago when he refused to join the showbiz bandwagon to the political arena, “Madaling tumakbo; paano kung manalo?” (That was his exact answer which was rephrased in the retelling.)

Rodolfo Vera Quizon, lovingly known as Dolphy, is turning 80 on July 25. To celebrate his being “weighty at 80,” his son Eric has published Dolphy’s biography titled Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-Isa, “as told to Bibeth Orteza,” which will be launched en grande on Wednesday, July 23, at the NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, in cooperation with the Dolphy Aid Para sa Pinoy Foundation which provides education to the underprivileged.

Comedy King.

Woman-lover and Ladies’ Man.

Bombilya King.

Dolphy is all that – and more.

As a nod to his birthday, Conversations is giving you “80 snippets” as a preview to the predicted best-seller.

1. I was born on Calle Padre Herrera on July 25, 1928. Orig na Tondo Boy. I was about 13 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

2. My father was Melencio, son of Modesto Quizon and Adorable Espinosa. He was earning well as tagagawa ng makina sa bapor at the Atlantic Gulf.

3. My mother was Salud, daughter of Maximo Vera and Ninay de la Rosa. She owned a tailoring shop at home. She was the first cousin of Rita Vera Avellana, mother of Lamberto Avellana. My siblings and I called our parents Papang and Mamang.

4. At that time, I could watch movies for free because I sold peanuts and butong-pakwan inside, and also singkamas-malamig.

5. Radio was a hit at that time. The couple Dely Atay-Atayan and Andoy Balunbalunan were the pioneers of radio shows.

6. I am the second of 10 children – Corazon, Rodolfo, Josefina, Melencio Jr., Laura, Aurora, Jorge, Jaime, Teresita and Jaime.

7. I was circumcised by a barber at the bathroom under our house. When I saw blood, I swallowed the guava leaves I was chewing, which was to be used to cover the wound.

8. Pre-war. I started studying in a public school when I was six. Naabot na ng right hand ko ang tainga ko sa left side so I was accepted in Grade 1.

9. My baon was two centavos when I was in elementary and 10 centavos in high school. At the Chinese store, you could buy a cup of coffee for one centavo and tinapay na may laman for another centavo.

10. My favorite subjects were History and Arithmetic. Augusto Chico, ‘yung nakalaban ni Asiong Salonga, was my classmate.

11. Japanese Time. I did odd jobs, including shining shoes, pagkakabit ng mga butones ng pantalon sa pagawaan, taga-salansan ng mga bote na ika-classify mo according to size taga-karga ng bigas na mas mabibigat pa sa akin sa pier, nag-buy-and-sell at naging kutsero.

12. I watched stage shows at the Life Theater and Avenue Theater. Mga bida sina Pugo at Tugo, at Bayani Casimiro (Life) at pambato sa drama si Rogelio de la Rosa; at sina Patsy, Lupito, Lupita and Gregorio Ticman (Avenue), at pambato sa drama si Leopoldo Salcedo. May shows din sa Lyric at Majestic.

13. My idols in comedy were Pugo and Tugo; sa sayaw, sina Bayani Casimiro at Benny Mack.

14. I was turning 17 when Benny Mack got me as a chorus dancer, one month at Avenue and then I moved to Lyric. When there was an air raid, we would interrupt the show and run for cover at the air-raid shelter sa orchestra, kasama ang audience. Kapag walang bombang bumagsak, tuloy uli ang show.

15. I was also in the shows at Orient Theater. Golay was my first stage name. My dream was to have a solo dance na gaya ni Fred Astaire.

16. My first love was Aida Javier who came from a family of musicians. Mahusay siya mag-piano.

17. During my first roadshow, nakasama ko si Carlos Padilla Sr., lolo ni Zsa Zsa.

18. I met Engracia Dominguez – si Gracia – sa stage show. In our skit, she stood motionless, kunwari portrait, habang kinakantahan ko ng Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa. Nagkaroon kami ng anim na anak – Manny, Salud, Rodolfo Jr., Freddie, Edgar and Raul. Gracia and I separated in 1963.

19. I was among the original OFWs. Mga 1950 ‘yon. Nag-show kami sa Hawaii, sa Hong Kong. And then, Japan where I saw snow for the first time. It was also in Japan where I met Bimbo Danao, tatay ni Laura Danao at dating artist sa LVN na naging singer. Sikat na sikat siya sa Japan.

