The Greatest Pinoy Movie Sidekicks
They are the best friends, the alalay, the shock absorbers, the comic reliefs, the shoulders to cry on, the kanang kamay. They are the sidekicks – the ones who laugh hardest at the lead comedian's jokes, and the principal supporter of the dramatic actor's choices.
There are actors in the Philippine showbiz industry who make a living out of being “the other ones.” Legends they are so that even the top-billed stars feel like they owe a portion of their careers to these thespians cast with them more often than their love team partners. Here is a list of those sidekicks that surely you remember.
1. Eugene Domingo
The brilliance that is Eugene Domingo started as a dramatic theater actress in Dulaang UP at the University of the Philippines. But it was her turn as the feisty maid Simang to Claudine Barretto's Angeline in Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan (2001) that got the attention of the public. Then to solidify her career, Domingo played Rowena, Ai Ai de las Alas' best friend in the hit movie Ang Tanging Ina (2003). Now Eugene is best known for this no nonsense, almost aggressive comedy that people dig.
2. Panchito Alba
Alfonso Tagle, Sr. is Panchito Alba, or simply Panchito. He is best known as Comedy King Dolphy's main buddy in most of their movies, playing various supporting roles in films like Kalabog at Bosyo (1959), Pacifica Falayfay (1969), and Bugoy (1979). Panchito and Dolphy were famous for their English-Filipino song translation sequence. This partnership that crossed over to the small screen would last until the sidekick's death in 1995.
3. Dencio Padilla
No one personifies the word “sidekick” more than Dencio Padilla. Most, if not all, of the films where the King of Philippine Movies Fernando Poe, Jr. was cast as the lead had Padilla tagging along as the ally, the friend, the comic relief in the otherwise tense environments of action films. Some of their films include Ang Leon at Ang Daga (1975), Kahit Konting Pagtingin (1990), and Dito sa Pitong Gatang (1992).
Babalu is Pablito Sarmiento, another Dolphy sidekick best remembered for his longer than normal chin that was part of his comedic charm. He first worked as the driver for Panchito, where the comedy king discovered his natural knack for telling jokes, and then gave him a featured role on the television show Buhay Artista. Since then, Babalu appeared in countless movies and television shows, and established himself as one of the Philippines' most respected comedians.
5. Rene Requiestas
Rene Requiestas was one of the most successful comedic acts in the late '80s and early '90s. He had impeccable timing and humorous delivery, coupled with that crazy hairstyle and that toothless grin which made him very popular. Joey de Leon, his co-star in the '80s comedy classic Starzan (1989), handpicked Requiestas to play his sidekick Chita-eh, a character that would go down in history as one of the funniest ever.