Premiere Nights

Premiere Nights 1

Oh, it’s October, month of the “Holy Rosary!” Kay bilis malagas ng mga araw, hindi natin namamalayan, bagong taon na naman. Nagkakaedad na tayong lahat subali’t andito pa rin tayo…..humahanga pa rin kay Miss Vilma Santos. Kung sabagay, sabi nga nila, age is just a number, hehehe! Sa tinagal-tagal sa industriya ng pelikulang Pilipino ni Vilma, apatnapu at anim na taon na siya sa pelikula to be exact, kulang-kulang sa limang dekada ay hindi pa rin siya matinag sa kanyang kinalalagyan. Nagsilaho na ang kanyang mga kakontemporaryo. Nagsusulputan na ang mga bagong mukha subali’t parang bulalakaw na mabilis ding nawawala. Si Vilma ay andiyan pa rin…nagniningning pa rin ang kanyang bituin…tinitingala pa rin hindi lang bilang isang magaling na alagad ng sining kundi isa na ring mahusay na public servant. Pero kahit na nasa itaas siya ay nakatuntong pa rin siya sa lupa kaya naman lahat halos ng mga nangyayari sa kanya ay pulos positibo, kahit na minsan ay may mga taong bumabatikos sa kanya. Ipinagsasawalang kibo na lang niya ang mga ito, para que pa nga naman eh pampa-stress lang yan noh! At dahil diyan, siya pa rin ang Nag-iisang Bituin…nakakapag-demand ng mataas na talent fee sa kanyang mga pelikula at commercials na ginagawa. Siya pa rin ang “premiere actress” ng bansang Pilipinas. At yamang napapag-usapan ang kanyang pagiging “premiere actress” kung kaya’t balikan natin ang mga “premiere night” ng mga pelikula ni Governor Vilma Santos-Recto.

Noong araw, madalang ang mga pelikulang may “premiere night.” Ang mga sinehang pinagdarausan ng mga “premiere night” noon ay mga nangawala o nagsipagsara na katulad ng Galaxy Theater sa Avenida Rizal, Lyric Theater sa Escolta, Rizal at Magallanes Theater sa Makati City, New Frontier at Remar Theater sa Cubao, Quezon City at Gotesco Theater sa Recto Avenue, Quiapo, Manila. Nauso na ang mga “malls” na karaniwan ay may apat hanggang labingdalawang sinehan na pinagpapalabasan ng mga pelikula. Nilamon na ng mga sinehan sa mga naglalakihang malls ang mga lumang sinehan noon. Eh bakit pa nga ba ikaw manonood sa mga dating sinehan samantalang kung sa “mall” ka pupunta ay andun na lahat…..supermarket, department store, food court, amusement center at may mga shows pa. Ngayon…..halos lahat ng pelikulang tagalog ay may “premiere night”…..na karaniwan ay may mga nag-iisponsor at ito ay ginaganap sa mga sinehan sa mga malls. Pati ang mga digital films ay may “premiere night” na rin na sa UP Film Center ipinalalabas.

Ang pelikulang Pakawalan Mo Ako na ipinalabas noong Mayo 29, 1981 ay nag-premiere showing sa Lyric Theater at sponsored ito ng Catholic Women’s League Manila Chapter. Natandaan ko pa noon na ang pases na ginamit ko para manood ng pelikulang ito ay ibinigay lang sa akin ng isa kong kaopisinang tagahanga ni Nora Aunor. Eksaktong alas siyete ng gabi ito nagsimula. Walang artistang dumalo sa nasabing premiere night subali’t nang ito ay muling nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater ay talagang may mga nabasag na salamin sa lobby ng sinehan dahil sa pagkakagulo ng mga manonood. Si Vi ay hindi nakarating dahilan sa siya ay kapapanganak lamang kay Luis. Ang pelikulang ito kung saan si Elwood Perez ang naging direktor ay tinatampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Anthony Castelo ay isa sa mga sumira ng takilya. Nakamit ni Vi ang pangalawang best actress award mula sa Famas sa pelikulang ito.

Nang mag-premiere night naman ang unang pelikula ni Vi sa Viva Films na Sinasamba Kita na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay talagang naging pandemonium. Ito ay ginanap sa New Frontier Theater, Cubao, Quezon City at nang makapasok na ang mga tao sa loob at magsisimula na ang pelikula ay nagkalat ang mga tsinelas sa lobby ng sinehan na naiwan ng mga tagahangang natapakan ng mga nais makapanood ng pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 19, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Philip Salvador at Lorna Tolentino.

Sunud-sunod ang mga pelikula ni Vilma sa Viva Films na nagkaroon ng premiere night at katulad ng mga nauna ay nagkakagulo pa rin ang kanyang mga tagahanga. Ito ay ang mga pelikulang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? at Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na sa New Frontier Theater din ginanap. Ang New Frontier Theater pala ay itinuturing na pinakamalaking sinehan sa buong Asia nang mga panahong yun. Ang Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan? na idinerek ni Danny L. Zialcita ay ipinalabas noong Nobyembre 11, 1982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Hilda Koronel…..samantalang ang Paano Ba Ang Mangarap? na idinerek naman ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas noong Hunyo 9, 1983 at tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon at Jay Ilagan.

Ang premiere night ng pelikulang Never Ever Say Goodbye ay sa Galaxy Theater naman ginanap. Bukod kay Vi ay dumalo din ang mga stars ng nasabing pelikula katulad nina Nonoy Zuñiga. Nagkaroon pa ng isang maliit na programa bago nag-umpisa ang pelikula. Ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Oktubre 7, 1982 sa direksiyon ni Gil Portes.

Sa Magallanes Theater ginanap ang premiere showing ng pelikulang tinatampukan ni Vi at ni Nora Aunor na T-Bird At Ako. Hindi dumalo ang dalawang lead stars ng pelikula, yung mga supporting stars lamang ang mga dumalo pati na rin ang prodyuser ng pelikula na si Irene Lopez. Si Danny L. Zialcita ang direktor ng pelikulang ito na ipinalabas noong Setyembre 2, 982 at tinampukan din nina Dindo Fernando at Tommy Abuel.

