Almost a Star - The AMBOS MUNDOS RESTAURANT ANECDOTES Second of a Series7:47 AM
We were still living in the Quezon City area when this happened. My father and I were on our way to the Ambos Mundos Restaurant in Quiapo and we were waiting for a taxi as our owner jeep was in the repair shop. Suddenly, I heard a man's voice saying, " Ne, sakay na!". Without our noticing, a beautiful car slowly stopped in front of us where the man who called out was at the backseat. The man opened the car door and beckoned my father to go in. To my surprise, I saw that it was Dolphy, the comedy king who was talking to my father. Nene was the nickname of my father which explains the way my father was addressed. I was literally star-strucked and it probably took all the restraint of the child I was then not to force my father to do as invited. To my great disappointment, my father respectfully declined and offered some excuse about waiting for someone to fetch us. After a friendly wave and smile, the comedy king went on his way.
As soon as the car was gone, I bombarded my father with questions of how he knows Dolphy. Apparently, they were friends during their younger days. It was a friendship that traces its roots to the time when the comedy king was still trying to find his place in show business. My father revealed that at some point, Dolphy, along with some others convinced him to try out for chorus dancing for live musical shows which were very popular at that time. At this part of his story, I was already finding it hard not to laugh as I couldn't imagine my father dancing and singing. It simply didn't fit the way I saw him.
My father's usual demeanor was rather stern from the day I came to know him. He is known not to back out from any fight, physical or otherwise. He does not run away from any challenge but that day he did. Before his turn came, he chickened out and stayed in the sidelines. He said he knew very well that he "had two left feet" which is often used to describe people who are particularly challenged in dancing, thus his decision.
While Dolphy and most of the others went on to carve their names in show business, my father trained under his aunt who owned Ambos Mundos Restaurant. Every time he had a chance, he would bring food to his friends and just watch them perform. And so it came to pass that show business' loss was Ambos Mundos Restaurant's gain.
We join the rest of the nation in praying for the speedy recovery of Dolphy.
Postscript (July 11, 2012): Dolphy passed on to the other life yesterday July 10, 2012 and we now pray for the eternal repose of his soul.
Image Source: movie-industry.blogspot.com