By Andrew Jonathan S. Bagaoisan
I will remember where I was when I learned we lost Dolphy.
The big story that day was the extreme traffic wrought by keeping the Metro Manila buses along one lane of EDSA. Our van was at a concrete island on the turn to Quezon Avenue from EDSA.
After we aired a live report for TV Patrol, the news desk told us to stay put while deciding if we would do another for the 11 p.m. newscast.
It was nearly 9 and raining. A crew mate and I were already settling down from dinner, shut in our crew cab.
The desk editor on duty called. “Who’s on standby at Makati Med?”
I gave the name. “Okay. You get ready too,” he said, and hanged up. I called our guy at Makati Medical Center.
“Nag-tweet na si Ruffa,” he said. “Nag-aabangan na dito.”
We read Ruffa Gutierrez’s post via a workmate’s Blackberry: “R.I.P Ninong Dolphy.”
The Net was already abuzz, but no one was yet confirming it.
Commentators on DZMM radio were still bantering about the traffic, cryptically telling listeners who texted queries, “Please wait. We still don’t know.”
By then, we were told to pack up, pick up some hardware at the base, and proceed to Makati Med. Another crew watching traffic elsewhere in EDSA was diverted there too.
The TV news break greeted us when we got to ABS-CBN. Dolphy’s partner, Zsa Zsa Padilla, confirmed that Dolphy had indeed passed away.
And just like that, our headlines quickly shifted gears from commuting to the loss of a showbiz great.