20. It was Conde Ubaldo who got me into radio in the late ’40s. He was a popular radio writer, director and producer. Isinama ako sa Wag Naman, starring Pancho Magalona, Tessie Quintana and Baby Jane.

21. It was Pancho Magalona who recommended me to Dr. Jose “Doc” Perez, the starmaker of Sampaguita Pictures. That was in 1952.

22. My first movie was Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita, with Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran. And then came Jack and Jill. Mga bida sina Rogelio de la Rosa at Lolita Rodriguez. I wasn’t the first choice. Sina Batotoy at Bayani ang unang kinonsider.

23. Jack and Jill was a komiks serial by Mars Ravelo. After that, I did other komiks characters – Silveria, Captain Barbell, Facifica Falayfay, all by Mars Ravelo.

24. The first time I did drama was in a 4-in-1 movie, with Barbara Perez who played a blind girl. ‘Yung episode namin was inspired by the Charlie Chaplin’s movie City Lights.

25. When I joined Sampaguita, my fee was P1,000 per movie. When my contract expired, P7,000 per picture na ako.

26. I fell in love with a fellow Sampaguitan but I’d rather not reveal who she was. Sa amin na lang ‘yon. She’s now in America.

27. It was also in Sampaguita where my team-up with Panchito became popular. Actually, our tandem started on radio, sa mga shows ni Conde Ubaldo.

28. ‘Yung song-translation gimmick namin ni Panchito started in Tawag ng Tanghalan, the amateur talent search that produced Pepe Pimentel, Ric Manrique Jr., Diomedes Maturan, Nora Aunor and Edgar Mortiz. Panchito and I stayed in Tawag for six months, then sinimulan namin ang Buhay Artista where we continued the song-translation portion. Click na click sa audience ‘yon.

29. It’s not true na naging girlfriend ko si Miss Aruba (Maureen Ava Viera). Sumali siya sa Miss Universe pageant dito noong 1974. Muntik lang naging kami.

30. I met Gloria Smith in 1956. Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak – Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino and Edwin.

31. As a father, I couldn’t give my children all my attention when they were growing up. I was really working full time.

32. I was practically jobless when I left Sampaguita. It was Eugenio “Geny” Lopez Jr., na kung tawagin ay si Kapitan, who got me into television. Channel 3 pa noon. Sa kanila nagsimula ang Student Canteen. Hosts sina Eddie Ilarde, Leila Benitez, Pepe Pimentel at Bobby Ledesma.

33. My first TV show was Buhay Artista, sa ABS-CBN, idea nina Geny at Ading Fernando. Sa radyo, my talent fee was P250-P300 per program. Sa TV, mas mataas ng kaunti, P500 per show.

34. I met Baby Smith. Artista rin siya, Pamela Ponti ang screen name. She was 17, I was 36. Nagkaroon kami ng apat na anak – Ronaldo, Enrico, Madonna and Jeffrey.

35. I began doing movies for independent studios – LEA Productions, Balatbat Productions, Filipinas Productions, Zultana Productions and D’Lanor ni FPJ.

36. FPJ got me to star in two movies in 1964, Captain Barbell and Daigdig ng Fantasia (with Nova Villa), both directed by Herminio “Butch” Bautista, tatay ni Herbert.

37. I put up RVQ Productions in 1965. My first venture was Buhay Artista, released in 1966. Kami ni Panchito pa rin, kasama sina Susan Roces at Ronaldo Valdez.

38. Ronaldo Valdez’s real name is Ronald James Gibbs. He’s my discovery, for Pepe en Pilar, pelikula namin ni Susan. We wanted a new face as Susan’s partner. I saw Ronaldo in a basketball court and brought him to the presscon so Susan could see him. “Wala bang iba?” Susan said. I brought Ronaldo to the barber shop, bought him a pair of boots at Glenmore and lent him my terno. When I presented him to Susan again, she said, “Iyan pa.” She didn’t know that he was the same guy I introduced to her earlier. Then I changed his name to Ronaldo Valdez.

39. Because of Jack and Jill, I was typecast in gay roles. My biggest hit is Facifica Falayfay, directed by Luciano “Chaning” Carlos. I did 23 other movies with Chaning.