Sa Film Center sa Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikula ng Mirick Films na inilahok sa 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival na Haplos. Kasama ni Vi sa pelikulang ito sina Christopher de Leon na nanalong best actor at Rio Locsin sa direksiyon ni Butch Perez. Hindi nakadalo si Vi at Boyet subali’t andun si Rio Locsin na kasama pa noon ang asawang si Al Tantay.

Premiere Nights 2Samantala, nagkaroon ng double screening sa loob lamang ng isang gabi sa Rizal Theater ang pelikulang Sister Stella L. Punung-puno ang dalawang screening at grabe ang naging reception ng mga tao. Umaatikabong palakpakan ang maririnig sa loob ng Rizal Theater nang matapos ang pelikula. Nakita kong dumalo doon sina German Moreno at Babette Villaroel. Palibhasa’y ang Rizal Theater ay malapit lang sa Forbes Park, Bel-Air, Dasmariñas Village at San Lorenzo kung kaya’t karamihan sa mga nanood ay mga alta sosyedad. Sosyal talaga ang pelikula at ito lang yata ang pelikulang pinapalakpakan ng mga tao pagkatapos ng screening, maging ng mga class C, D at E. Nagkaroon din ng mga special screening ang pelikulang ito ni Mike de Leon sa iba’t ibang paaralan ng Metro Manila. Di nga ba’t isa si NEDA Secretary Ralph Recto na nanood nito na noon ay estudyante pa lang? Inilabas ito sa mga sinehan noong Hulyo 12, 1983 at napanalunan ng pelikulang ito sa Urian ang halos lahat ng awards sa iba’t ibang kategorya kabilang na ang tatlong taong sunud-sunod na best actress award ni Vi.

Ang una’t huling pelikula ni Vilma sa Via Hoffman Films na Tagos Ng Dugo ay nag-premiere night sa New Frontier Theater din. Bago pa dumating si Vi ay halos isara na ng mga guwardiya ang pintuan ng sinehan dahilan sa hindi na nila ma-accomodate ang napakaraming taong manonood. Nang dumating si Vi ay agad sinimulan ang pelikula. Sa loge ng sinehan naupo si Vi at ang kanyang mga co-stars. Nang matapos ang pelikula at magbukas ang ilaw ay walang humpay sa pagkaway si Vi sa mga taong nasa ibaba ng sinehan. Ang mga taong nanood ay walang pagod sa kasisigaw sa pagtawag kay Vi. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes ay nag-regular showing sa mga sinehan noong Enero 25, 1987. Sa pelikulang ito natamo ni Vi ang ikaapat na best actress award sa Famas at pangalawa naman niya sa Catholic Mass Media Award.

Ang pelikulang tinampukan ni Vi kasama sina Tonton Gutierrez, Ricky Davao at Cherrie Gil na may pamagat ng Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig? ay sa Rizal Theater din nag-premiere showing. Sobrang dami ding tao ang nanood palibhasa’y dito noon ginaganap ang Vilma Show nang panahong yun. Ang pelikulang ito na idinerek ni Eddie Garcia ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Setyembre 2, 1987. Dito sa pelikulang ito nanalo si Tonton Gutierrez ng kanyang best actor award mula sa Catholic Mass Media Award at Star Awards for Movies. Si Eddie Garcia ay nanalo ring best director mula sa iba’t ibang award giving bodies.

Ang true-to-life story ni Dolzura Cortez na pinamagatang Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story ay sa New Frontier Theater nag-premiere night. Dumalo sa nasabing premiere showing ang dating Secretary of Health na naging senador na si Flaviano Javier na umaming isang Vilmanian siya. Ito ang kauna-unahang pelikulang tumatalakay sa isang taong may AIDS (Acute Immune Deficiency Syndrome). Ito ay inilahok ng Octo Arts Films sa Manila Film Festival kung saan nasungkit ni Vi ang best actress award. Ito ay sa direksiyon ni Laurice Guillen. Nakamit din ni Vi ang kanyang pangalawang grand slam sa pelikulang ito.

Sa Greenhills Theater naman nag-premiere showing ang pelikulang Nag-iisang Bituin na bukod kay Vi ay tinampukan din nina Christopher de Leon, Aga Muhlach at ng isa ring Vilmanian na si Jao Mapa. Ito ang unang pelikula ni Vi kay Jose Javier Reyes na nag-regular showing noong Agosto 31, 1994. Isa sa mga sponsors ng pelikulang ito, kung saan si Vi ang endorser, ay ang Eskinol Facial kung saan namahagi sila sa pamamagitan ng paghahagis ng maliliit na bote ng Eskinol sa mga taong manonood. Isa sa mga Vis na nanood ay aksidenteng tinamaan sa mata subali’t ito ay kanilang ipinagamot.

Ang pelikulang pinagsamahan nina Vi, Gabby Concepcion, Aga Muhlach at Aiko Melendez na may pamagat na Sinungaling Mong Puso ay nag-premiere night sa Gotesco Theater. Tulad ng dati, nagkabasag-basag na naman ang mga salamin sa lobby ng sinehan. Nang mag-regular showing na ang pelikulang ito sa mga sinehan noong Agosto 27, 1993 ay bumabagyo at binaha pa ang ibang sinehang pinaglabasan ng nasabing pelikula subali’t super blockbuster pa din ito quesehodang nakababad ang mga paa ng ibang taong nanood. Ang pelikulang ito ay idinerek ni Maryo J. de los Reyes. Dito nagwagi si Aga ng best actor award at si Gabby naman ay best supporting actor.

Sa Remar Theater naman nag-premiere night ang pelikulang tinampukan nina Vi, Cesar Montano at Ronnie Ricketts na Ikaw Lang sa direksyon ni Chito Roño. Hindi magkamayaw ang mga tao nang dumating ang mga lead stars. Ang pelikulang ito ay ipinalabas sa mga sinehan noong Enero 12, 1994.

