On May 1, 1976, ten Filipino critics agreed to discuss the annual award-giving situation in the local industry. All in agreement that there must be an alternative to FAMAS, the only award giving body in the Philippines. The ten critics, mostly academics, were Pio de Castro, Behn Cervantes, Pete Daroy, Mario Hernando, Bien Lumbera, Doy del Mundo, Manny Pichel, Nick Tiongson, Gino Dormiendo, and Nestor Torre. Most of them were part of FAMAS roster of judges. Most, questioned the recent years winners. According to the website, Wikepedia: “The 1972 Best Actress tie that materialized between major star Boots Anson-Roa and then-rising star Vilma Santos” was a good example of the disillusionments experience by the academics. “…the tie was unheard of at that time, which resulted in accusations of lessening prestige on the part of FAMAS.” Ironically, Gawad will have numerous ‘tie” winners in their future set of winners, including a string of ‘tie” involving their early favorite, Nora Aunor. Headed by Nestor Torre, the nine critics agreed to review films and release quarterly citations of best films with the final nominations and winners announce at the end of the year.
Over the years, the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Filipino Film Critics) considered the equivalent of the United States’ New York Film Critics Circle, established themselves as the most credible award giving bodies in the Philippines. They are known for having a long discussion for each of their award categories resulting sometimes in heated debate and unfortunately the unavoidable “tie” between nominees. Since 1976, the group has eluded controversies that rival groups endured. The oldest award, FAMAS has experienced two renegade or break away groups resulting in costly legal battles and low television ratings. Another group, the Philippine Movie Press Club is considered second to Gawad Urian, Star Awards had experience a similar fate, they also had a break away group, creating their own awards, the Golden Screen Awards. With the advent of new awards, now ten, and still counting. Gawad Urian remained strong and the most sought after. Currently, the Manunuri are consists of: Rolando B. Tolentino, Grace Javier Alfonso, Butch Francisco, Mario A. Hernando, Bienvenido Lumbera, Miguel Q. Rapatan, Benilda S. Santos, Dr. Nicanor G. Tiongson, Tito Genova Valiente and Lito B. Zulueta
Vilma Santos has become a big part of Gawad Urian. Although she wasn’t considered their early favourite, they developed a long fondness to the actress, many considered as the Meryl Streep of the Philippines cinema. Fourteen best actress nominations spanning three decades and eight wins: 1982’s Relasyon, 1983’s Broken Marriage, 1984’s – Sister Stella L; 1989’s – Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga; 1991’s Ipagpatawad Mo; 1993’s Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story; 1998’s – Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa; and 2002’s Dekada 70. Most of these films were cited when Vilma received the University of the Philippines’ highest honours, the Gawad Plaridel in 2005. Vilma also won two Gawad Urian special awards as the Actress of the Decade, for her body of work and Gawad Urian wins for the 1980s and 1990s. She also recieved a Gawad Urian best picture award in 1978, as film producer for the film, Pagputi Ng Uwak Pagitim Ng Tagak.
Vilma Santos did ten films in 1976, mostly for commercial release. The only serious contenders for award derby were the dramedy directed by Eddie Rodriguez, Hindi Nakakahiya, and Emmanuel Borlaza’s drama, Mga Rosas sa Putikan. Clearly, Vilma Santos wasn’t ready for the big league drama competition. Ganito Kami Noon…Paano Kayo Ngayon dominated the very first URIAN awards with nominations for several major categories and winning best picture, best director (Eddie Romero) and best screenplay (Eddie Romero and Roy Iglesias). Romero defeated a worthy bunch of directors, Bernal for Nunal Sa Tubig, Brocka for Insiang, Mike De Leon for Itim and lupita Concio for Minsa’y Isang Gamogamo. The acting awards went to Vic Silayan for Ligaw na Bulaklak and Nora Aunor for Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos. Vic Silayan’s stiff competition was from the very young Christopher De Leon in Ganito Kami while Nora’s four other competitors were Charo Santos (Itim), Daria Ramirez (Nunal sa Tubig), Hilda Koronel (Insiang), Lolita Rodriguez (Lunes, Martes …), and Mona Lisa (Insiang). Supporting actor went to Ruel Vernal for Insiang while Maya Valdez (Lunes, Martes …) and Yvonne (Ligaw na Bulaklak) were tie for supporting actress.
