Eric Quizon Talks About Dolphy’s Ordeal with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diesease During the Press Event of World COPD Day

Eric Quizon graced the press event for World COPD Day 2014 on Wednesday, November 19, to discuss his father's ordeal with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and help promote awareness about the disease which is fast becoming the third leading cause of death worldwide.

Eric Quizon

I must admit that when I first heard about the four letters “COPD,” I’m clueless of what each letter stands for. Actually the first thing that came to my mind was a TV drama series about cops like the show “NYPD.” But it’s actually more serious than that.

COPD stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. The disease starts when harmful gases are inhaled and damage the lung’s airways and air sacs. These harmful gases maybe in the form of cigarette smoke, bio mass fuel (such as charcoal or firewood), air pollution and occupational dust. The damages in the lungs cause symptoms of breathlessness, cough and phlegm production.

After I got a text invite to attend the World COPD Day press event last Wednesday and googled the meaning of COPD, I did not hesitate because I knew it will be beneficial for me because I have asthma and allergic rhinitis which is somehow connected with any diseases of the lungs like COPD. Not only I can help promote this advocacy, I also got some questions in my mind about the disease that got answered.

I have to say there are so many people, yes including me, that are unaware of what COPD is when in fact this disease is NOW a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the 21st century. The Global Burden of Disease Study by the World Health Organization projected that COPD will become the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020.


In the Philippines, it ranks as the 7th leading cause of death with a prevalence rate of 13.8% in Manila. Despite the high incidence of COPD in the Philippines, only 2% of the cases are diagnosed by doctors in contrast to the overall prevalence. The cause of this under-diagnosis and under-treatment is probably due to lack of public health awareness of COPD in our country.

Prevalence of COPD in PH

COPD is characterized by persistent airflow limitation that is usually progressive and associated with an enhanced chronic inflammatory response in the airways and the lungs. Cigarette smoking continues to be identified as the most commonly encountered risk factor, accounting for 80-90% of cases. Other risk factors that should be taken into account include air pollution, exposure to certain dust, chemicals in the workplace, indoor air pollution from biomass cooking (i.e. firewood/charcoal), and heating in poorly ventilated dwellings. Only a few cases of COPD are caused by genetic condition.

A clinical diagnosis should be considered in any person 40 years old and above who has risk factors such as exposure to noxious particles or gases. A COPD patient may not feel anything at the start and develop cough and sputum production during the mid to late stage of the disease. Thus, high index of suspicion is needed for any person with risk factors. Spirometry is needed to make a confident diagnosis of COPD. It is one of the diagnostic tools that is often underutilized in the Philippines. A person with risk factors and symptoms should ask his/her doctor about spirometry testing.

Why COPD is increasing

The impact of COPD is not only confined to its ill effects on the individual’s health but may also result in an economic and social burden that is both extensive and increasing. There is a direct relationship between the severity of COPD and the cost of care. In developing countries like the Philippines, COPD will certainly force two individuals to give up their work – the person afflicted with COPD and a family member who must now stay home to care for the sick individual. Given that people are often the most vital asset for developing nations, the indirect costs of COPD potentially pose a serious threat to their economies.

Appropriate pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic interventions are needed to reduce the symptoms, frequency and severity of exacerbations and improve health status and exercise tolerance. Smoking cessation is without doubt still the single most effective way of reducing the risk of developing COPD and delaying its progression.

Eric Shares Dolphys Ordeal

It is important to remember that for COPD patients, early detection of the disease and appropriate interventions are vital. These can help slow down its advance and facilitate quality of life for the patient. In this line that actor/director Eric Quizon shared their family’s ordeal with COPD when Dolphy, the Comedy King, suffered greatly from this disease and eventually became the cause of his death. Eric shared with the members of the press and bloggers how Dolphy got the disease, what they did after learning that their father was diagnosed with the disease and things that they should have done that could have extend Dolphy’s life.

“My father was a heavy smoker. I’m a witness to that and I remembered there were times that he would have poker games in the house for three days straight. They’re just sitting there, smoking and drinking the whole time and it’s like a chimney in the house, the smoke was like everywhere.

“At the age of 46, he had to consult a doctor. And then the doctor diagnosed him and found out that his lungs were already so black and he already has emphysema at that time. And aside from that he was also asthmatic so it caused an alarm because he has poor lungs to begin with. But during that time nobody knows what COPD is and nobody could explain what it is.

“The only time that our family discovered that he was sick was when he turned 80. He has this like an oxygen tank that we carry with him wherever he go. After his birthday we have a 9 city tour in the United States. During the course of the tour (the third leg), all of the sudden he had like shortness of breath, he was having difficulty, his blood pressure was going up. He was scared, I knew he was scared like it was written all over his face. But he was able to go on with the show.

“Until suddenly Zsa Zsa approached me and said Eric we have to do something because your dad is sick. So we consulted his doctor and that’s when we found out that he has COPD. It was very emotional for the family knowing that the disease is a progressive disease and that there is no cure. There was no timeline given and it his lungs just slowly deteriorates. It was really difficult for the family and we knew that eventually he will die.”

“On the bright side, the ordeal solidified our whole family, all seven units of our family.”

Watch the full video of Eric’s talk here:

The lesson that Eric would like the public to know about COPD is summed up through the 2014 World COPD Day theme: IT’S NEVER TOO LATE.

COPD is a treatable disease. It is never too late for a patient to seek medical consultation. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies are available to help people at all stages of disease feel better and live a more active life. They should only follow the prescription of the COPD doctor religiously. Pharmacological treatment includes drugs that dilates the airways (bronchodilators) and prevents further lung damage (anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs if taken religiously are effective.

Non-pharmacological therapies to treat COPD, on the other hand, include the following:
o Smoking cessation or continued noxious gas exposure prevention,
o Vaccination against flu and pneumonia
o Pulmonary rehabilitation.

Pulmonary rehabilitation is one of the most effective treatments for a COPD patient. It involves patient going to the pulmonary rehab center wherein they exercise, gets education, advises and social support on how to cope up with disease and live a happy life. Information for access to a pulmonary rehabilitation program can be obtained from the PCCP website.

Doctors and guests took pledge to help raise awareness about COPD:

My pledge

Bloggers also took pledge to help raise awareness about the disease by posting these messages on the wall:

Blogges took pledge

And here is my pledge:


2 Comments on Eric Quizon Talks About Dolphy’s Ordeal with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diesease During the Press Event of World COPD Day

  1. Article writing is also a excitement, if you know after
    that you can write if not it is difficult to write.

  2. Starmo please correct the article title, the spelling of the word Diasease should be Disease

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