Ang pelikula tungkol sa OFW na Anak ay nag-premiere showing sa dalawang sinehan ng SM Megamall. Hindi mahulugang karayom ang mga taong nanood ng nasabing pelikula. Dumating ang mga lead stars ng pelikula at talagang walang katapusang tilian at sigawan ang mga fans sa loob ng sinehan habang pinapanood ang nasabing pelikula. Ipinalabas ang pelikulang ito noong May 12, 2000 sa kasagaran ng mga bomb threats subali’t hindi ito naging hadlang para hindi pasukin ng tao ang pelikula. Ito na yata ang pelikulang pinilahan ng husto sa takilya. Ang pelikulang ito ay sa direksiyon ni Rory Quintos at dito muling nabigyan si Vi ng box-office queen award kahit na hall of famer na siya. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies at Pasado. Ang pelikulang ito din ang nanalong best film ng Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Nagkaroon ng ilang linggong exhibit sa lobby ng Robinson’s Galeria noong December 2002 ang pelikulang Dekada ’70. Mga damit, sapatos at iba’t ibang aksesorya noong dekada ’70 ang naka-display sa exhibit. Ang premiere showing naman nito sa isang sinehan ng Robinson’s Galeria ay dinaluhan nina Charo Santos, Malou Santos, Chito Roño at ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Piolo Pascual, Marvin Agustin, Carlos Agassi, John Wayne Sace at Danilo Barrios. Dumalo din si Marilou Diaz Abaya at panay ang bati niya sa mga stars at direktor ng pelikula. Dito sa pelikulang ito nasungkit ni Vi ang kanyang pang-apat na grand slam.

Sinabi noon ni Mother Lily Monteverde na ang final Mano Po movie ay itong pelikula nina Vi at Boyet na panlaban nila sa 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival na Mano Po 3 My Love, subali’t hindi ito nangyari dahil may mga sumunod na Mano Po pa. Nagkaroon ng red carpet premiere night ang nasabing pelikula sa SM Megamall. Dumalo ang mga stars ng pelikula na sina Vi, Boyet, Angel Locsin, Karylle, Dennis Trillo, Angelica Panganiban, Carlo Aquino, Jay Manalo, Boots Anson Roa, Eddie Garcia, Patrick Garcia, John Pratts at iba pa. Nanalong best actress at best actor sina Vi at Boyet. Nanalo ring best picture ang pelikula ganundin ang best float. Ito ang unang directorial job ni Joel Lamangan kay Vilma. Nanalo din si Vi ng best actress award mula sa Star Awards for Movies, Gawad Tanglaw at Gawad Suri.

Sa kabuuan, ang lahat ng “premiere night” na pelikula ng tinaguriang “premiere actress” ng bansa ay talagang malaking tagumpay. Panalong-panalo talaga!!!. – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Premiere Nights 3Unprecedented Stella L Premiere – Kung ang batayan ay ang premiere night ng Sister Stella L na ginanap sa Rizal theater noong June 22, sigurado nang dudumugin nang masa ang pelikulang ito ni Mike De Leon kapag regula showing na ito sa commercial theaters. Talaga namang very, very successful ang nasabing premiere night at ayon nga sa mga nakakaalam, never in the history of local cinema na ang isang pelikula’y dalawa ang screenings sa premiere showing at parehong SRO. Obviously, maraming A-B crowd nung gabing ‘yon, tulad ng grupo ni Chona Kasten na namataan namin, pero marami ring mga manggagawa at mga miyembro ng iba’t ibang sektaryang pang relihiyon. Ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night na ‘yon ay ang The Organization for the Promotion of Church People’s Right/Response (PCPR). Ang Sister Stella L na pelikula ng Regal Films ay ipapaplabas umpisa sa July 14. – Movie Flash Magazine, July 12 1984

Paano malalaman kung magiging malakas sa takily ang isang pelikula? Isa sa mga sukatan ang premiere ngiht. Hangga’t maari’y ayaw ng ibang produser na magpa-premiere night. Usually kasi, may nag-iisponsor nito, at sa kanila, sa charity – kung tutoo mang sa charity – napupunta ang bayad sa takilya. At siyempre pa, dahil premiere night ekstra ang halaga ng tiket, P25 sa orkestra, P50-100 sa balcony at loge. Bukod sa malaking kawalan din yon sa produser sa regular run ng pelikula, puewede pang mapintas-pintasan ito, at pag kumalat iyon, bagsak ang pelikula! Sa isang dako, kung gustong makatulong ng produser sa charity, at kung sampalataya siya sa kanyang pelukula, mainam magpa-premiere night para higit na maipaalam sa lahat na maganda ito. Iyon ang nasa isip ni Mother Lily nang ipa-premiere night ang “Sister Stella L.” sa Rizal theater sa Makati. Umbrella organization ng mga madre ang nag-isponsor ng premiere night, dalawang screening iyon. Umuulan nang gabing iyon, pero dagsa pa rin ang mga tao. Siksikan. Gayunpama’y disiplinado. Marami rin kasi sa mga ito ang mga madre. Kung karaniwan nang umaasa pa rin sa walk-in ang ibang nagpapa-premiere night, iba naman ang nangyari sa “Sister Stella L.”