The next year, Vilma Santos were more equipped with three films: Castillo’s festival entry, Burlesk Queen; Bernal’s Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon and Elwood Perez’ Masarap Masakit ang Umibig. The Manunuri took noticed and cited the three films in several categories, including best actress. Hubad Na Bayani was acclaimed as the best picture of 1977. Compensated for the noticeable absence on their very first award ceremony, Vilma Santos’ films Burlesk Queen and Dalawang pugad…Isang Ibon gave Hubad na Bayani a stiff competitions. Ishmael Bernal, the director of Dalawang Pugad snatched the best director award from remarkable nominees, Lino Brocka for Tahan na Empoy Tahan, Celso Ad. Castillo for Burlesk Queen, Mike De Leon for Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising, Eddie Romero for Banta ng Kahapon, and Hubad Na Bayani’s director, Robert Ylagan. The acting went toBembol Roco for Sa Piling ng Mga Sugapa (he was using the screen name, Rafael Roco Jr. back then) and Daria Ramirez for Sino’ng Kapiling, Sino’ng Kasiping. Aunor wasn’t even nominated, Vilma was nominated for her breakthrough film, Burlesk Queen and Hilda Koronel for the slick and glossy film, Kung Mangarap Ka’t Magising. For the supporting categories, Vilma’s co-stars, Mat Ranillo III (Dalawang pugad… Isang Ibon) and Rolly Quizon (Burlesk Queen) were nominated for best supporting actor that went to Lito Legaspi for Sino’ng Kapiling, Sino’ng Kasiping. The best supporting actress went to Armida Siguion-Reyna for Tahan na Empoy, Tahan. Rosemarie Gil was nominated for Burlesk Queen.
Then in 1978, the Manunuri cited only three films for their top awards. Hindi Sa Iyo Ang Mundo Baby Porcuna, Ikaw ay akin and Pagputi ng Uwak Pagitim ng Tagak duke it out with Vilma Santos self produced Film winning. Pagputi won four awards including best director for Celso Ad Castillo; best screenplay for Castillo, Ishko Lopez, Lando Perez Jacob and Ruben Arthur Nicdao; best supporting actor for Joone Gamboa; and best sound for Gaudencio Barredo. Castillo’s main competitor for the best director award were Ishmael Bernal for Ikaw ay akin, a Vilma Santos-Nora Aunor starrer, Lino Brocka for Mananayaw, Eddie Garcia for the controversial local festival entry, Atsay and Danny Zialcita for Baby Porcuna. For acting categories, Christopher De Leon received her very first URIAN for Ikaw ay akin, defeating Dolphy in Ang Tatay Kong Nanay and Bembol Roco for Boy Pana. Vilma Santos wasn’t nominated for Pagputi or for her Brocka film, Rubia Servious instead she was cited together with he co-star Nora Aunor in Bernal’s Ikaw Ay Akin. Both lost to Beth Bautista for Hindi Sa Iyo Ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna. The supporting actor nod went to Joone Gamboa for Pagputi and Chanda Romero for Boy Pana.
Like the previous year, URIAN nominated only three films for their best picture award, Berbal’s Aliw, Zialcita’s Ikaw at ang Gabi and Brocka’s Jaguar fight it out with Jaguar claiming victory. The three directors also fought for the best director together with Maryo J. De Los Reyes who were nominated for High School Circa ’65. Jaguar also won the writing category for Jose Lacaba and Ricardo Lee. From last year’s big win as film producer and nomination for Ikaw Ay Akin, Vilma wasn’t even nominated for any of her films in 1979, particularly, Halik sa Kamay Halik sa Paa or Pinay, American Style. The female lead role award went to Charito Solis for Ina, Kapatid, Anak. Her stiff competition were Lolita Rodriguez and Nora Aunor both for Ina Ka ng Anak Mo. While Jaguar dominated the supporting acting categories, won by Menggie Cobarrubias and Amy Austria, the film’s lead, Philip Salvador failed to grab the best actor. The award went to Dindo Fernando for Ikaw…at ang Gabi.
1980 produced five high quality films. Eddie Romero’s Aguila; Brocka’s Bona; Abaya’s Brutal; Bernal’s City After Dark, Kakabakaba ka ba got the best picture nominations with Bernal’s film taking the top prize. All of these directors were nominated for best director together with Laurice Guillen for Kasal with Mike De Leon edging them out. Kakabakaba kaba will also win the best supporting actor for Johnny Delgado. In addition to the top prize, City After Dark received the best screenplay for Ishmael Bernal and the best actor for Bernardo Bernardo, a surprise winner against Dindo Fernando (Langis at Tubig) and Phillip Salvador (Bona). For the best supporting actress, Daria Ramirez won her second URIAN for Aguila. Like the previous year, Vilma was not nominated for any of her efforts, Langis at Tubig or Miss X. The best actress were a tie. Gina Alajar (Brutal) and Nora Aunor (Bona) were declared the co winners.
