Dolphy, who was dubbed the country’s Comedy King, was also known for being very open about his non-traditional family. His honesty about his partnerships with six women and the children he had with each of them (18 all in all) was quite a brave stance considering that Philippine society is tagged as “conservative.” To pay tribute to his joie de vivre, we list his wise relationship moves and the things we learned from them.
1. Don’t badmouth your ex. Barring criminal offenses, you shouldn’t go around revealing nasty things about your former partner to reporters. Dolphy was always a gentleman when he was asked about his former partners. One of them, actress Alma Moreno, mother of his son Vandolph, got married to Marawi City Mayor Sultan Fahad “Pre” Salic in 2009. Asked for his reaction to Moreno’s nuptials, Dolphy smiled and graciously said he was very happy for her.
2. When it comes to loving someone, you have to give it your best shot. One of Dolphy’s former girlfriends, Lotis Key, who’s now based in the U.S. still recalls that her life with him was one of the happiest periods of her life. In a statement given to ABS-CBN North America Bureau Chief Nadia Trinidad, the former actress revealed: Our years together were marked by hysterical kwentuhan (conversations) that made us laugh so hard we’d both get asthma attacks." She also added that Dolphy was the “sunshine of my life during those days.”
3. Don’t get married just for the sake of getting married. Dolphy never got around to tying the knot with any of his partners. Perhaps, he just wasn’t emotionally ready when he was younger. He had wanted to marry his partner Zsa Zsa Padilla—who was with him from 1989 to the day he died—but legal (hers) and health (his and hers) obstacles got in the way. Nevertheless, Dolphy had publicly declared in several instances that what he had with Padilla was more than a marriage. The two have two daughters, Nicole and Zia.
4. Go out of your way for your child. In an ABS-CBNNews.com article, Eric Quizon, one of Dolphy’s children by actress Alice “Baby” Smith (who briefly used the screen name Pamela Ponti), revealed that when he was a child his classmates gave him grief for being illegitimate. He related that some of them didn’t even believe that Dolphy was really his father. When he told Dolphy about his dilemma, the comedian made it a point to go to his school and walk around the premises with him so everyone could see them together.
5. Don’t give up on your loved one. In 2001, Dolphy’s son, Vandolph, figured in a road mishap that left his Ford F-150 wrecked and his passenger, his then-girlfriend Desiree “Ishi” Raquiza, dead. Vandolph was in a coma for a month. Dolphy mustered the strength to help Vandolph through the tragedy and his tedious recovery period, which required a lot of physical therapy.
6. Be consistently kind to everyone. When it came to his relationships with his co-stars and the rest of the people in the movie industry, Dolphy was always magnanimous and considerate. His work ethic served as a good example to aspiring stars while the crew always marveled at how he remained so humble despite his fame. Dolphy treated everyone like his equals. His son Jeffrey "Epi" Quizon had once said in an interview that all Dolphy wanted was to be the "jester." He never sought to be dubbed as the king or anything.
7. Always have room or make room in your heart. Despite already having 17 biological children, Dolphy adopted one more, a daughter whom he and Zsa Zsa Padilla named Nicole. He treated her like all of his other children. Dolphy counted her as one of his children from the start. In a way, Dolphy championed all the families who have chosen to "have children from their hearts."