Palito

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Reynaldo Alfredo Hipolito (September 4, 1933 – April 12, 2010) was a veteran Filipino slapstick comedian and actor who was at the height of his career in the 1970s and '80s. He was well known for his unusually light build and thin anatomy, earning him the self-deprecating screen name "Palito", which is Spanish for stick and is glossed in Filipino as matchstick or toothpick.

Biography

Palito was born in Calamba, Laguna, near the house of Dr. José Rizal (known as the Rizal Shrine). As a teenager in the 1950s, he took a job as a dishwasher in a restaurant called Alex Soda Fountain, located beside the Cine Odeon along Calle Azcarraga (now C.M. Recto Avenue). The restaurant was frequented by movie stars, and he was discovered by Lauro Santiago of Santiago Productions.

He was only 21 when he first discovered the world of stage acting. A student of Arellano University, he decided to choose acting over his studies around 1959.[1] Palito started as an "extra" in the 1960 Prinsipe Amante movie, starring the then superstar Rogelio dela Rosa. One of his early movies was Pitong Zapata in 1965. His first non-extra role was that as a sidekick of Jun Aristorenas in the late 60s film Bingbong at Dodong. At first, he was cast in straight action films. But because of his thinness, he was groomed as a comedian.Template:Citation needed He would be seen regularly working with actors Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Chiquito, Niño Muhlach, the comedy trio Tito, Vic and Joey.[2]

In the late 1970s, the decline of Philippine movies and emergence of "Bomba" films hurt Palito's career. The action and comedy films which Palito made were not being made as they used to. Those were the times when Palito lost many of his investments.

Palito's career had a brief resurgence then later peaked in the mid 1980s. He starred in several comedy movies parodying American action films mainly the Rambo films. The started with a supporting role in the parody Johnny Rambo Tango (1985). This led him to get the lead in Rambuto, (1986). Which translate to Ram-bone, the title being a pun of the Tagalog word buto which means "bone", again to capitalize on his being "thin-boned", compared to the Rambo character.[3]

In 1986, Palito had the lead in No Blood, No Surrender (1986). In this Rambo parody Palito play a Vietnam veteran who goes to a village searching for daughter of an old friend with whom he served in Vietnam. He is driven out of town several times since the Mayor and his men's want to take over her property. That year he also had the lead in the James Bond spoof, James Bone, Agent 001, where he plays an emaciated version of the secret agent.[4] There was a rumor that he did a film with fellow actor Weng Weng who also had lead roles in spy films parodies. Palito said they performed together on stage where both would wrestle and that they were simply guest in a film that he doesn't remember.[5]

In 1988 he acted in the popular Kumander Kalansalay.

He would also been known as a star in a lot of kitsch Pinoy horror films as a zombie/corpse. His sunken hollow eyes and reed-thin body, while not aesthetically pleasing in the popular sense, fit the corpse-like demeanor that local filmmakers love to utilize.

Palito laid low from Philippine cinema in the '90s, only occasionally playing bit parts, like in the 1992 film by contemporary comedian/actor Dolphy, Home Along The River, a send-up of the popular American Home Alone franchise. In 1993, he acted in Walang Matigas na Buto sa Gutom na Aso.

On June 17, 2004, burgeoning comedy actor Vhong Navarro portrayed the veteran comedian in a TV real-life drama series, Maalaala Mo Kaya, focusing on his life story as a survivor of the Japanese occupation during World War II and his heyday as a slapstick comedian during the 1970s and 1980s.

Palito starred in an independent film, Enterpool: Senior Citizen in Action, released 24 August 2005, in the midst of the decline of Philippine cinema. While it was received well by nostalgic movie-goers and local movie critics, it failed to take the general public's notice due to lack of promotion and marketing. His last movie was M.O.N.A.Y. in 2007.

Palito's family, the Hipolitos, sold their house in Pacita Complex in San Pedro, Laguna in 2004 and moved to Imus, Cavite for a smaller place in a low-cost housing subdivision in Cavite.[6]

Once voted as one of the top ten Filipino comedians of all-time, Palito engaged in small stage shows to make a living in his last years. He had a low-paying job performing a live music show Tuesday evenings in a small casino in Santa Cruz, Manila.[7]

Illness and death

In the first quarter of 2010, Palito, a known smoker, was confined to a hospital for a month due to lung problems. After returning home from work on April 6, 2010, he was rushed to the Imus Family Hospital due to complaints of stomach pain. He was later transferred to the ward section of Philippine General Hospital that very night.