For their 6th year, the 1981 Gawad Urian cited four films for their best picture category: Romy Suzara’s Pepeng Shotgun, Mel Chionglo’s Playgirl, Mike de Leon’s Kisap Mata and Laurice Guillen’s Salome. Salome was the winner. The four directors were also nominated for best director together with Ishmael Bernal for Pabling. Guillen was also the winner for Salome. In addition to picture and director awards, Salome also won the best screenplay for Ricardo Lee and the best actress award for Gina Alajar. Alajar’s strong competitors were Charito Solis for Playgirl and Nora Aunor for the forgettable Bakit Bughaw ang Langit. Vilma Santos were again got the cold shoulder from the Manunuri as she wasn’t even cited for any of her films: Pakawalan Mo Ako (where she won a FAMAS), Hiwalay, Karma (where she won the best actress from Metro Manila Film Festival) or Ex-Wife. For male acting categories, Vic Silayan received his second best actor defeating the late Johny Delgado, nominated for Salome. Charito Solis received her second URIAN, this time for the supporting role.
1982 harvested a string of high quality films: Batch ’81, Himala, Moral, Oro Plata Mata and Relasyon, all vying for the best pictures Urian. Oro Plata Mata edged out the other four. It also won the best director honour for Peque Gallaga. Gallaga defeated Marilou Diaz-Abaya (Moral), Ishmael Bernal (Himala and Relasyon), Lino Brocka (Cain at Abel) and Mike de Leon (Batch ’81). The writing category went to Clodualdo del Mundo, Raquel Villavecencio at Mike de Leon for Batch ’81.
Noticeably ignored many times by the Manunuri, Vilma Santos was nominated for her sympathetic mistress role in Relasyon. She is up against Nora Aunor’s epical role for Himala, Gina Alajar and Lorna Tolentino’s feminist film Moral. The Manunuri surprised everyone by declaring Vilma Santos as their 7th best actress winner. The other award giving bodies (FAMAS, Film Academy of the Philippines, CMMA) also declared Vilma Santos as their best actress and the term “grand slam” were born in local entertainment industry. As for the other acting categories, Philip Salvador won the lead actor and Baby Delgado, supporting actress both for Cain At Abel, and Mark Gil won the supporting actor for Palipat-lipat, Papalit-palit. The Manunuri gave the Natatanging Gawad Urian to veteran actress, Anita Linda, who is still very active today. She starred in this year’s Venice Film Festival entry, Lola.
The following year, the Manunuri nominated only two films for their best picture, a quick turn around from a very promising 1982. Regal Films’ Broken Marriage joined Cine Suerte’s Karnal in a two way run for each categories. Broken Marriage won the top award for Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal and best director for Ishmael Bernal. Bernal defeated four worthy competitor: Maryo J. De Los Reyes for Saan Darating ang Umaga, Lino Brocka for Hot Property; Marilou Diaz-Abaya for Karnal and Laurice Guillen for Init sa Magdamag. In addition to best picture and director, Broken Marriage also win best screenplay for Jose Carreon, Bing Caballero and Bernal; Best Editing for Jesus Navarro; Best Sound for Rudy Baldovino as well Vilma Santos’ second best actress award. Proving that her win for Relasyon from last year wasn’t just a fluke, Vilma handedly won the trophy without much competition, literally. She won only up against one competitor, Cecille Castillo for Karnal. The best actor went to Phillip Salvador for Karnal, which just like the best actress category was up against one competitor, Vilma’s co-star, Christopher De Leon. The supporting categories were much more competitive, veteran Actor Vic Silayan won her third URIAN for Karnal (he already won for best actor for Ligaw Na Bulaklak and supporting for Kisap Mata). He defeated Joel Torre (Karnal), Len Santos (Broken Marriage), Rey Ventura (Broken Marriage). Notice the four actors were from the two films, Broken and Karnal. Just like Vic Silayan, Charito Solis received her third URIAN, also for Karnal besting out co-star, Grace Amilbangsa and a surprise nominee, Liza Lorena for the melodrama, Don’t Cry For Me Papa.
Vilma Santos dominated the URIAN for the past two years, with the initial grand slam feat in 1982 for Relasyon and the dominance of Broken Marriage the following year. Her string of hits, like Gaano Gadalas Ang Minsan, Sinasamba Kita, and Paano Ba Ang Mangarap established her as the most bankable stars of the 80s. In the mixed of these glossy, commercial projects were quality films like Relasyon and Broken Marriage. Both films fared well at the box office and award. Would three in row be possible? Vilma’s 1984 film projects consists of: Lino Brocka’s Adultery, Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Alyas Baby Tsina and Mke De Leon’s Sister Stella L. The first two, managed to do well at the box office, but the last wasn’t lucky enough. It did poorly against Sharon Cuneta’s film, Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala. Vilma’s dominance in the last two years revamped the interest for her rival, Nora Aunor to come up with more serious projects. And this year proved to be a good match, mano a mano. Nora came up also with three films: Gil Portes’ ‘Merika; Mario O’Hara’s Bulaklak sa City Jail and Condemned.