Bago pa ang first screening, dakong alas sinko-medya, sold out na ang tiket. Nakikiusap na talaga ang mga hindi nakabili ng tiket na bibili sila, pero ubos na. Dumating doon ang ina ng tunay na Sister Stella L. “No, my daughter is not an activist, she only wanted to help the needy,” sabi nito. Sa kasalukuya’y nasa abroad daw ito, nagtungo roon pagkaraang lumabas mula sa pagkaka-detain ng 11 months sa isang militar camp. Mula sa siyuting ng “Alyas Baby Tsina,” dumating si Vilma Santos. Kagulo sa kanya ang mga tao sa lobby. Magkasabay na pumasok sina Gina Alajar at Michael De Mes, at naisip namin, mali nga ‘ata ‘yung balitang nagkahiwalay sila. Very, very successful ang premiere night na iyon. Katunayan, gusto pa itong masundan ng isang labor sector, tumanggi na lang si Mother Lily. “They will give me raw three hundred thousand, but I said no. Paano naman ang regular run ko?” – Bibsy Estrella (READ MORE)

“…The Bicol Festival Foundation, in cooperation with Philtanco, is sponsoring the movie premiere of the film Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig?, tonight at 7:30, at the Rizal Theatre in Makati. The movie, directed by Eddie Garcia, stars by Eddie Garcia, stars Vilma Santos, Gloria Romero, Ricky Davao, Cherie Gil, Alicia Vergel and Tonton Gutierrez. The Bicol Festival Foundation is headed by Justice Francis F. Gachitorena of the Sandiganbayan. Film director Garcia who is a Bicolano himself has offered this latest Vilma Santos starrer to the Bicolanos, many of whom have been devastated by typhoon Herming a few weeks ago. He said, ‘This is my little contribution in the Bicolano’s who will be celebrating the Penafrancia Festival next month.” The Bicolanos in Manila will hold teh Grand Bicolandia Festival from September 7-13 at the Manila Garden Hotel in Makati and many activities have been schedule to drum up support for the plight of the Bicolanos in the provinces. Tickets are available a the theater gate at Visual Horizons with telephone no. 815-0024 or Philtranco at telephone no. 833-7180…” – Manila Standard, Sep 01 1987 (READ MORE)

LATEST NEWS - Premiere Night Jul 25 2012 3The Healing’s Premiere Night – “…The entire cast of “The Healing,” led by multi-awarded actress and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and young actress Kim Chiu, arrived together, wearing red outfits and flashing smiles to fans who attended the event. Santos was escorted by her husband Senator Ralph Recto. Before the movie was screened, Santos said she is truly proud of this movie because she and the rest of the cast really worked hard to make it beautiful. “We’re all very excited and we would like to thank each and everyone of you for joining us in the premiere night of ‘The Healing.’ Pinamamalaki po naming lahat ito dahil pinagpaguran namin,” she said. Santos said she is hoping moviegoers would enjoy the film and feel scared at the same time. Among the celebrities who attended the premiere night were Piolo Pascual, Maja Salvador, Matteo Guidicelli and Robi Dominggo. Chiu’s former boyfriend Gerald Anderson was also there as well as actor Xian Lim, who is currently being linked to her…The Healing was graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and it opens in theaters nationwide today, July 25…” – ABS-CBN News (READ MORE)

LATEST NEWS - July 2013 Ekstra Gala 1Eksta’s Premiere Night – “…As early as 5:00 p.m., people were already queuing for the 6:15 screening. The line became longer in just a few minutes, while other people were excitedly awaiting the arrival of Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto. The Vilmanians were hoping to get a glimpse of their idol enter the Main Theater. The celebrities started arriving, which made the task of containing the crowd a little difficult for the ushers. But they politely obliged when they were asked to clear the area leading to the Main Theater. When the signal was given that the moviegoers could now enter the theater, the people dashed toward the main entrance, hoping to be the first to get inside. This could have been a scene straight from Philippine cinema’s classic eras, such as the pre-martial law Manila film festivals. And the star of the night was a veteran performer with 5 decades in the industry. Vilma said the premiere erased her apprehensions about venturing into independent cinema for the first time. “Yung pinaka-reception kanina, yun na ang pinaka-bayad namin (The reception was already the reward).” Jeturian was a PA (production assistant) in the 1984 production of Marilou Diaz Abaya’s “Alyas Baby Tsina.” Vilma was the star of that film, and Jeturian remembers already dreaming of becoming a filmmaker at the time…” – Rappler (READ MORE)

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2002 Best Actress Awards

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Novel to Film “…”Dekada ’70,” the eagerly awaited filmization of Lualhati Bautista’s seminal novel in the explosive ’80s, has eight nominations. Best director nominee Chito Rono successfully focuses the novel’s many-sided dimensions on a mother’s stirring from domestic conventions and sensibilities as her family copes with the changes wrought by a collapsing order. The movie, written by Bautista herself and nominated for best screenplay, manages to provides viewers, particularly the young, with the feel of the Marcos years, reacquainting them with a particularly sordid passage in history when innocence was ravaged and continuity was ruptured. The wonder is that the movie did not get the lion’s share of the technical design (Manny Morfe), and sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc) – should at least suggest its achievement. Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon are strong contenders for best actor and best actress, while yound actor Piolo Pascual is nominated for best supporting actor. The 26th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the society of respected film critics, will be held on May 17 at the AFP Theater…” – Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2003 (READ MORE)

The Light “…Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to “Dekada ’70” and “Mga Munting Tinig,” This was unexpected because “Dekada” was a major production that took many months to make, while “Munting Tinig” was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be “Dekada” is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while “Munting Tinig” is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films’ contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian’s Best Picture award…The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in “Dekada ’70” is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively “passive,” “colorless” and “undramatic” portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie’s central Bartolome family, spent most of the film’s running time meekly following her husband’s dictates, like most women in the ’70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn’t true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie’s time frame, this “passivity” was an astute artistic decision on Vilma’s part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in “Dekada” was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer – May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

