Kwentong Kapuso: Salamat sa 'yo, Dolphy
This article was published on the Filipino Reporter, a content partner of GMA News Online, on July 26.
LAST week, Filipinos everywhere became witness to a human experience.
The experience of death.
Death of a dearly beloved comedian.
Death of an entertainment idol.
Death of a father to his many children.
Death of a dearly loved partner.
His screen name...Dolphy.
We witnessed how a nation mourned, expressed their loss and celebrated the life of their humble and talented Dolphy.
After making a nation laugh for 50 years, Dolphy made them cry with his passing.
I remember when Dolphy used to translate English songs, sentence by sentence, to Tagalog (with the late Panchito) in a hilarious manner.
My father and I used to watch that TV program every week.
I can still recall how my late father, who was a “formal” and refined individual in his demeanor (unlike his son), would burst into laughter once Dolphy started with his translations.
July 13, 2012 was designated by President Noynoy Aquino as “National Day of Remembrance for Dolphy.”
Dolphy’s admirers kept repeating the humility of the man.
And his kindness.
Those were two values repeatedly mentioned in the Bible as Jesus Christ’s advocacies.
But, Dolphy did not stop there.
He also involved himself on civic issues, like politics during election time.
At one time, someone suggested that he should run for president of the Philippines.
He declined and quipped, “Ayaw ko nga; baka manalo ako.”
The comedian’s reply was an honest admission that he was not cut for the presidency.
It would have been a good example had others heard him.
As columnist and former Sen. Francisco “Kit” Tatad of the Manila Standard Today queried, “Had we taken Dolphy’s words to heart, would we have had presidents who did not have the slightest notion of checks and balances, separation of powers, diplomacy, or statecraft?”
Dolphy’s death reminds us of a Chinese teaching about two types of death.
Death which is as light as a feather, and death as heavy as a mountain.
We know by heart, Dolphy’s death is as heavy as a mountain.
It would be a painful elaboration of the obvious to say that death is a sad human experience.
Because it is, under any circumstance, to whomever it happens, whenever it takes place.
I experienced it when my loved ones passed on.
But on top of it all is God.
God, who gives us life and who takes away life.
All for good reasons.
All according to his plans.
To some, death is an end in itself.
To believers, it is the beginning of eternal life.
Author Jane Armstrong compiled a book of quotations on death written by the undying English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare.
I’d like to share some of those quotes.
“Finish, good lady. The bright day is done. And we are for the dark.” (Anthony and Cleopatra)
“This sight of death is as a bell That warns my old age to a sepulcher.” (Romeo and Juliet)
“This world’s a city full of straying streets, And death’s the market-place where each one meets.” (Two Noble Kinsman)
“Death, as the Psalmist saith, is certain to all, all shall die.” (2 Henry IV)
“Nothing can we call our own but death.” (Richard II)
“Kings and mightiest potentates must die, For that’s the end of human misery.” (1 Henry VI)
It can be said that Shakespeare regarded death as an end in itself.
The other school of thought tells us death is simply the beginning of a higher level of life, that is, eternal life.
The Bible is filled with such teachings.
Psalm 23: “Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and staff give me courage.”
Another related verse in Psalm 23, “Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”
Salamat sa ‘yo, Dolphy.
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