Come URIAN, Vilma and Nora received the attention their fans has been craving for since the mid 70s. The arrival of Sharon Cuneta as a threat to Vilma Santos’ supremacy at the box office and the impossibility that the Manunuri will give Vilma a third consecutive best actress put high hope to many Nora Aunor fans. They are all in high spirits as two Nora Aunor films were nominated for the best picture Bulaklak sa City Jail and ‘Merika against only one for Vilma, the box office flop, Sister Stella L. Another Regal Film, Sinner or Saint, completed the four nominated best picture films. Sadly, the Manunuri can’t ignore the quality of Mike De Leon’s film. Sister Stella L won best picture, director, screenplay (Jose F. Lacaba, Jose Almojuela and Mike de Leon), actor (Jay Ilagan), supporting actor (Tony Santos, Sr.), supporting actress (Laurice Guillen), editing (Jesus Navarro), music (Ding Achacoso), sound (Ramon Reyes) and the best actress to Vilma Santos! Vilma won three consecutive best actress, a feat at that time. She defeated Claudia Zobel for Sinner or Saint, Gina Pareño for Working Girls, Sarsi Emmanuelle for Boatman and two nominations for rival, Nora Aunor, ‘Merika and Bulaklak sa City Jail.
Meanwhile, De Leon defeated a bunch of good directors, Marilou Diaz-Abaya for Vilma’s Baby Tsina, Tikoy Aguiluz for Boatman, Pio de Castro III for Soltero, Mel Chionglo for Sinner or Saint and the two Aunor films, Mario O’Hara for Bulaklak sa City Jail and Gil Portes for ‘Merika. In the lead actor, Jay Ilagan who is also nominated in his other film, Soltero defeated, Tommy Abuel for Bukas May Pangarap, Ronnie Lazaro for Boatman and Phillip Salvador for Baby Tsina. In the supporting actor, Tony Santos Sr, Ka Dencio in SSL, defeated unknown actors Alfredo Salanga for Boatman and Cesar Aliparo for ‘Merika and two actor for Baby Tsina, Len Santos and the late Dindo Fernando. And in the supporting actress, Laurice Guillen defeated co-stars in SSL, Gina Alajar and Liza Lorena and for Bulaklak sa City Jail, Celia Rodriguez Perla Bautista.
Vilma Santos did two films in 1985, the comedy Doctor Doctor We Are Sick and the melodrama, Muling Buksan ang Puso both were deservingly ignored by the Manunuri. The critics refocused their attention to the comeback works of their favorite directors Bernal, Brocka, Castillo and Gallaga. The five best picture bets were Bernal’s Hinugot sa Langit, Brocka’s Kapit sa Patalim and Miguelito Ang Batang Rebelde, Peque Gallaga’s Virgin Forest and Celso Ad. Castillo’s Paradise Inn. Brocka’s Bayan Ko won the top award but the best director went to his rival, Ishmael Bernal for Hinugot sa Langit. Kapit also won writing for Jose Lacaba, and lead actor for Phillip Salvador. The lead actress went to a tie between, Gina Alajar for Kapit sa Patalim and the late, Nida Blanca for Miguelito, Ang Batang Rebelde. And the supporting acting categories went to Lito Anzures for Paradise Inn and Liza Lorena for Miguelito.
The start of mid 80s wasn’t as promising for the film critics, as happened in late 70s only three films were cited for the top award, Bagong Hari, Takaw Tukso and Unfaithful Wife. Takaw Tukso won. Takaw’s director, William Pascual won the best director and its lead role, Jacklyn Jose won the best actress, co-sharing the honour with Pilar Pilapil for Napakasakit Kuya Eddie. In another tie, Anita Linda for Takaw Tukso and Nida Blanca for Magdusa Ka were declared co-winners in supporting actress as well. The best actor went to Unfaithful Wife’s Michael de Mesa and supporting actor went to Napakasakit Kuya Eddie’s Aga Muhlach. As for Vilma, she did three box office hits in 1986, Asawa ko Huwag Mong Agawin, Palimos Ng Pag-ibig and Yesterday Today & Tomorrow. All three were commercial success but was ignored by the Manunuri. The following year, 1987, the Manunuri decided not to hand out any awards.