Anak natin si Piolo? “…Gawad Urian best supporting actor Piolo Pascual (“Dekada ’70”) arrived early at the awards ceremony Saturday night and reserve a seat for “Dekada ’70” costar Vilma Santos, who would later be declared best actress. Vilma and Piolo played mother and son in the moving Chito Rono movie based on the screenplay by Lualhati Bautista, who won for best screenplay. Piolo was very affectionate to “mom” Vilma, hugging and kissing her when she arrived. He was seen clasping her hands moments before his name was announced as best supporting actor at theTeatro Arturo Enrile in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City…The movie critics’ group paid tribute to writer Ricardo “Ricky” Lee by naming him the recipient of the Natatnging Gawad for lifetime achievement for his invaluable contributions to the film industry for more than three decades. The award was handed to him by three of the many actresses who breathed life to his creations – Vilma (“Relasyon”), Dina Bonnevie (“Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak”) and Gina Alajar (“Salome”). Lee has so far written about 120 screenplays and won some 50 awards. His most recent work, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s “Bagong Buwan,” was honored by many local and international award-giving bodies…Edu Manzano was very effective as the show’s only host. He kept the audience awake and laughing with his witty remarks, delivered with his trademark deadpan expression. Even Piolo and Vilma were not spared from Edu’s jokes. he imitated Piolo after the young actor delivered a very emotional acceptance speech. When Vilma said she was sharing her award with her costars in “Dekada ’70,” particularly to her “eldest son” Piolo, the camera caught Edu having his own dramatic highlights.” “What?” he asked his ex-wife in mock surprise, “Anak natin si Piolo?…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 20, 2003 (READ MORE)

Star Awards “…Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos still gets the jitters when accepting acting awards. She bested five other equally worthy nominees to the best actress throne in last Saturday’s Star Awards for Movies at the UP Theatre. She won for her moving portrayal of a timid mother empowered by the death of her son in Chito Rono’s period drama, “Dekada ’70,” which was an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Ironically, Ara Mina, who edged out Vilma from the best actress derby in the MMFF, was not among those cited by Star Awards. Vilma competed with Sharon Cuneta (“Magkapatid”), Maricel Soriano (“Mano Po”), Claudine Baretto (“Kailangan Kita”), and Alessandra de Rossi (“Mga Munting Tinig”)…” – Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 11, 2003 (READ MORE)

FILM REVIEW: DEKADA ’70 2/2

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For Film Review: Dekada ’70 1/2 CLICK HERE

The Plot: – Dekada 70 is a story of a family caught in the midst of a tumultuous time in Philippine history – the martial law years. Amanda (Vilma Santos) and Julian (Christopher Deleon) is a picture of a middle class couple with conservative ideologies, who must deal with raising their children, five boys – Jules (Piolo Pascual), Isagani (Carlos Agassi), Emmanuel (Marvin Agustin), Jason (Danilo Barrios) and Bingo (John Sace) in an era marked by passion, fear, unrest and social chaos. As siblings struggle to accept the differences of their ideologies, as a father faces the painful dissent of his children, a mother’s love will prove to be the most resonant in the unfolding of this family’s tale, will awaken to the needs of her own self, as she embarks on a journey of discovery to realize who she is as a wife, amother, a woman and a Filipino. – Star Cinema

The Reviews: True Gift – “…For these reasons, we believe that Vilma’s character in “Dekada ’70” is the female lead, while Ara’s role in “Mano Po” is a supporting player. This is because “Mano Po” is an “ensemble” film, with not just one of two but many members of the central family involved in various ways in slowly and painfully reorienting the Chinese family’s attitudes and actions in relations to Filipinos and to the Philippines, where the family lives, works, and has held her emotions in check to keep the peace in the family. It was only later, when the national trauma of martial law rule affected her sons in vaious tragic ways, that she found the voice and rediscovered the heart to assert herself as a person and to give her emotions full play. We submit that Vilma’s portrayal is excellent precisely because she vivified her character as the wife and mother was in the ’70s. Her thematic and emotional hight points towards the end of the film rivetting, but it was her quieter, more controleed moments that showcased Vilma’s true gift as an actress. During those moments, Vilma didn’t just observe what was going on, she was constantly conflicted only, she had been programmed not to speak out because it wasn’t her “place.” Thus, when she finally changes and expresses herself in the end, the contrast makes her transformation all the more stunning…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 14, 2003 (READ MORE)

Speak-up – “…We really wish that viewers take a more personal interest in this controversy, make up their own minds, and verbalize their opinions. You see, if films people complain, they can always be accused of being sore losers. If reviewers take a stand, they can be suspected of subjectively favoring either one of the top contenders. But if viewers speak up, they can’t be accused of having a hidden agenda. And if a clear majority of them favors one film, that can be taken as the collective voice of the movie audience, for whose benefit all of these “quality” films are supposed to ahve been made, in the first place. A final word, this time on the Vilma Santos-Ara Mina competition in the filmfest best actress category. When Ara was adjudged winner, we thought she should more properly have won in the best supporting actress category. And when we saw “Dekada ’70,” we knew that Vilma fully deserved to win as best actress. Ara’s performance was outstanding, but Vilma’s was in a league all its own, the sterling product not only of her talent, but also of her long experience as an actress. With her new maturity, she’s even better than she was in most of her award-winning starrers, and all that Ara Mina needs to do is to watch Vilma in “Dekada ’70” to concede that, although she did well in “Mano Po,” Vilma has clearly outdistanced her in Chito Rono’s film…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 05, 2003 (READ MORE)

Humanity’s Liberation – How does one outlive the monstrosity of the Martial Law years and how do we pose the relevance of such question now when we tend to be indifferent and apathetic to events going on, both here and around the globe? The film “Dekada ’70” raises such issue and concers. Like the monster it tries to exorcise, the film spawns more question for anyone who continues oneself in relation to others and to a contemporary reality. Upon watching “Dekada ’70,” one gets the impressive things haven’t changed that much since then and that we are still suffering post-traumatic syndrome of the seventies malaise. We wonder then, what went wrong after two EDSA revolutions? There’s no effective way of depicting such reckoning than by way of story and thus, the master storyteller herself, Lualhati Bautista, frames “Dekada ’70” conveniently from mother’s point of view, Amanda Bartolome’s, whose coming, into terms with the problems of child rearing, domesticity and sexual relations become the very venues for articulating change and advocacy in our political and collective life. Amanda herself becomes the point of departure for our reading. Her questions and doubts about her femininity specifically her role as a mother to Jules, Gani, Em, Jason and Bingo, and as wife to Julian, are subsumed in thelarger context of our socio-political discourse today. We are not just simply sympathizing with her, but instead we see her struggles as constitutive of whatever far future history has in store for all of us – men, women, gays or lesbians. In other words, Amanda’s liberation is the humanity’s liberation and no genuine emancipation can be realized nor revolutions are complete if a person like her still remains in thedark. Her nurturing hands shall also be the symbolic raised fists against any imminent danger. Where do we trace Amanda’s oppression and concomitant silencing? First, she cannot relate to her husband’s circle of friends. In one scene, she attempts to join a discussion about poetry but only to be repudiated in return.

