July 23 was a night of merriment for the late talent manager Douglas Quijano's friends and talents as they commemorated both his birthday and his 40th day, a day which Catholics believe as the last day of a person's soul here on earth. Douglas would have been 65 years old last July 24.
The singing and dancing of the guests clad in Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson garbs spiked the party as they sang and danced at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, a venue for "moonwalkers and mole-teemed babes."
Amidst the jovial mood, Joey Marquez—probably the funniest talent among Douglas's roster of stars—looked quite subdued when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sat down with him and asked how he was doing 40 days after Douglas's death
"Still in denial," Joey replied rather passively.
In his state of denial, one would think that the former mayor of Paranñaque would break down as before. But for Joey, it was denial in the sense that thinking of Douglas as already dead might just make things worse for him. Dealing with it in his own way would be best, he said.
"Well, sometimes I pretend," he told PEP. "Lately, parang sa feeling ko, dahil sa akin, so okay lang."
FEELING DOUGS'S PRESENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY. When a person passes on, he or she may reach out and make his presence known to those close to him. To Joey, it is not what you call "pagmumulto" since Douglas' style, it seems, in terms of making "paramdam" is a little more affectionate.
"Kiss," Joey smiled.
When asked about what he does whenever he feels a "kiss," he said: "I talk to him. 'Dougs, huwag muna ngayon, gabi na.' Hmmm, may usap-usapan din kasi about the alagas, ganyan."
Joey was referring to instances where Dougs made his "presence" felt to some of his alagas.
Speaking of Douglas's talents, some of them have looked for other managers to handle their career. Wendell Ramos is now being handled by Wyngard Tracy, while John Estrada may follow suit. Janice de Belen is now with Popoy Caritativo, while her sister Gelli is now being managed by Boy Abunda.
Joey understands the decision of his other "siblings" to find another manager since each one of them has different needs when it comes to their career.
"Yeah, we did talk," Joey said when asked if the other talents of Douglas consulted him about their move. "We all agreed na kung saan sila kumportable, okay lang 'yon. Basta they're in good hands."
Being one of the senior talents of Douglas, the younger ones may have expected Joey to handle the reigns of managerial duties. But according to Joey, it was too big a responsibility for him to handle.
"No, no, no. I cannot handle that," he admitted. "I cannot make decisions. I cannot be a manager, not even two percent of Dougs. Maybe one percent, pero two, hindi."
As for his own career, Joey said that Dougs had everything mapped out for him. "Iniwan naman niya kaming hindi ligaw."
MICHAEL JACKSON ANECDOTE. Setting aside the serious discussion, Joey moved on to reminisce the reason behind the Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe theme of Douglas's 65th birthday and 40th day. He also shared with PEP an anecdote when the late Michael Jackson held a concert at Parañaque way back in 1996. Joey was mayor of the city back then.
"I think [si] Jomari Yllana [ang nag-isip ng Marilyn Monroe theme]," Joey began. "Mine si Michael Jackson, kasi favorite niya [Douglas] 'yan, e. Ever since I've known Dougs, isang kanta lang ang kinanta't sinayaw niya, at galit pa siya 'pag hindi mo siya sinayaw!"
And the only song that Douglas would sing and dance would be the hit "Billy Jean."
"When Michael Jackson came here," Joey continued, "I was the mayor of Parañaque. Hindi siya [Douglas] umalis sa tabi ko. Talagang fan na fan siya ni Michael Jackson!"
Joey laughed as he added that even though Douglas was able to talk to the King of Pop, he missed out on one important memento: Michael's Fedora hat.
Joey narrated, "He [Michael] was asking me kung anong gusto ko as token of appreciation. Masaya na ako doon sa performance niya. He took of his hat and gave it to me. It's the same hat he used in many concerts. Sabi ko, 'No, thank you.'"
When Douglas found out that Joey refused the icon's hat as a gift, he scolded him.
"Si Dougs, minumura ako!" laughed Joey. "Sabi ko, 'Anong gagawin ko sa hat?'"