For the 1988 awards, the Manunuri rewarded four films with best picture nominations: Anak ng Cabron, Itanong Mo Sa Buwan, Kapag Napagod ang Puso, and Misis mo Misis Ko. Itanong Mo Sa Buwan, a Chito Rono film won the top honours as well as best director for himself. The acting categories went to Ace Vergel (Anak ng Cabron) and Jaclyn Jose (Itanong Mo Sa Buwan) for leading roles. The supporting went to Lito Pimentel (Kapag Napagod ang Puso) and Perla Bautista (Anak ng Cabron). Vilma did one film this year, Elwood Perez’ Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos that the Manunuri ignored.
By the end of 80s, Vilma Santos has curved her mark in the URIAN history. Three remarkable wins (1982, 83, 84), Could 1989 be added to the three year feat? The shortage of quality films were noticeable in the later part of the 80s. 1989 was an exemption. The Manunuri generously nominated five films: Willie Milan’s Ang Pumatay ng Dahil Sayo, Elwood Perez’ Bilangin ang Bituin Sa Langit, Augusto Salvador’s Joe Pring, Brocka’s Macho Dancer, Bernal’s Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga. Ishmael Bernal’s film about life and death, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga won him the best director award, best picture for Regal, best screenplay for Jose Javier Reyes, and best cinematography for Manolo Abaya, Eduardo Jacinto at Nonong Rasca. For the acting categories: Christopher De Leon for another Vilma Santos starrer Imortal and Gabby Concepcion for Pahiram were nominated for lead actor but both failed to win as Daniel Fernando claimed his very first URIAN for Macho Dancer. As Vilma’s best friend who took care of her finances in Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga, Vicky Suba was cited in the supporting actress but it wasn’t enough to dethrone Jaclyn Jose. Jose won the best supporting actress award, also for Macho Dancer. In the supporting actor, Eric Quizon, claimed his first URIAN as the volatile painter in Pahiram. Then the best actress, went to: IT’S A TIE! Again! Beating Helen Gamboa for Kailan Mahuhugasan Ang Kasalanan and a very strong performance from post child actress, Janice de Belen for Rosenda, Nora Aunor (Bilangin ang Bituin Sa Langit) and Vilma Santos (Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga) were declared co winners!
The new decade brought two worthy films from Vilma Santos: Laurice Guillen’s Kapag Langit Ang Humatol and Lino Brocka’s Hahamakin Lahat. The Manunuri took noticed and rewarded the films with nominations. Brocka did the Vilma starrer, Hahamakin Lahat for Regal and Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak for Viva Films, a Dina Bonevie drama. Gumapang proved to be the better of the two as it won the best picture and best director nominations. But Hahamakin earned best actor nomination for Gabby Concepcion. Meanwhile Guillen’s Kapag Langit earned the best picture nomination together with Andrea Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina, My Other Woman and Gumapang. Surprisingly, Guillen won the best director defeating Lino Brocka, Maryo J. De Los Reyes (My Other Woman) and Chito Roño (Kasalanan Bang Sambahin Ka). Kapag Langit also earned nominations for writing, Emmanuel Borlaza and Salvador Royales; actress, Vilma Santos; supporting actress, Carmina Villaroel and Kristine Garcia; production design, Edgar Martin Littaua. It won two technical awards in addition to Guillen’s best director: cinematography for Romeo Vitug and editing for Efren Jarlego. The leading actor went to Christopher De Leon for My Other Woman and leading actress, to Nora Aunor for Andrea Paano Ba Ang Maging Isang Ina. The supporting awards went to Michael de Mesa (Ikasa Mo, Ipuputok Ko) and Gina Alajar (Biktima). Despite losing the best actress award, Vilma did not went home empty handed, she received the highest award as one of three top actress of the past decade (1980s). the other actress were Nora Aunor and Gina Alajar. Philip Salvador received the male category.