Khalil Gibran – Second, she notices how her relationship to Julian is quite uneven. One time, Julian asks her to reprimand their kid’s lewd singing. She hesitates and tells him there’s nothing wrong with the song. However, when she has heard her husband humming the same song to her, she feels wronged and insulted. This is one of those incidents when one sees Amanda’s relationship with Julian seems disproportionate with regard to what one says to one another for instance and in such situations, Amanda has no choice but to remain silent and kepp her feelings for herself. She will have to adjust to Julian. Thus, Amanda learns to shut up even during dinnertime when her husband talks. In one scene, Julian talks about how they were seduced by the girls and Amanda’s face bears all the marks of insult and humiliation. Amanda’s alienation further manifests in her relationship with Jules, her eldest son who become an NPA agent. The fact that Jules becomes an NPA is already difficult for her to hear. She cannot understand why Jules will have to go away from her. One time, Jules wrote his brother Gani a letter in which he quotes a poem from Khalil Gibran, saying the sons of light do not belong to their mothers. Amanda, upon hearing what Jules wrote, gets hurt. She tries to communicate her feelings to no avail. Her family fails to answer her adequately. Her yearning will only be accomodated at the turn of the events in the country when her son Jules will be one of those political prisoners who will be tortured and Jason will be brutally murdered for no apparent reason by unknown assailants. Amanda cries for justice and when she confronts her husband that they should do something, she learns from him that they are helpless against a fascist oppressive state. Summary executions have been rampant in the country at that time and this only confirms Amanda’s worst nightmares. We learn Amanda’s silence is indeed a symptom of the state’s machinery control and the Bartolome family function as an ideological apparatus in which other institutions like the Church and the school remain subservient to the state in order to perpetuate fascists’ interests and agenda.

Self-worth – For Amanda, her oppression take the form of the myth of motherhood and limited domestic functions, and thus, she cannot get an answer why she has to go to bed with her husband, in the same way that she cannot go to courts to demand justice for her sons. How does Amanda outlive the monstrosity of that decade? We see in the film how the Bartolome family is not only the stake but also the site of struggle and often of bitter forms of Amanda’s struggle. She finds means and occasions of expressing dissatisfaction within the family and outside as she allies with the rest of the exploited. In one poignant scene, she consoles her husband that they should cry together out of desperatin. She believes there is strength in togetherness. Their vulnerability is the source of Amanda’s power. Utilizing such contradiction, Amanda learns the painful way of discovering her agency, potential and power to direct the family’s state of affairs and contribute to the political stabilization of the country. When her youngest son, Bingo, asks her if ever the pigeons will come back to them, Amanda says they will. She knows both the pigeons and her sons will come back home to her. Her struggles are not yet over and thus the film ends with a beginning, her longing for home. By the same token, we, like Amanda, are also called to respond to the challenge of our contemporary reality. We must seek out also our potential and use the very instrument of oppression against our oppressors to articulate dissent and resistance. We shall not cease from taking active participation in politics because our conditin must be one of continued striving and restless dissatisfaction; a condition more of discenment than complacency to possess the only kind of self-worth of which we can best be at home ultimately. – Gary C. Devilles, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 08, 2003 (READ MORE)

Restraints – So shoot me. Chito Rono’s “Dekada ’70,.” this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival’s second best picture, is tops for me. Not because I like thedecade and danced to it’s music and gave my mother the same Kahlil Gibran poem about your children not being your children but the sons and daughters of the universe – something like that – which figured in the movie, and fleshed out the pain in Vilma Santos’ mother role. It was one of the most powerful moment in the film, full of undertones and unabashed celebrations fro surviving the most tumultuous decade of the last centure. In that scene, a stoic Amanda Bartolome (Vilma), mother of five boys (Piolo Pascual, Carlos Agassi, Marvin Agustin, Danilo Barrios, John Wayne Sace) and wife of a chauvinist (Christopher de Leon) was cleaning the room of her eldest son Jules (Pascual), who had gone underground, so that her other son Jason (Barrios) could move into it. Jules had sent her mother the Kahlil Gibran poem. With Jason rejoicing in the background, Amanda mubles, “Hindi ko naman daw anak, nagdaan lang naman sa akin, (He is not my son, he just passed through me).” This was the moment of Amanda’s acceptance of Jules convictins, even if she still could not reconcile her role in the changing landscape of her universe. Despite its title, “Dekada ’70” is not all about political activism. It’s about a woman’s struggle to become more than a wife and a mother. It’s wife and a mother. It’s about finding a career and about being proud of herself. It’s about Vilma Santos playing her age in a movie, and defying the harsh lights and theunforgiving close-ups. With the events of the ’70s intruding into her family’s life, Amanda comes to terms with herself and her losses. As usual, Rono has brought out the best his performaers. Restraint was all over the movie: From Christopher, who could not cry despite the death of a son, to Vilma, who kept her discontent in her heart, to the actors who played their sons and in whom you would see a brother, a boyfriend, a husband, a professor, a managing editor.