40. When agent movies were the fad, I also played a secret agent, Dolpinger 1-2-3. Si Chiquito naman, Agent 0-2-10.

41. It’s not true that Chiquito and I had a rivalry. May gumawa lang ng ganoon because at that time mayroong Nora-Vilma rivalry.

42. In the ’60s, naging fad ang bomba films nina Merle Fernandez, Rossana Marquez, Rosanna Ortiz at Yvonne. Nag-lie low ako for a while.

43. In 1978, balik ako sa gay role, sa Ang Tatay Kong Nanay where I played a parloristang bakla, directed by Lino Brocka. Kasama ko sina Niño Muhlach as the son of my boyfriend, si Phillip Salvador. Si Jessie Yu ang producer, brother ni Mother Lily.

44. RVQ produced more than 100 films. It had sister companies, Rodzon Film Organization and Rodessa Films.

45. The tsismis was that I had a relationship with all my leading ladies. Hindi naman po lahat. Mayroon ding hindi natuloy.

46. Did I court Nida Blanca, my leading lady in John en Marsha? Hindi po. Ni minsan hindi ko naisipang ligawan siya.

47. John en Marsha started in 1971, a year before Martial Law, on Channel 9. It was the idea of Kitchie Benedicto, head of the station. Before Nida, who was doing Wala Kang Paki with Nestor de Villa, Boots Anson-Roa and Helen Gamboa were considered as my wife Marsha. Before Dely Atay-Atayan, kinonsider din si Chichay as my mother-in-law na mayaman at matapobre. Mga anak namin sina Rolly (Quizon) at Maricel Soriano.

48. John en Marsha was such a big hit that it was made into a movie eight times.

49. I don’t need Viagra. Zsa Zsa is my Viagra.

50. Ang type ko sa babae ‘yung mestisahin at siempre, maganda.

51. I am known as a Bombilya King, pero imposibleng dahil “doon” sa, alam mo na. Kumalat ‘yon after I did El Pinoy Matador. As a torero, my costume was tight, no underwear. Kapag nakaharap ako, naka-marka talaga ‘yung akin, parang bombilya.

52. I am shy with women. I start with touching her hand. Pag hindi inalis, may gusto. Pag inalis na may kasamang gulat, medyo ayaw. Pero pag dahan-dahang inalis, ok-ok pa, nagpapakipot lang.

53. In the late ’60s while we were shooting in a hospital, I met a nurse, Evangeline Tagulao. Nagkaroon kami ng isang anak. Nasa States na sila ngayon.

54. I met Pilar Pilapil in 1969 when we shot Tayo’y Mag-Up, Up and Away in Rome, Paris, London, New York, Hawaii and Las Vegas. That was two years after she won the Bb. Pilipinas-Universe title. We almost got married. Ayaw ng parents niya.

55. Then, I fell in love with Lotis Key. I also almost married her. Ang mga babae ko, kadalasan nagkakasabay-sabay, nag-o-overlap sila.

56. In 1981, I met Alma Moreno. We have a son, Vandolph. Why did we break up? Ayoko na lang mag-elaborate. Basta, nahirapan ako sa lifestyle niya.

57. Nang naging kami ni Zsa Zsa, nabulabog ang buhay namin. Nawalan ako ng show; tinanggal ang mga commercials ko. At that time, we seriously thought of living in the States. Nakabili na nga kami ng bahay doon, eh.

58. Zsa Zsa and I have a daughter, si Zia. We also have an adopted daughter, si Nicole who was just a few months old nang ibigay sa akin ng nanay niyang Amerikana. Nasa Hizon’s ako noon.

59. Hizon’s is my favorite restaurant, sa Ermita ‘yon. Masarap ang ensaymada nila. ‘Yon ang pang-regalo ko sa mga friends ko.

60. When Nicole was baptized, the priest asked me, “Ang dami mo nang anak; bakit gusto mo pang mag-adopt?” Sabi ko, “Tingnan n’yo, padre, parang anghel. Kung sa’yo ibinigay, hindi n’yo ba tatanggapin?”

61. One of my embarrassing moments…Sa Orient, sumasayaw kami. May lifting-lifting. E, may colds ako. Lumobo ang sipon ko habang binubuhat ko ang partner ko. Palakpakan ang audience.

