Palito

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For the Argentine singer, see Palito Ortega.
Palito
Born Reynaldo Alfredo R. Hipolito
(1934-09-04)September 4, 1934
Calamba, Laguna, Philippines
Died April 12, 2010(2010-04-12) (aged 75)
Manila, Philippines
Other names Naldo, Palito
Occupation Actor/Comedian
Years active 1960–2007
Spouse(s) Remedios Zapanta-Hipolito

Palito (born Reynaldo Alfredo R. Hipolito, September 4, 1934 – April 12, 2010[1]) 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[edit]

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 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 be 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.[2] 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. With moneymaking films, he would then join the cast of films with Fernando Poe Jr., Dolphy, Chiquito, Panchito, Pugo & Togo, Pugak at Tugak, Ramon Revilla, Sr., and many other big names in Philippine cinema.

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 1980s. He starred in several comedy movies parodying American action films, such as Rambuto,a Rambo spoof, the title being a pun of the Tagalog word buto which means "bone", again to capitalize on his being "thin-boned", and a James Bond spoof, James Bone, where he plays an emaciated version of the secret agent. Other popular movies of his were No Blood, Kumander Kalansalay, Walang Matigas na Buto sa Gutom na Aso, and Rambo Tango.

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 90's, 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.

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.[1]

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 Sta. Cruz, Manila.[3]

Personal life[edit]

He was married with Remedios Zapanta and 4 children: Cristy, Gerardo, Danilo and Reynaldo Jr. With stepson Kent with grandchildren.

Illness and death[edit]

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

Mark Escueta, drummer of the band Rivermaya who worked with Palito for the music video of their single “Ambotsa,” was the first to break the news of Palito's illness via Facebook. Several young celebrities called for donations through respective Twitter accounts while help was extended from showbiz colleagues. Among 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.[4]

Filmography[edit]

Movies[edit]

M.O.N.A.Y (Misteyks obda neyson adres 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
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
Kambal tuko 1988 Papay
Love boat: Mahal trip kita 1988 Mandurukot
Love Letters 1988 Hercules (segment "Episode 3: Eternally")
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
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
Mang Kepweng 1979
Tatay na barok 1979
Sabi barok lab ko dabiana 1978
Barok 1976
Buhawi 1973
Pitong Zapata 1965

Television shows[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]