Dolphy’s Burial Will Be A Private Family Affair

MANILA, Philippines - It will be a private burial for Dolphy on Sunday, in keeping with his family's to keep their final moments with the film icon as solemn as possible.

Eric Quizon, who speaks for the comedian's family, on Tuesday asked the fans and supporters of his father to understand their decision to hold a private ceremony at the Heritage Park in Taguig City.

Also yesterday, a Malacañang official announced there will be no state funeral for Dolphy despite the outpouring of tribute for him.

"There is no plan right now for state burial," Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) said.

Eric Quizon said the gates of Heritage Park will remain closed to the public "because we want my dad to have a solemn burial."

"But they can still extend their condolences from their homes since we are allowing the media to cover it on certain areas. They can watch the live media coverage at home," he said.

Droves of fans and admirers of Dolphy lined up to view his remains at Heritage yesterday.

The cemetery's security estimated the crowd to have reached 5,000 as of 4:30 p.m. yesterday.

Eric assured the public that they can still pay their last respects during the last public viewing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Jeffrey "Epy" Quizon, another of Dolphy's sons, explained the family is trying its best to control the situation to give way for everyone to see his dad's remains for the last time.

"There are so many people who want to pay respects and we don't know how to deal with it. But personally, I want it to be private. Our family alone would fight for a solemn moment with him for the last time," Epi said.

Epi said there is a need to protect Dolphy's remains from the throngs who would want to attend the funeral.

"It's hard to control the number of people who want to see my dad. Just this Thursday, my dad's coffin almost fell and if I didn't take the mike and ask them not to mob (the coffin) something worse could have happened," he said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III declared Friday, a National Day of Remembrance to honor the memory of Dolphy.

"There is no plan right now for state burial," Carandang told reporters in the Palace.

State funerals are traditionally accorded to former presidents, national artists and scientists, and other people with national significance.

"There was actually an intention to declare a National Day of Mourning. But the family of Dolphy said a National Day of Mourning would be sad so they want something more reflecting of the joy what Dolphy brought. So in deference to the wishes, we call it National Day of Remembrance," he added.

President Aquino also expressed support to moves to declare Dolphy a National Artist, but made it clear he will respect the selection process.

Dolphy has been nominated for 2012 National Artist by the city government of Manila.

In Bulacan, Bulakeños the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed an ordinance giving Dolphy the highest recognition as a Bulakenyo and for his insurmountable contributions in show business.

Dolphy's death succeeded in bringing together his family. The actor had relationships with five women and had fathered 18 children.

Eric said he developed a very close relationship with his father's longtime companion Zsa Zsa Padilla in the twilight years of the Comedy King.

"I am very grateful for all the things Zsa Zsa has done for my father. We have developed this friendship that she calls me to say, 'Eric, this is the situation, what should we do?' She consults me and I also consult her also and tell her, 'okay,' or 'maybe we should do this...' And then we also talk with the rest of the family. We really developed that bond over the years," Eric said revealed at the TV news program "Saksi" on Thursday.

Eric said he knew where Padilla was coming from when she sang verses of "Through The Years" during the eulogy for the Comedy King Wednesday at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN's Broadcast Center in Quezon City.

"I was there and I knew their struggles. I was there. When it was finally out in the public that they were a couple more than 20 years ago and they escaped to be together in the US throughout all their years together, I knew what she was feeling when she sang that song," said Eric.

He continues to be amazed by the overflowing love people from all over the country is showering the family in the time of its deep grief.

"I know that my father has touched so many lives and we all know how big an influence he was in the industry but we are still amazed by all the prayers as people who pay their last respects leave prayers, rosaries, tokens.... It's been overpowering and overwhelming. The Quizon family has been very thankful ever since the time we asked for prayers."

For Zsa Zsa Padilla, the most difficult part is waking up in the morning without Dolphy by her side.

"It's hard to accept that he's gone. I still call out to him, 'Lovey goodnight!' before I sleep. Last night I slept with our daughter Nicole... When we're at home we're all inside the room. We just sit and chat," she told "Saksi."

Actor Edu Manzano admitted he did not expect Dolphy to help him in the past when he needed assistance the most.

Manzano recalled how Dolphy had his long-time assistant find his address to deliver "help," which he did not expect to come from the King of Comedy.

"I don't know if he sensed it or somebody told him about it. But every time I tried to thank him, he never tried anything in return even during the times I was in the position to help him," Manzano recalled.

"I truly believe that through the years I've known Daddy Dolphy that he was a man who lived his life for others. He changed so many lives," he noted.

Action star Rex Cortez said Dolphy had been the reason he came to play the roles of villains and bad guys in movies.

"He encouraged me to play the bad guy. He believed that there is place for me in this industry and it was not a hard sell. I was really inspired," Cortez said.

Manzano, and Cortez are just two of dozens of celebrities who attended the second day of wake for the Dolphy at the Heritage Memorial Parkin Taguig City yesterday.

Several stars, including Sharon Cuneta, Niño Muhlach, and Long Mejia, delivered their eulogies for the Comedy King.

Susan Roces, wife of the late Fernando Poe Jr., recalled how the King of Comedy helped her when she was still starting her acting career.

"Si Dolphy at si Panchito sila ang nagturo sa akin kung paano kumilos sa harap ng camera. Si Dolphy in particular, very kind, very helpful, supportive sa lahat ng baguhan," Susan Roces.

As a parting message, the veteran actress, said: "Dolphy happy trip. Mami-miss ka namin. Promise walang iyakan! Alam ko ayaw mo yan. Hello na lang kay Ronnie," Susan Roces said.

Actors Joel Torre, Cherry Pie Picache, Mylene Dizon, Jacqueline Jose, and Gio Alvarez, singers Geneva Cruz and Rachel Alejandro, and comedian and former basketball star Benjie Paras also paid respects.

Father Melvin Castro, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Family and Life (CBCP-ECFL), yesterday asked the public not to disrespect the memory of Dolphy by betting on his time of death.

Castro issued the appeal following the report that some 1,093 lotto bettors won P4,500 after betting on the time of his death, 8-3-4, in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office's (PCSO) Swertres Lotto 11 a.m. draw Wednesday.

Dolphy died Tuesday at 8:34 p.m. at the Makati Medical Center at age 83 due to multiple organ failure.

"That is not a good sign because we are talking here about the death of a person. If ever they won it was just mere coincidence. That number combination would still come out regardless whether Dolphy died or not," said Castro.

But even in death, Dolphy was playing pranks on his family. Eric said that last Thursday former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos arrived at the Heritage Park to pay her respects.

Eric said the family had to delay the viewing for a few minutes because when they opened the casket, Dolphy's body was "nakatalikod. So inayos muna namin," he said smiling. "Kami rin nagtaka. Sabi naming, teka, teka, pano nangyari un?" -with reports from Freddie G. Velez, Maureen Marie Belmonte, Kaye Villagomez, Rizal S. Obanil, and Leslie Ann G. Aquino

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