62. I love shirts by Italian designers. Armani. Gusto ko rin ang Gap at Banana Republic.

63. Sa perfume, Angel.

64. Sa kotse, Mercedes Benz.

65. Sa books, biography. Nabasa ko na ‘yung books tungkol kay Frank Sinatra at Charlie Chaplin.

66. Sa color, partial ako sa white. At red na nakuha ko sa Chinese Feng Shui. Red daw is good luck to wear on a Monday.

67. Sa music, ballads. Fan ako nina Frank Sinatra, Doris Day at Ella Fitzgerald.

68. Gone With The Wind was the first color movie that I saw. Other movies that I love are Singing in the Rain and all the Chaplin movies.

69. I also like musicals, ‘yung starring Fred Astraire and Gene Kelly. Oo, Sound of Music.

70. My other favorites: Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Jack Lemmon, Hedy Lamarr, Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Hilary Swank at marami pang iba.

71. Sa local, ‘yung mga paborito ko namayapa na – Leopoldo Salcedo, Rogelio de la Rosa, Jose Padilla Jr.

72. Ay si FPJ siempre. Alaga ako noon ng tatay niya, si Fernando Poe Sr. Ayoko sa pulitika pero nag-kampanya ako para kay FPJ.

73. Oo nga pala, I started in the movies in 1946, kay Fernando Poe Sr. Nanding ang tawag namin sa kanya. I was only 19 then.

74. My zodiac sign is Leo.

75. Mahilig si FPJ sa jacket, so everytime I traveled, ang pasalubong ko sa kanya ay jacket na ginagamit naman niya sa kanyang mga pelikula.

76. Yes, it’s true. Mayroon na akong kabaong, bronze. Matagal na. I was among the first to buy a family estate sa Loyola Memorial Park sa Marikina.

77. Totoo. Madasalin akong tao. Habang nagtre-treadmill, nagro-rosary ako.

78. Do I have any regrets? None. I may not be a multi-millionaire but I feel like one dahil marami akong kaibigan.

79. How do I want to be remembered? As a good person.

80. At 80, of course hindi na ako bagets. Na-kidney operation na ako. Na-bypass. Nagka-tubig sa lungs.

 

The greatest comedians of all time

STARBYTES By Butch Francisco
The Philippine Star 08/17/2006

(Second of a series)

Last Tuesday, I published an initial list of my Top 10 great comedians of all time. In the list were the names of Pugo, Dolphy, Chiquito and Tito, Vic and Joey. Below are my other choices:

Togo – The sparring partner of Pugo, they started out as the Laurel Hardy and Stan Laurel of the Philippines. In the ’30s, they did stage shows and branched out into films before the war. Among the films they made in the early ’40s were Utos ng Hari, Hindi Mababali, Sa Lumang Simbahan and Binibiro Lamang Kita.

Andres Solomon in real life, he had to change his name to Tuging (Pugo became Puging) during the war years because Togo almost sounded like Tojo, the name of the Japanese Admiral stationed in the Philippines.

In one of their sketches on stage during the war, they did a parody on Japanese soldiers by wearing several wristwatches on their arms and even on their legs. During that dark period of our history, members of the Japanese Imperial Army were notorious for confiscating wristwatches from civilians and wearing them on their arms all at the same time. Pugo and Togo aped this on stage and was a hit with the audience. Supposedly, they were brought to Fort Santiago for questioning.

After the war, the comic duo resumed their film career and did several movies for LVN Pictures: Tambol Mayor (co-starring Jaime de la Rosa and Tessie Quintana, their first picture with LVN), Dalawang Prinsipeng Kambal, Magkumpareng Putik (with Lilia Dizon), Edong Mapangarap (with Eddie San Jose), Ang Kandidato, Nagsaulian ng Kandila, Dalawang Sundalong Kanin and Biglang Yaman. My personal favorites, however, were those films they did with Hollywood starlet Joan Page.

Togo could have been an even bigger name in the field of comedy had he not died in 1952.