Martial Law – The Bottomline is that they are husband and wife, and why shouldn’t they laugh and cry together in the end. Lualhati Bautista, who wrote the novel in which the movie was based, had drawn from characters whom she had known in the ’70s, like the salvage victim whose body was found at the back of the Ramada Hotel in Ermita, the disappeared professor-activist Charlie Del Rosario, according to Rono. The torture scenes of Jules when he was caught by the military were based on an actual documented case, he said. “I interviewed people who lived through the torture, like the mother whose son was shot in the stomach and was tortured by soldiers by poking the barrel of a long gun into the wound and stirring his intestines with it,” he said. “That was how the mother described it to me and it was in Hati’s dialogue.” Rono, too, is faily acquainted with the decade and with the generals who were in power. His father, the late Jose S. Rono, was Ferdinand Marcos’ deputy prime minister. “I was in high school when Martial law was proclaimed,” he recalled. “At that time, we were in Samar and my father was governor. I remember that while we were watching Marcos on TV, I asked my father what Martial Law meant. “My father, even if he was a lawyer, did not know much what it meant. The first thing he did was meet with the mayors and they talked among themselves.” The next day, soldiers arrived in their house to pick up his father. “I was scared. He was carrying his leather bag where you could fit in two pairs of pants. He waived at me so I thought it was fine.” His mother Carol explained to him that Marcos had called, asking for his father’s service in the new society the strongman would create. “Dekada ’70” might not be the ultimate film about the ’70s, but it is Rono’s vision of a world that was flawed, awesome, even frightening but never to be forgotten. “It was my time,” he said. And mine. – Nini Valera, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan 02, 2003 (READ MORE)

Dilemma – Actress and Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos is torn between showbiz and politics. The taping of her 40th anniversary special last Wednesday had to be postponed, following her dilemma about Republic Act 7160, which prohibits public officials from appearing on TV and doing movies. “I was told the law has been existing for a long time now, but I only found out about it after the Manila Film Festival,” discloses Vilma, who starred in Chito Rono’s period drama, “Dekas ’70,” one of the official filmfest entries. “I am not familiar about the law, so I want to know its exact definition and clarify it first before I start working again. That’s my dilemma now.” Vilma’s TV special was schedulred to be aired on ABS-CBN this Sunday, but the telecast has been postponed indefinitely until Vilma can get the green light to work. “I don’t want to start anything only to be prohibited in the middle of my work,” Vilma says. “Of worse, they might even file a case against me.” Vilma has a dialouge with the ABS-CBN executives, who signed her up for the TV spcial. “I had to request them to postpone the airing until I can get a clear interpretation of that law,” Vilma says. “Even if I make a movie, I want to be sure if it’s possible and I will be allowed. “But according to the Local Governament code, a public official can take a leave of absence for three months, like what (Caloocan City Mayor) Rey Malonzo did, so he could do a movie, Kung talagang hindi puede, I have no choice but to follow the law. Integrity is very important to me.” Vilma insists she doesn’t agree with RA 7160, prohibiting showbiz stars-turned-politicians from doing TV or movie work. “For me, there’s no conflict of interest there,” Vilma explains. “We can work on weekends or after our daily jobs in our public offices.” She is bent, however, on finishing her second term as Lipa City Mayor. “Then maybe after that, I can just make a choice if it’s really show biz or politics.” – Leah Salterio, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb 14, 2003 (READ MORE)

RELATED READING:

2002 Best Actress Awards

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Novel to Film “…”Dekada ’70,” the eagerly awaited filmization of Lualhati Bautista’s seminal novel in the explosive ’80s, has eight nominations. Best director nominee Chito Rono successfully focuses the novel’s many-sided dimensions on a mother’s stirring from domestic conventions and sensibilities as her family copes with the changes wrought by a collapsing order. The movie, written by Bautista herself and nominated for best screenplay, manages to provides viewers, particularly the young, with the feel of the Marcos years, reacquainting them with a particularly sordid passage in history when innocence was ravaged and continuity was ruptured. The wonder is that the movie did not get the lion’s share of the technical design (Manny Morfe), and sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc) – should at least suggest its achievement. Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon are strong contenders for best actor and best actress, while yound actor Piolo Pascual is nominated for best supporting actor. The 26th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the society of respected film critics, will be held on May 17 at the AFP Theater…” – Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2003 (READ MORE)

The Light “…Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to “Dekada ’70” and “Mga Munting Tinig,” This was unexpected because “Dekada” was a major production that took many months to make, while “Munting Tinig” was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be “Dekada” is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while “Munting Tinig” is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films’ contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian’s Best Picture award…The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in “Dekada ’70” is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively “passive,” “colorless” and “undramatic” portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie’s central Bartolome family, spent most of the film’s running time meekly following her husband’s dictates, like most women in the ’70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn’t true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie’s time frame, this “passivity” was an astute artistic decision on Vilma’s part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in “Dekada” was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer – May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

Star Awards “…Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos still gets the jitters when accepting acting awards. She bested five other equally worthy nominees to the best actress throne in last Saturday’s Star Awards for Movies at the UP Theatre. She won for her moving portrayal of a timid mother empowered by the death of her son in Chito Rono’s period drama, “Dekada ’70,” which was an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Ironically, Ara Mina, who edged out Vilma from the best actress derby in the MMFF, was not among those cited by Star Awards. Vilma competed with Sharon Cuneta (“Magkapatid”), Maricel Soriano (“Mano Po”), Claudine Baretto (“Kailangan Kita”), and Alessandra de Rossi (“Mga Munting Tinig”)…” – Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 11, 2003 (READ MORE)

