Actor-director Eric Quizon honors the memory of his father Dolphy with an advocacy to raise awareness about the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), the progressive lung disease that led to the death of the Comedy King.
In an interview with Eric at the World COPD Day 2014 commemoration last November 19 at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, he narrated how Dolphy battled the disease.
“When my dad was diagnosed, of course Zsa Zsa was there.
"So the doctors, when they told my dad, they had to tell Zsa Zsa also because my dad was in denial.
"My dad told Zsa Zsa not to tell anyone kasi he didn’t want the public to worry.
“He didn’t want the public to know that he’s sick so parang gusto niyang itago yun sa tao.
"Kasi siyempre gusto niya makita siya ng tao... na hindi siya titignan as taong may sakit but as a regular person who works.
"And as Dolphy whom he was fondly known for.
"I think that’s also part of an ego of a great man na, 'I’m healthy, I’m not sick and I don’t want to be people to look at me as a person with a disease.'”
FAMILY STRUGGLE. Eric recounted how he and his family dealt with the progression of his father’s disease.
“I guess he had the disease earlier, he was just diagnosed in 2008 and then after the diagnosis, nakita na namin slowly nag-dideteriorate siya.
"Bumabagal na yung lakad and parati siya na sobrang mapagod hanggang sa hindi na siya makatayo, hanggang sa bed-ridden na siya.”
On the other hand, Eric also realized that the disease was a blessing in the sense that it bonded him with his 17 siblings.
The siblings strengthened one another in the face of the inevitable.
He recalled, “It was good for us kasi we had time, we were able to prepare ourselves.
"It was difficult for the family because it was not cheap. It was very expensive, we were spending P10 to 15 million a year on his health care.
"Ganun kamahal yung sakit niya kasi gusto namin pagandahin yung quality of life niya.
"Yung care, binigay namin lahat sa kanya yun.”
CONTINUING THE LEGACY. It’s been more than two years since Dolphy's passing, but the Comedy King’s legacy lives on.
Eric revealed the plan of the family to put up a museum in memory of Dolphy.
“We already have a plan, Quezon City also offered. Yun talaga yung gusto naming gawin, magkaroon ng museum.
"That’s why we’re situating it in one of my dad’s properties.
"But in order to do that, we’re doing actually an estate auction, we’re auctioning some of my dad’s properties.
“We’d like to call it 'The Laughter Museum.' It will take time, probably three to five years from now.”
DOLPHY’S LAST WISH. Eric said the main thing that keeps him and his siblings from allowing their differences get the better of them is to adhere to their father’s last request; that is, a harmonious relationship among his 18 his children.
“We’re okay naman. We’re all of different mindsets, we all have different opinions but somehow we all agree, we all get along.
"And the common denominator is our father and his legacy and what he wanted us to do.
“Before he died he said ayoko ng gulo gusto ko pantay-pantay and we've stuck to that rule."
Eric also maintains a healthy relationship with Zsa Zsa Padilla, his father’s last love.
“We just had lunch yesterday. She’s like my ka-telebabad. We talk not naman every day but on a regular basis.
"We talk, we see each other, we discuss things and whenever I have to discuss something to do with the family I have to discuss it with her."
BEYOND ACTING. It is obvious that Eric has inherited his father's dedication to showbiz. He has ventured beyond acting and gone on to producing and directing.
He related,“It’s planning, you coordinate with everyone, you do conceptualization of the story, lahat kasama sa director.
"So it just takes most of my time but other than that I still see myself acting, but I’ve been given a lot of projects as a director na madugo.
“Lahat ng nagiging projects ko mahirap, from Darna to Ipaglaban Mo.
"Lahat madudugo, mga nagiging shows ko kaya naisasantabi ko yung acting, but I’d still love to do it."
He is the director of Kapamilya's upcoming series Pasion de Amor starring Ejay Falcon, Ellen Adarna, Colleen Garcia, Jake Cuenca and Joseph Marco.
“It’s okay naman, it’s been like a year in the planning but now we’ve started and, yeah, so sana tuloy tuloy na siya.
"No more hiccups we’re finishing the pilot and we’ll take it from there.”