Vilma Santos did only one film in 1991. In comparison to two the previous year. Guillen’s follow-up film from last year’s Kapag Langit ang Humatol was Ipagpatawad Mo, a family drama about an autistic child. Laurice’s second film with Vilma as director proves to be a memorable one for Viva Films, known for their slick, glossy films. Guillen secured the best picture award for Viva defeating Lino Brocka’s Sa Kabila ng Lahat and a strong film from Carlos Siguion-Reyna’s Hihintayin Kita sa Langit. Last year’s best director Guillen missed this time. The best director went to Siguion-Reyna. Over all, Ipagpatawad mo earned nominations for best director for Laurice Guillen; best actor for Christopher De Leon; best supporting actor for Terence Baylon; best production design for Edgar Martin Littaua; best cinematography for Eduardo Jacinto; and best editing for Efren Jarlego. And won best picture for Viva films, best screenplay for Olive M. Lamasan and best actress for Vilma Santos. She defeated four of the most in-demand actress of the early 1990s: Dawn Zulueta for Hihintayin Kita sa Langit; Dina Bonnevie for Sa Kabila ng Lahat; Lorna Tolentino for Kislap sa Dilim and Nora Aunor for Ang Totong Buhay ni Pacita M. The other acting trophies went to: Richard Gomez, best actor for Hihintayin Kita sa Langit; Gabby Concepcion best supporting for Makiusap Ka sa Diyos; and Nanette Medved, best supporting actress for Sa Kabila ng Lahat.
Like the previous year, Vilma did one film, Maryo De Los Reyes’s Sinungaling Mong Puso. Although not nominated for best picture, Sinungaling won nominations for acting and other categories in 1992’s Gawad Urian. The Manunuri gave two films: Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin of Regal Films and a co production of Regal and Reyna Films, Ikaw Pa Lang ang Minahal their best picture nominations. Ikaw Pa lang won the best picture together with best director for Carlos Siguion-Reyna. Sinungaling Mong Puso was nominated for best director, Maryo J. De Los Reyes; best supporting actor, Gabby Concepcion and best actress for Vilma. Three of the acting awards went to Narito Ang Puso Ko: lead actors to Gaby Concepcion and Lorna Tolentino; and supporting to Amy Austria while the supporting actor went to Tirso Cruz III for Kahit Buhay Ko. The Natatanging Gawad Urian was given to Mary Walter, the veteran actress who co-starred with Vilma in memorable films like Baby Tsina (1984), Dalawang pugad, isang ibon (1977), Lipad, Darna, lipad! (1973) and Edgar Loves Vilma (1972).
The following year, Vilma did two films, Guillen’s Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story and Chito Rono’s Ikaw Lang. Both did well at the box office and earned nominations from the Manunuri. Dahil Mahal Kita was cited for best picture and best director but lost to Jose Javier Reyes film, Makati Ave. Office Girls produced by Regal films. For acting categories: Saan Ka Man Naroroon won best actor for Richard Gomezand best supporting actress for Sharmaine Arnaiz. The best supporting actor went to Ronaldo Valdez for May Minamahal. Finally, the best actress went to Vilma Santos for Dolzura.
Vilma Santos did three films in 1994, all were commercial success: Nag-iisang Bituin, Relaks ka Lang Sagot Kita and Lipa: Arandia Massacre. The last two won awards at FAMAS including best picture for Lipa. However, the Manunuri deservingly ignored these films. Their top films were Regal films’ The Fatima Buen Story and The Secrets of Sarah Jane Salazar and Maq’s Wating. Fatima Buen, Kris Aquino’s first attempt to big league acting was the big winner with its director, Mario O’Hara defeating notable directors, Ishmael Bernal for Wating, Maryo J. De Los Reyes for Sarah Jane, Laurice Guillen for Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang. For the acting categories: Richard Gomez won best Actor for Wating, John Regala won supporting actor for The Fatima Buen Story and Chin-Chin Gutierrez won supporting actress for Maalaala Mo Kaya. For the best actress, the Manunuri decided to give their best actress to Gelli de Belen for The Secrets of Sarah Jane Salazar instead of Carmina Villaroel for Wating or Kris Aquino for Fatima. The only notable citation that was related to Vilma Santos was the best screenplay nomination Jose Javier Reyes earned for Nag-iisang Bituin. Lastly, the Natatanging Gawad Urian went to Leopoldo Salcedo, the character actor who co-starred with Vilma Santos in her breakthrough film Burlesk Queen in 1977. Also, Happy Days Are Here Again (1975), Darna and the Giants (1974), Biktima (1974), Anak ng aswang (1973), De colores (1968).