Apeng Daldal – Like most comedians in those days, Apeng – known for his big set of teeth and his being a fast talker (Daldal) – started in vaudeville where he was a dancer. He honed his dancing skills, however, in the regular “pasayaw ng mga bakla” in his Tondo neighborhood where he was a favorite male dancing partner of post-war cross-dressers. From stage shows, he also ventured into film (with Gina Pareño as leading lady) and television. His most memorable performance for me, however, was in an episode of Eliza (Boots Anson Roa’s drama anthology in the old BBC-2) where he played the personal assistant of a powerful man (Arnold Mendoza). In the story, Mendoza is married to Boots, but has a mistress (Coney Nubla – later to become Coney Reyes) he treats shabbily. After getting Coney pregnant, he dumps her, she loses the baby and dies during the miscarriage. Secretly in love with Coney, Apeng avenges her death by killing Mendoza.

With Apeng’s excellent performance in that Eliza episode, I really started to get convinced that great comedians also make good dramatic actors.

Apeng Daldal died in 1992.

Tange – His name obviously came from tanga (dumb), but stupid he certainly was not because Tange was one of the wittiest comedians local show business ever had.

His big break came via Super Laff-ins in the old ABS-CBN and from there he did other comedy shows – like Wanted: Boarders where he was houseboy to the family of Pugo and Patsy.

Tange was great at delivering punchlines. In one Wanted: Boarders episode, he was trying to get inside a nightclub when he was stopped at the entrance for wearing only a collarless shirt. (This was the era when dress codes were still strictly followed.) His retort to that: “Yung iba nga, nakasando lang, sumasayaw pa sa TV.” That may not have sounded so funny on print, but the way Tange delivered it really brought the house down.

Tange also did a couple of films during his career and one of the comedies he did was Buntis V, a parody of Voltes V.

In the early ’80s, he became sickly and had a minor speech impairment. He died in 1981 a poor man.

To this day, the young generation still uses the word tange as an expression. But how many of them know the great comedian that was Tange?

Rene Requiestas – A product of theater, his passport to fame was via the post-EDSa satire Sic O’clock News. When Joey de Leon got him to play Chee-tae in the Starzan series, Rene became a very popular comedic figure and eventually starred in his own movies. Pido/Dida with Kris Aquino was a blockbuster hit.

His toilet humor, of course, was denounced by the more proper sector of society. Rene merely laughed his way – toothless at that – to the bank. He lived life to the fullest and in style – complete with a retinue of hangers-on. Eventually, he mismanaged his finances and got sick. He died in the mid-’90s after enjoying half a decade of almost unequaled popularity.

Roderick Paulate – Starting out as a child actor (Kaibigan Ko ang Sto. Nino), Roderick practically grew up in front of the camera. He became famous, however, for playing flaming gay roles: Petrang Kabayo, Binibining Tsuperman, Kumander Gringa, etc.

On TV, he will be best remembered for playing Benny, the gay sidekick of Barbara Tengco (Tessie Tomas) in Abangan ang Susunod na Kabanata and, later, as a closet homesexual secretly in love with Aga Muhlach in Oki Doki Doc. Early in the ’80s, he also did Tepok-Bunot on BBC-2.

Roderick is actually an all-round artist: Aside from doing comedy, he sings and also dances well. He was outstanding doing a dramatic role in the horror flick Pa-siyam two years ago.

Michael V. – He began his career as a rapper. After hosting game shows for ABS-CBN, he joined Tropang Trumpo on ABC-5 and now does the gag show Bubble Gang on GMA 7, where his Bitoy’s Funniest Videos is one of the network’s top-raters.

He is at his best doing impersonations and has done almost everyone in the political and showbiz fields: Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Cory and Kris Aquino, Joseph Estrada, Charo Santos (who became Charo Santos Conscious – always hiding her face before the camera) and even this writer (Butch Pang-disco – very funny, but don’t do it again! Ha-ha-ha.).

Michael V. is now at the peak of his career. Two or three decades from now, his name would surely still be included if anyone were to make another list of local showbiz’s greatest comedians.

(Next: Top female comics)

 

The greatest comedians of all time

STAR BYTES By Butch Francisco
The Philippine Star 08/22/2006

(Last of a series)

My ongoing series on the greatest comedians of all time generated various reactions from those who read it. Some insist that there were names that should have been there, but were missing and among those who pointed that out was Joey de Leon (who was included in the list – and deservingly so). I explained to Joey, however, that it was only a Top 10 list and the slots were limited and he easily understood my predicament.  

And then I also bumped into Tim Yap at Gold’s Gym in Glorietta and he said that he was glad that artists of the previous generation were being recognized in this series and that made me very happy because I never thought that today’s young people still cared about movie stars of the past.  