Mark Escueta, drummer of the band Rivermaya who worked with Palito for the music video of their single "Ambotsa", was first to announce the news of Palito's illness via Facebook. Several young celebrities called for donations through their respective Twitter accounts while help was extended from showbiz colleagues. Among the visitors was former Philippine president Joseph Estrada.

Palito was declared dead at 7:05 a.m. on April 12, 2010 in the Philippine General Hospital from a lung complication.[8]

Filmography

Film

Kabayo Kids
M.O.N.A.Y (Misteyks obda neyson Template:Not a typo Yata) ni Mr. Shooli 2007
Enterpol 2004
Home Along da River 2002 Kumander Dengue
Tik Tak Toys: My Kolokotoys 1999 Man in All White
Wow... Multo! 1997 Elevator Man
Hataw Tatay Hataw 1994 Don Ramon
Baby Paterno 1994 Dugong pulis
Sobra Talaga 1994
Walang Matigas na Buto sa Gutom Na Aso 1993
Pempe ni Sara at Pen 1992 Pempe's Passenger
Isang Salop na Bala 1990
Kabayo Kids 1990 Judas
1990 Judas Twist: Ako si Ikaw, Ikaw si Ako 1990 Watch Buyer
Wooly Booly: Ang Classmate Kong Alien 1989
Bote, Dyaryo, Garapa 1989
M & M: The Incredible Twins 1989
Pardina at ang Mga Duwende 1989 Canuto
Magic to Love 1989 Payat
Yes, Yes, Yo Kabayong Kutsero 1989
Pepeng Kuryente 1988 Toothpick
Sheman: Mistress of the Universe 1988 Skeleton
Super Inday and the Golden Bibe 1988
Penoy... Balut 1988
Love Letters 1988 Hercules (segment "Episode 3: Eternally")
Kambal Tuko 1988 Papay
Love Boat: Mahal Trip Kita 1988 Mandurukot
BoboCop 1987
Family Tree 1987
James Bone Agent 008 1986
Balimbing (Mga taong hunyango) 1986
Horsey-horsey: Tigidig-tigidig 1986 Ka Byong
Isang Platitong Mani 1986
No Blood, No Surrender 1986
Rocky Four-ma 1986
Super Islaw and the Flying Kids 1986 Pepe
Working Boys 1986 Bogart
Inday Bote 1985 Duwende
Mama Said Papa Said I Love You 1985
Rambuto 1985
John & Marsha '85 (Sa Probinsiya) 1985
Mga Kwento ni Lola Basyang 1985 Zambo (segment "Zombies")
Ride on Baby 1985 Punkistina's Henchman 1
Super Wan-tu-tri 1985
Naku Ha! 1984
Barok Goes to Hong Kong 1984
Give Me Five! 1984
Rambo Tan-go 1984
Atsay Killer 1983
Mang Kepweng and Son 1983
Tatlo Silang Tatay Ko 1982
Cross My Heart 1982
Manedyer... si Kumander 1982
Mga Kanyon ni Mang Simeon 1982
Bilibid Gays 1981
Iskorokotoy 1981
A Man Called 'Tolongges' 1981 Djangolat
Pabling 1981
Enteng-Anting 1980
Darna at Ding 1980
Hepe 1980
Juan Tamad Junior 1980
Nognog 1980
Kuwatog 1979
Isa... Dalawa... Tatlo... Ang Tatay Kong Kalbo 1979
Mahal... Ginagabi Ka Na Naman 1979
Al Magat's Mang Kepweng 1979
Tatay Na Barok 1979
Sabi Barok Lab Ko Dabiana 1978
Barok 1976
Palito Pollito 1973
Pitong Zapata 1965

Television shows

References

  1. http://www.pep.ph/articles/14766/Rediscovering-Palito/1/2
  2. Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150. ISBN 9780994411235. 
  3. Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150-151. ISBN 9780994411235. 
  4. Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 151. ISBN 9780994411235. 
  5. Leavold, Andrew (2017). "The importance of being Ernesto", The Search for Weng Weng. Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 150-153. ISBN 9780994411235. 
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named abs-cbnnews
  7. http://dennisvillegas.blogspot.com/2009/01/palito-philippine-comedian.html
  8. Archived copy. Archived from the original on April 15, 2010.

Works cited

  • Leavold, Andrew. The Search for Weng Weng (Book). Australia: The LedaTape Organisation, 2017. Template:ISBN

External links