Thursday, January 15, 2009

*126. GRACITA DOMINGUEZ: Dolphy's Dearest

GRACITA AS GLO-CO BEAUTY. Actress Gracita Dominguez, of Mabalacat, models for Glo-Co Hollywood soap print ad. From a Sunday Times Magazine tearsheet, 1953.

Gracita Dominguez (b. 193?/d. 2007) comes from an old-time family from Mabalacat which counts a hero (Lt. Emilio Dominguez, a Katipunero) among its members. She, too, was launched as a new heroine of Philippine movies by no less than a noted director—“bagong tuklas ni Manuel Conde”. Conde had produced and starred in the 1950 epic, “Genghis Khan” which took Venice Film festival by storm two years later. Previous to this, Gracita had done stage and bod-a-bil (vaudeville) shows occasionally, and so it was really hitting the big time when she was introduced in “Siete Infantes de Lara”, a costume movie written by Carlos “Botong” Francisco. Our future National Artist was then working as an illustrator for popular comic books. The stars were Eddie Garcia, Mario Montenegro, Johnny Monteiro among others, while the female leads were Luningning and Africa de la Rosa. Gracita had to be content with a supporting role.

A year later, the young ingenue was launched to full stardom, in Fortune Productions Hiwaga ng Langit (Mystery of Heaven) and in 1952, appeared in Carlos Vander Tolosa’s Kalbaryo ni Hesus (Passion of Christ), which featured an American actor, Jennings Sturgeon, as Jesus Christ. Despite these films, Gracita did not quite make the A-List of bankable movie actresses. She continued appearing in occasional stage and opera shows and this is where she met Rodolfo Quizon—Dolphy, today's King of Philippine Comedy. Despite opposition from Gracita's parents, she became Dolphy’s wife and when the kids came along—6 in all: Manny, Freddie, Edgar, Sahlee and Rollie—she decided to quit showbiz altogether to devote her time raising a family, while Dolphy worked abroad as a comedian-performer in Hong Kong.

All six of the Quizon children entered showbiz, and three met with varying degrees of success. Thus, what Gracita failed to accomplish, Manny, Salud (Sahlee) and Rollie did. Manny became the manager of his father’s RVQ Productions and did notable films like “Sino si Boy Urbino” and Andalucia. Convent-bred Sahlee dabbled in showbiz in the 1970s, appearing in song-and-dance teen flicks, but found business success in the U.S. West Coast as distributor of Philippine films. Gracita’s youngest son, Rollie, won the 3rd Metro Manila Filmfest Best Actor Award for the film “Burlesk Queen” opposite Vilma Santos. He was most well known as Dolphy’s son in the long-running TV sitcom “John and Marsha”.

Gracita and Dolphy separated in 1963. They, however, remained in good terms for the rest of her life. She passed away in 2007 after a long illness.

(*NOTE: Feature titles with asterisks represent other writings of the author that appeared in other publications and are not included in the original book, "Views from the Pampang & Other Scenes")


Jason Paul Laxamana said...

Koy, makyabe ka!

DAVAO... CEBU... ILOILO... BICOL... BACOLOD... CENTRAL AND WESTERN MINDANAO... BAGUIO... they have all been making films that depict their lives and imaginations.

It is time for the Kapampangan region to participate in this next wave of Philippine Cinema by holding its first ever Kapampangan Film Festival not only in Pampanga but also in surrounding Kapampangan-speaking regions!

Rules and mechanics of competition

- everyone is allowed to join (no age limit), except members of the core organizing committee
- animated entries are also allowed
- no music videos, only narratives
- no limit of number of entries
- dialogues must mainly be in Kapampangan
- setting of the story does not necessarily have to be in Pampanga or other Kapampangan-speaking regions like Tarlac and Bataan
- film must have English subtitles
- strictly 10-20 minutes in length
- in digital format (submit final work in playable DVD)
- any topic is allowed
- extreme violence and obscenity and unnecessary abuse of foul language are discouraged
- use of copyrighted music is not allowed
- deadline of entries (final DVD, registration form) will be on July 31; they must be shipped or submitted in person to the Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, Angeles City
- 8 to 10 finalists will be chosen (depending on the quantity of submissions) to compete in the festival; prizes are at stake for the top three best short films; special awards (best male performer, best editing, best screenplay, etc.) will also be given

watch example of Kapampangan short films:

BALANGINGI (Nosebleed):

PUPUL (Harvest):

ING BANGKERU (The Boatman)

MISTERYO NG HAPIS (Sorrowful Mystery)
Search the title @


Mekeni and take part in this historical event!

text: 0918 699 2459

alex r. castro said...

Favorite ke ing "Balangingi".