My final installment of the great comediennes, however, contains only one icon from the past because we cannot deny that this generation also boasts of great talents in comedy and here they are below:  

Maricel Soriano – She is the junior Nida Blanca. Like the great actress, she also excels in drama (one of the best) and even in the field of dancing and this is probably the reason why she was never officially crowned as Queen of Comedy. But then, she is the Diamond Star and that about covers everything.  

 

Maricel is actually so talented that even her type of comedy varies – from an over-the-top babaeng bakla (Inday Bote and the other Luciano Carlos films she did for Regal) to that of an exemplary cop’s wife and mother who sets a good example to her young son in the now-defunct Kaya ni Mister, Kaya ni Misis.  

The only comedy she has not done — and surely would not do — is the bawdy type. She may have been “Queen of Taray” at one time, but she is a very responsible performer to her audience.  

Chichay – To the ’80s generation, she was ‘La Ching in 2+2. In the ’70s, she was Mrs. Milyonarya.  

 

Chichay, Amparo Custodio-Moya in real life, however, was first known as the other half of the singing and tap dancing tandem, The Custodio Sisters in vaudeville shows. Her screen name Chichay came from the Niponggo word chiisai, which means little.  

From stage shows, she moved to the big screen and was regularly cast in comedies produced by Sampaguita Pictures. In 1953, she and Tolindoy played the title roles in Gorio and Tekla.  

The ‘60s saw her win a couple of CAT Awards for playing supporting roles in The Nida-Nestor Show in the old ABS-CBN.  

Toothless, she was well-known for her classic line: “O, eh ano?” – but which, when spat out through her gums sounded like “O, weno?” When in mock grief, she also called out to the love of her life, Culing, who was actually real-life husband Hercules.  

She was still quite active in the industry when she died in 1993. Eight years earlier, she even played the title role in Lola Basyang, a trilogy produced by Regal Films.  

Ai-Ai de las Alas – A product of stand-up comedies in sing-along bars, I knew she was going to be big someday in the field of comedy when I used to watch her perform in the Channel 13 sitcom 13, 14, 15. (I even remember doing a review of that program and raved about Ai-Ai’s performance.)  

 

While Ai-Ai has yet to officially earn the title Comedy Queen, she had already been enthroned as the Concert Comedy Queen – having filled up Folk Arts Theater and even Araneta Coliseum in the past.  

But the title Comedy Queen is really within reach for her – although she still has to accomplish the following:  

1) Have a couple of more box-office hits like Tanging Ina.  

2) Have a top-rating weekly sitcom.  

3) Stop doing racy comedy.  

At this point of her career, she can already do without her de rigueur off-color humor in her shows because she is an established performer and is naturally funny and witty. She has always had talent and the only thing she needs at the moment is this so-called “corporate image” and she should be on her way to getting crowned Comedy Queen of Philippine entertainment.  

Mitch Valdes – Plucked from campus theater (St. Scholastica’s College), she became very popular as Maya Valdes in Super Laff-ins. Oh, she became really big (literally even) on TV in the ’70s – playing the title role Cleo-FAT-ra on RPN-9.  

 

On the big screen, she got recognized for serious films and earned a Best Supporting Actress trophy from the Urian for playing a bar girl in Lunes…Martes…  

Mitch was never really a candidate for the title Comedy Queen because – for all that TV exposure – she never gained that much mass appeal (she was never the type to play to the gallery in the first place). But she already has a niche in the field for providing us all these years with intelligent comedy.  

Rufa Mae Quinto – Comedy in the Philippine setting can be cruel because it draws humor from the physical imperfections of the performer. And so we had the likes of Babalu and Babalina, Palito and Doro de los Ojos (so named because of his perpetually-dilated pair of eyes).  

 

In the case of Rufa Mae, she is pretty, sexy, sultry and has almost perfect features. But she is funny – thanks to her hilarious one-liners. Often cast in dumb roles, she is actually bright and talented. Her inclusion in the list of greatest comediennes of all time may be met with disapproval from readers because even I admit it’s still quite premature to put her name side by side with the esteemed Nida Blanca and company.  

I have decided to put her name in the list, however, because among the young generation, she is already the best in the field of comedy and at this point of her career, she is undeniably today’s Comedy Princess.