Men with a good sense of humor often attract beautiful ladies.
This is probably one of the reasons Comedy King Dolphy did not only touch every Filipino’s heart but also caught the attention of some women in and out of showbiz.
In his authorized biography Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa, the respected comedian set the record straight and related stories about the women in his life.
The book was launched during his 80th birthday celebration in 2008. It was written by director-actress Bibeth Orteza, who sat with him for almost five months to document the interesting stories in his life.
The 83-year-old actor started the chapter about his lovelife with a statement that clarified his romantic affairs.
“Ang mga talagang minahal ko, mabibilang sa daliri ng kamay. Huwag na nating bilangin ang naka-fling, at masisira ang abacus ng Intsik.”
HIS “FIRST LOVE.” Dolphy, who started his showbiz career when he was 19, first fell in love with a lady named Aida Javier.
His brief description about her was, “My first love was Aida Javier who came from a family of musicians. Mahusay siya mag-piano.”
THE KAPAMPANGAN GIRL. The comedy actor, however, confessed that he fell deeply in love with a Kapampangan named Engracita Dominguez, whom he fondly called Grace in the book.
Dolphy said he met her in a stage show in the late ‘40s.
He further recalled, “In our skit, she stood motionless, kunwari portrait, habang kinakantahan ko ng “Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa.”
Their love for each other produced six children: Manny, Salud, Rodolfo Jr., Freddie, Edgar, and Raul.
Unfortunately, the romantic relationship did not last long. Dolphy and Grace separated in 1963.
MESTIZA TYPE. In the book, Dolphy mentioned his penchant for mestizas. He related, “Hahagod ka no'n. Titingnan mo ang mga kamay, kung malinis; kung nakayapak, titingnan mo ang kuko.
“Wala akong foot fetish, pero kung may karumihan ang kuko, kita mo agad kung balahura. Maganda nga, pero balahura, bakit pa?”
No wonder Dolphy was attracted to a mestiza actress in the ‘50s named Gloria Smith.
They had four children: Mariquita, Carlos, Geraldino, and Edwin.
MAY-DECEMBER AFFAIR. Dolphy’s next relationship was a “May-December Romance.”
The award-winning actor was 36 years old when he met Alice “Baby” Smith, who was only 17 at that time.
“Artista rin siya, Pamela Ponti ang screen name,” said Dolphy.
They had four kids: Ronaldo, Enrico (or TV and movie director Eric), Madonna, and Jeffrey (who is known as Epi in showbiz).
Pamela now resides in Vallejo, California, where she runs a Filipino restaurant called Pinoy/Pinay.
NON-SHOWBIZ GIRL. In the late ‘60s, Dolphy was smitten with a non-showbiz girl named Evangeline Tagulao.
The Comedy King refused to give details about his affair with this nurse, whom he met while shooting in a hospital.
She bore him a child named Rommel, who went with her when she migrated to America.
OVERLAPPING RELATIONSHIPS. After that affair, Dolphy got attracted to showbiz personalities again.
First, he fell for veteran actress Pilar Pilapil, with whom he later worked in his popular movie Facifica Falayfay. They also did El Pinoy Matador in Spain in 1969.
In his biography, Pilar gave an insight about the comedian she once loved.
“Dolphy's funny onscreen, but in person, he's very quiet,” she wrote.
“A gentleman. Thoughtful. Attentive. Without knowing it, at that time I had a need for a father image. He was loving, and so very focused on taking care of me. I was like a little girl, so happy.”
In the early ‘70s, Dolphy was romantically involved with another actress named Lotis Key.
“I also almost married her,” Dolphy said in the book.
He also admitted, “Ang mga babae ko, kadalasan nagkakasabay-sabay, nag-o-overlap sila.”
In the book Dolphy: Hindi Ko Ito Narating Mag-isa, Lotis figured that the attraction might have started because she and Dolphy were the exact opposites.
She related, "I think we were attracted to how very different we were from one another. We traveled together, made movies together and had a lot of crazy, laughing times.”
Dolphy and Lotis’s love affair did not grow further. She now lives in Minnesota.
TITSER’S PET. In 1981, Dolphy worked with Alma Moreno, who was then involved with the late action star Rudy Fernandez.
During the time they were working for the movie Titser’s Pet, Alma broke up with the father of her son Mark Anthony Fernandez and later on started a romantic relationship with the Comedy King.
It did not take long for the former couple to become parents to Vandolph, who entered showbiz as a child actor.
Unfortunately, the relationship only lasted a little less than a decade.
It was in 1989 when Dolphy left for Hong Kong, leaving Alma behind. The latter, on the other hand, released a sort of farewell letter for Dolphy to the press.
In his biography, the comedy actor explained why his relationship with Alma did not work out.
“Ang nahirapan ako, do'n sa lifestyle niya,” he recalled. “Hindi ko type ang palaging may tao sa bahay, mula umaga hanggang madaling-araw.
“Ibig kong sabihin, ok ang magkabisita, ang dalawin ka ng mga kaibigan mong reporter, pero naging araw-araw na ‘yon, at hindi lang dito sa Manila.”
GREATEST LOVE. It has been said that Dolphy left Alma to be with local diva Zsa Zsa Padilla.
The comedian risked almost everything to be with the singer-actress, who has been his partner for more than two decades.
Dolphy narrated in his biography, “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.”
The couple had always wanted to get married. But there was always something that prevented them from doing so until marriage was no longer a priority for them.
In a previous interview, Dolphy told the media, “Actually kami, hindi na namin inasahan ‘yan tutal ganun na rin naman ang pagsasama namin, e, na parang higit pa sa ikinasal, e. “So, hindi ko na [iniisip]. Kung matuloy, matuloy. Kung hindi, e, di hindi kasi kami gano’n na rin naman ang attitude namin, e.”
Dolphy and Zsa Zsa’s romance produced a girl named Zia, who inherited their talent in music. They also have an adoptive daughter named Nicole.
Zsa Zsa stayed beside Dolphy, especially during the time when he was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The veteran actor-comedian has been battling with pneumonia during his stay at the intensive care unit of the Makati Medical Center for the past month.
The kids of Dolphy were grateful that the Divine Diva looked after their dad until he passed away on July 10, 2012.
According to the official statement of the Makati Medical Center, Dolphy died at 8:34 p.m. "due to multiple organ failure secondary to complications brought about by severe pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and acute renal failure."
Even Dolphy’s former lover, Baby Smith, expressed gratitude for Zsa Zsa’s love and kindness towards the veteran actor during these trying times.
She said in a previous statement, “Nagpapasalamat din ako kay Zsa Zsa na nandiyan siya at di bumibitiw sa paglingap kay Dolphy.”
This just showed that despite his failures in romantic relationships, Dolphy was still able to leave an indelible mark on the lives of ladies in his past.
Even when he was relating these stories to the author of his biography, the local comedy legend was still apologetic for his shortcomings.
Bibeth said, “Actually he's very sincere and consistent in saying na humihingi siya ng tawad kung may mga nasaktan man siya. Lagi niyang sinasabi na kung may nasaktan man siya, hindi niya talaga sinasadya.”