No Vilma Santos film in 1995. The big winner in URIAN was Star Cinema’s Sana Maulit Muli. The film won best picture defeating The Flor Contemplacion Story, a Nora Aunor starrer. Despite the failure of Flor to win the top award, the film won best director for Joel Lamangan and best actress to Nora. Nora shared the award with co-winner, Helen Gamboa for Bagong Bayani. Best Actor went to Aga Muhlach for Sana Maulit Muli. Supportings went to Ricky Davao for Ipaglaban Mo, The Movie and Jaclyn Jose for Flor. The next year, Vilma Santos did Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko, with the late Fernando Poe Jr. The forgettable film did poorly at the box office and was automatically ignored by the Manunuri. Six citations were given to six films this year, noticeably plentiful for the top honour in URIAN’s standard. Bakit May Kahapon Pa?, Istokwa, Madrasta, Mulanay, Radio Romance, and Segurista were all nominated with the last declared the winner. The film’s director, Tikoy Aguiluz also won the best director. For the best actress, Nora Aunor, again share the honour with another actress. She won for Bakit May Kahapon Pa, with Sharon Cuneta for Madrasta. Sharon will record a grand slam this year, winning the best actress in the other award giving bodies. The following year, 1997, Vilma Santos’ only film was with Christopher De Leon. This was their 20th film. Hanggang Ngayon Ika’y Minamahal, directed by Ike Jarlego Jr was a commercial success but was ignored by the Manunuri. Just like last year, six films were cited for the top honour, Batang PX, Damong Ligaw, Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin, Milagros, Minsan Lamang Magmamahal and Nang Iniwan Mo Ako. Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s Milagros won best picture and best director for herself. Best actress went to Zsa Zsa Padilla for Batang PX.
Vilma Santos did another breakthrough performance in 1998. Her performance earned her several Best actress trophies locally. Star Cinema won top honours from the URIAN in their 22nd ceremony for Chito Roño’s Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa defeating Marilou Diaz Abaya’s two important films, Jose Rizal and Sa Pusod ng Dagat both produced by rival company GMA films. The other competitions were both from Good Harvest films, Jeffrey Jeturian’s Sana Pag-ibig Na and Lav Diaz’s Serafin Geronimo, Kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion. All the above directors were nominated for best director that Abaya won for Jose Rizal. Bata Bata nominations for best editing for Jaime Davila; best music for Jesse Lasaten; best sound for Michael Albert Idioma and best supporting for Raymond Bagatsing. Despite losing in supporting category, Jaime Fabregas was declared the winner for Jose Rizal, Bagatsing won in the male lead role for Kriminal ng Baryo Concepcion. In addition to nominations and best picture win, Bata Bata won three more: best screenplay for Lualhati Bautista, best supporting actress for child star, Serena Dalrymple and best actress for Vilma Santos. The Natatanging Gawad Urian was given to comedian, Dolphy. Vilma and Dolphy did one film together, 1979’s Buhay Artista Ngayon. There is no Vilma Santos film in 1999. Despite this, Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa, now re-titled Lea’s Story continued its winning streak. Touring the festival circuit, the film earned Vilma, her first international best actress at a festival in Brussels. The film was also exhibited in different cities in Canada and the USA. The Manunuri awarded their top honours of 1999, Bayaning 3rd World including best director to Mike De Leon. Best Actress went to Elizabeth Oropesa for Bulaklak ng Maynila defeatingNora Aunor for her comeback film, Sidhi.
For the first year of the new millennium, Vilma Santos did one film. Rory Quintos’ Anak. The film was a commercial succes and earned two citations from the Manunuri: best actress nomination for Vilma and best supporting actor nomination for Baron Geisler. The Manunuri gave the best picture to Regal’s Tuhog while Tanging Yaman received the other top honours for best director for Laurice Guillen and best actress for Gloria Romero. Another veteran, Eddie Garcia won best Actor for Deathrow. The Natatanging Gawad Urian was given to the late Nida Blanca. Vilma and Nida worked together in Elwood Perez’ Ibulong mo sa Diyos. The Manunuri also handed out their Actress of the Decade award. Vilma Santos shared the actress category with rival, Nora Aunor and Richard Gomez received the actor.
No Vilma Santos film the following year, 2001. The Manunuri, rewarded Lav Diaz the best director and JmCN Productions the best picture for Batang West Side respectively. Then on 2002, Vilma Santos did another memorable performance in another Lualhati Bautista novel, Dekada 70. Dekada earned nominations in several categories at the 26th Gawad Urian. It shared top honours with Mga Munting Tinig, both proclaimed as 2002’s best picture. Best Director went to Munting Tinig’s Gil Portes while the writing went to Lualhati Bautista for Dekada. Other nominations for dekada went to Manny Morfe for production design and Albert Michael Idioma for sound. Christopher De Leon earned nomination for best actor for Dekada but lost to Jay Manalo, the winner for Prosti. The other awards won by Dekada were for acting. Best Actress went to Vilma Santos and best supporting actor to Piolo Pascual. The supporting actress went to Elizabeth Oropesa for Laman. The Manunuri gave their Natatanging Gawad Urian to film legend, Fernando Poe Jr. FPJ and Vilma did three films together, Batya’t Palu-palo, Bato Sa Buhangin and Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko.
