|Name Panchito Alba|
Role Film actor
|Parents Etang Discher|
Siblings Emil Tagle
|Born February 25, 1925Paco, Manila, Philippine Islands (1925-02-25) |
Died December 18, 1995, Paranaque, Philippines
Movies Alyas Batman en Robin, Enteng, the Dragon, Balisong
Similar People Dolphy, Babalu, Rene Requiestas, Joey de Leon, Etang Discher
Panchito Alba (born Alfonso D. Tagle Sr.; February 25, 1925 – December 18, 1995) was a FAMAS award-winning Filipino film actor who almost exclusively appeared in comedy roles. He was billed as either "Panchito Alba" or simply "Panchito". He was known for his swarthy looks and a prominent big nose, which was often the target of ridicule. Panchito frequently appeared as a comedic foil to Dolphy, with whom he was best friends in real life.
Panchito was born in Paco, Manila. His mother, Etang Discher, became a prominent film actress beginning in the 1940s, often cast in villainous roles. One of his brothers, Emil, also became a film actor. He was married with children. His aunt, Elaina Discher, was also a Filipina actress. Panchito's career in show business began in 1942 when he joined a bodabil troupe called "Travel Stage Show" which performed in various theaters in Japanese-occupied Manila The then 14-year-old Dolphy was also a member of the troupe, thus beginning a lifelong association.
Panchito's film career began when he, along with Dolphy, were cast by Sampaguita Pictures in the Tita Duran-Pancho Magalona musical Sa Isang Sulyap Mo, Tita. It was a career that lasted until his death. In 1955, Panchito was awarded the FAMAS Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Lupang Kayumanggi. His film career thrived despite his involvement in a 1964 mauling incident in Quezon City that led to the filing of a criminal information against him and several others for frustrated murder, though the case against him would be later dismissed.
Panchito is perhaps best known for his over 50-plus film team-ups with Dolphy in such movies as Kalabog en Bosyo (1959); Beatnik (1960); Si Lucio at Miguel (1962); Pepe and Pilar (1966); Pacifica Falayfay (1969); Fefita Fofongay (1973); Bugoy (1979); and Bakit Kinagat ni Adan ang Mansanas ni Eba? (1989). The partnership likewise extended to television, where the duo would co-star in an ABS-CBN variety show, Buhay Artista (1965–1972). The tandem was famous for a comedic duet routine wherein one would interrupt the other to offer a mangled translation of the Tagalog lyric into English or vice versa. On July 4, 1966, Dolphy and Panchito would open for The Beatles at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex during that band's infamously abbreviated concert tour of Manila.
Apart from his partnerings with Dolphy, Panchito became known as a supporting player in many other film comedies. He was frequently cast as an authority figure such as a policeman, a politician, a father-of-the-family, and memorably, as the hula skirt-clad music teacher of Jaena High School in the Joey de Leon-Rene Requiestas starrer Elvis and James (1989) and as "Paenguin" (a parody of Batman's arch-nemesis The Penguin) in the comedy-spoof Alyas Batman en Robin (1991).
In October 1995, Panchito suffered a stroke that left him comatose. Video of him lying incapacitated in bed aired on Philippine television. He died two months later, on December 18, 1995, 2 days after the death of Bert Tawa Marcelo, and week before release of his last film Father en Son which starred Dolphy and his son Vandolph.
In 2007, Alpha Music Corporation released an album-compilation entitled The Best of Dolphy & Panchito, featuring 14 comedic duets of the comic tandem.