dolphy, media, awards
… the circus that is happening at the Makati Medical Center is not only intrusive but also hints of disrespect. I was at the MMC Friday and Saturday for some medical procedures and I witnessed for myself how media people have camped out in front of the main building 24/7. The media networks have set up satellite units, generators, and multiple camera set-ups. There is no denying that, pretty much like those black birds in Africa, the media people are there in anticipation of bad news. If we truly want Dolphy to survive this latest challenge to his health, perhaps we shouldn’t act like we’re on a deathwatch.
that’s bong austero in “Dolphy, the stereotypical Tatay.” actually i have nothing against a deathwatch. when the signs are there, it’s only human to fear the worst, knowing na doon tayo lahat papunta, and medical science can extend life only so much. but yes, the media can and should keep their distance naman. konting class naman. a daily press release should be good enough for the nonce, stop with the vulture-like camp-out, stop harassing eric quizon for medical updates or questions like kumusta si zsazsa, si ganito, si ganoon. most us have been in a similar situation, we know what it must be like for zsazsa and the sons and daughters, including maricel aka shirley. the personal details are really none of our business unless or until freely shared by zsazsa and maricel et al, and that won’t be soon. for now let’s just pray for whatever’s best for dolphy and let’s allow the family what every family, showbiz or not showbiz, deserves — the private space to make the decisions that have to be made, and to deal with the uncertainties and the sadnesses, far away from intrusive cameras and insensitive media who don’t make it easy, rather make it worse, in truth, for a family in crisis.
as for the national artist award, it’s a farce, this clamor for the president to confer it on dolphy ora mismo. my question is not, bakit ngayon lang ang award (kung i-award man), kungdi bakit ngayon lang ang clamor? where were all these people and orgs 10 years ago when such an award would truly have mattered to dolphy, and would truly have made a difference. i’ve said the same of ishmael bernal who was named national artist 5 years after he died. ten years too late. why not at the height of his powers, like soon after Himala, by which time he was already recognized as one of the best filipino filmmakers, if not the best, of all time. in dolphy’s case, ten or so years ago would have been soon after Markova: Comfort Gay, a brave controversial film that wasn’t a box-office hit but which told us in no uncertain terms that there was more to dolphy than the stereotypical this or that. he was a national treasure by then, and he could have have been more than a comedy king, had we truly appreciated him enough.
so really, this hysterical call for a national artist award, it’s not really as much for dolphy anymore as it is for us who now can’t extoll him enough, trying to make up for our neglect, trying to make ourselves feel better. sorry, but we don’t deserve it.