As expected, there’s no Vilma film in 2003. The Manunuri bestowed their accolades to Star Cinema’s Magnifico. Its director Maryo J. De Los Reyes, previously ignored by the Manunuri finally got the best director award. Three acting awards went to Magnifico: best actor to child star, Jiro Manio; best supporting actor to Albert Martinez and best supporting actress to Gloria Romero. The best actress went to Cherrie Pie Picache for Bridal Shower. For the Natatanging Gawad Urian, Ricardo Lee joined the prestigious lists that includes Manuel Conde, Lamberto Avellana and Gerardo De Leon. Some of the Vilma Santos films that Ricardo Lee wrote were: Anak (2000), Dahil mahal kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story (1993), Hahamakin lahat (1990), Baby Tsina (1984), Haplos (1982), Relasyon (1982), and Miss X (1980).
The next year, 2004, Regal films asked Vilma to do the third installment to the Mano Po franchise. A Metro Manila Film Festival entry, MP3: My Love was a big hit and won awards. Despite a strong competition from Ebolusyong ng Isang Pamilyang Pilipino, Milan and Sabel, Cesar Montano’s self-produced film, Panaghoy sa Suba dominated the 28th Gawad Urian. The film won three major awards for Cesar Montano: best picture, director, and actor. Sabel won two acting awards: Wendell Ramos won best supporting and lead star, Judy Ann Santos defeated contemporary, Claudine Barreto for Milan and the two veterans, Nora Aunor for Naglalayag and Vilma Santos for Mano Po 3: My Love. The Manunuri gave the Natatanging Gawad Urian to veteran actress, Gloria Romero. Vilma Santos and Gloria worked together in films like: Saan nagtatago ang pag-ibig? (1987), Makahiya at Talahib (1976), Karugtong ang kahapon (1975), Lipad, Darna, lipad! (1973), Anak ng aswang (1973), Pinagbuklod ng langit (1969), Iginuhit ng Tadhana (1965).
The next two years, she did guest appearance as herself in 2006’s D’Lucky Ones and some TV guest appearances. Meanwhile the Manunuri rewarded Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros as their top film for 2005 and its film director, Mes de Guzman the best director. Robin Padilla won best actor for La Visa Loca and Jaclyn Jose won best actress for Sarung Banggi. The next year, 2006, Kubrador won best picture and Jeff Jeturian the best director. For the top acting awards, Gina Pareno won best actress again for Jeturian’s Kubrador. And another Padilla won the best actor, this time Robin’s brother, Rustom won the best actor for his role as gay super hero, ZsaZsa Zaturnah. Eddie Garcia received the Natatanging Gawad Urian. Eddie Garcia’s most notable works with Vilma as an co-stars were: Mano Po III: My love (2004), Ibulong mo sa Diyos (1988), Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (1986), Minsan pa nating hagkan ang nakaraan (1984) and Karugtong ng kahapon (1971). He also worked with Vilma as director in memorable films like: Imortal (1989), Palimos ng pag-ibig (1985); Sinasamba kita(1982); and Pinagbuklod ng langit (1969).
For the 31st Gawad Urian, Tirador was acclaimed as 2007 best film, and the film’s director, Brilliante Mendoza, pre-Cannes fame, won best director. Mendoza’s other film Foster Child gave Cherry Pie Picache the best actress. The Natatanging Gawad Urian went to Marichu Vera Perez Maceda, she produced several Vilma Santos starrer, most notably, Nakawin natin ang bawat sandali (1978), Pakawalan Mo Ako (1981) and Rubia Servios (1978).
Vilma Santos Gawad Urian Recognitions:
- 1977 Best Actress Nomination – Burlesk Queen
- 1978 Best Actress Nomination – Ikaw Ay Akin
- 1978 Best Picture – Pagputi Ng Uwak Pagitim Ng Tagak (VS Films)
- 1982 Best Actress – Relasyon
- 1983 Best Actress – Broken Marriage
- 1984 Best Actress – Sister Stella L
- 1989 Best Actress – Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga
- 1990 Best Actress Nomination – Kapag Langit Ang Humatol
- 1990 Actress of the Decade 1980s
- 1991 Best Actress – Ipagpatawad Mo
- 1992 Best Actress Nomination – Sinungaling Mong Puso
- 1993 Best Actress – Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story
- 1998 Best Actress – Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa
- 2000 Best Actress Nomination – Anak
- 2000 Actress of the Decade 1990s
- 2002 Best Actress – Dekada 70
- 2004 Best Actress Nomination – Mano Po 3: My Love
- 2009 Best Actress Nomination – In My Life