MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE) President Aquino is conferring the highest rank under the country?s Order of the Golden Heart on actor-comedian Dolphy, whose real name is Rodolfo V. Quizon, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Saturday.
Mr. Aquino will formally bestow the Grand Collar of the Order of the Golden Heart on the 82-year-old comic in simple ceremonies in Malacañang on Monday.
The honor is in recognition of the actor?s contributions to the country?s entertainment industry as its King of Comedy and of his charitable works such as providing scholarships to deserving children of migrant workers.
?The conferment is a recognition of the life?s achievement of Mr. Quizon both in terms of his show-business career, where his comedy has brought joy to millions, but just as importantly, his well-known philanthropy and encouragement of the charitable and good causes,? Valte said over state-run radio station dzRB.
?This includes the Dolphy Aid para sa Pinoy Foundation that gives scholarships to children of overseas Filipino workers,? she added.
The Order of the Golden Heart gives official recognition to Filipinos or foreigners who ?have rendered distinguished services or given noteworthy monetary or other material aid, encouragement to the campaign for the amelioration and improvement of the moral, social and economic conditions of the Filipino masses, and for volunteerism in the service of the Filipino masses.?
Valte said the first recipient of the Grand Collar or Maringal na Kuwintas was US author and activist Helen Keller, who was given the award on May 20, 1955.
?Throughout his professional career, Mr. Quizon has brought entertainment to millions while upholding high standards in his profession,? read the official announcement of the conferment.
?He has also characterized his other causes, even political advocacies, with good-natured decency and respect for all. It is only appropriate then that the government recognizes the outstanding personal and professional life of Mr. Quizon,? it added.
Malacañang said Dolphy raised the morale of the Filipino people ?over generations? and used his fame and influence ?to assist and aid his fellow citizens.?
Dolphy interestingly supported Senator Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party in the last presidential elections.