Actress-Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, new actor Yul Servo, and the independent film, “Mga Munting Tinig,” proved that the local movie industry recognizes talent and good films, veteran or newcomer, when they bagged top honors at the 19th Star Awards for the Movies held last Saturday night at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Santos was named “Movie Actress of the Year” for her role as a mother who experienced awakening during the ’70s turmoil in “Dekada ’70.” Santos, one of the country’s most awarded actresses, admitted she still feels the tension from the announcement of nominees to the winner. “Nakakakaba pa rin po hanggang ngayon (I still feel nervous even now),” she said in her acceptance speech. Meanwhile, newcomer Yul Servo was named “Movie Actor of the Year” for playing a young husband subjected to extreme culture shock when he finds life hard in a Manila suburb in the controversial movie, “Laman.” The rest of the major trophies went to Gil Portes, “Movie Director of the Year” for “Munting Tinig;” Piolo Pascual, “Movie Supporting Actor of the Year” for “Dekada ’70”; and Kris Aquino, “Movie Supporting Actress of the Year” for “Mano Po.” “Mga Munting Tinig” won most of the awards, copping with seven out of 16, including Child Performer of the Year (Brian Ronquillo), Musical Score (Joy Marfil), Production Design (Arthur Licdao) and Original Screenplay. According to its director and scriptwriter, Portes, the group completed “Munting Tinig” in only 15 days. He added, “This movie just won in the Sta. Barbara International Film Festival and is the first locally produced movie bought by Warner Bros. for worldwide distribution.” Other winners at the 19th Star Awards were “Agimat” for Best Special Effects; Jordan Herrera, New Movie Actor of the Year for “Gamitan;” Nancy Castiglione, New Movie Actress of the Year for “I Think I’m in Love;” Ogie Alcasid for “Kailangan Kita,” Best Movie Theme Song; and Lualhati Bautista for Best Adapted Sceenplay, “Dekada ’70.” Special awards given were the “Darling of the Press” for Onemig Bondoc, the “Male Star of the Night” for Bong Revilla, the “Female Star of the Night” for Maricel Soriano and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr. Trivia host was Charlene Gonzales. Hosts of last night’s Star Awards were Cesar Montano, Bong Revilla, Philip Salvador, Kris Aquino, Maricel Soriano and Vilma Santos. Performers were Sharon Cuneta, Jolina Magdangal, Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Angelika de la Cruz, Patricia Javier, Karylle, and Zsa Zsa Padilla. – Sol Jose Vanzi, March 10, 2003 (READ MORE)

Gawad Urian Awards “…Gawad Urian best supporting actor Piolo Pascual (“Dekada ’70”) arrived early at the awards ceremony Saturday night and reserve a seat for “Dekada ’70” costar Vilma Santos, who would later be declared best actress. Vilma and Piolo played mother and son in the moving Chito Rono movie based on the screenplay by Lualhati Bautista, who won for best screenplay. Piolo was very affectionate to “mom” Vilma, hugging and kissing her when she arrived. He was seen clasping her hands moments before his name was announced as best supporting actor at theTeatro Arturo Enrile in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City…The movie critics’ group paid tribute to writer Ricardo “Ricky” Lee by naming him the recipient of the Natatnging Gawad for lifetime achievement for his invaluable contributions to the film industry for more than three decades. The award was handed to him by three of the many actresses who breathed life to his creations – Vilma (“Relasyon”), Dina Bonnevie (“Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak”) and Gina Alajar (“Salome”). Lee has so far written about 120 screenplays and won some 50 awards. His most recent work, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s “Bagong Buwan,” was honored by many local and international award-giving bodies…Edu Manzano was very effective as the show’s only host. He kept the audience awake and laughing with his witty remarks, delivered with his trademark deadpan expression. Even Piolo and Vilma were not spared from Edu’s jokes. he imitated Piolo after the young actor delivered a very emotional acceptance speech. When Vilma said she was sharing her award with her costars in “Dekada ’70,” particularly to her “eldest son” Piolo, the camera caught Edu having his own dramatic highlights.” “What?” he asked his ex-wife in mock surprise, “Anak natin si Piolo?…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 20, 2003 (READ MORE)

2002 Metro Manila Film Festival

Hindi ako kumbinsido na isang Ara Mina ang tumalo sa isang Vilma Santos sa nakaraang Metro Manila Film Festival Philippines. Isang malinaw na pang-iinsulto ito sa kakayahan ng Star for all Seasons bilang aktres. Hindi namin minamaliit ang kakayahan ni Ara Mina. Pero para sa amin, hindi pa siya ganap na aktres para talunin si Vilma. Kung pagbabasehan ang performance niya sa Mano Po, compared kay Vilma sa Dekada ‘70, hindi ito sapat para pumantay kay Vilma. Sa katunayan, ang performance ni Vilma sa Dekada ‘70 ang masasabi naming pinakamahusay niya. Napakahusay ng transformation ni Vilma bilang isang ina na sunud-sunuran sa kanyang asawa to a mother na nakikipaglaban para sa karapatan ng isang ina para sa kanyang pamilya. Kahit si Kris Aquino na co-star ni Ara sa Mano Po ay hindi kumbinsido na tinalo nito si Vilma. Vindicated kuno si Ara Mina sa pagkakapanalo nito. Vindicated saan? Pinaingay lang ng Regal Films ang kanyang performance kaya tumatak sa isip ng ilan na pang-Best Actress ang performance niya. Ang nakakapagtaka, ilang araw bago ang awards night, pinaingay ng Regal ang pangalan niya for Best Actress. Mukhang siguradung-sigurado na silang makukuha nila ang majority awards. At nangyari na nga. Nakuha ng Regal movie ang majority ng awards. Kahit nga sa Best Actor award, nakakapagtaka na talunin ni Eddie Garcia sa Mano Po si Christopher de Leon sa Dekada ’70.

At ang nakakabaliw pa, ilang oras bago ang awards night, may tumawag sa Star Cinema office na taga-MMFFP para sabihing in-elevate nila si Piolo Pascual para sa Best Actor category. Pero nung presentation na, balik ito sa Best Supporting Actor. Di ba, normally may deliberation na tinatawag? Ibig sabihin ilang oras bago ang awards night ay nagdi-deliberate pa sila? Ni hindi nila iprenesent kung sino ang board of judges. Kahit ang souvenir program kung saan naglalaman ng composition ng members ng bawat committee ay wala. Deliberate bang hindi pinamigay para hindi ma-pinpoint kung sino ang sisisihin sa mga kapalpakan? Umpisa pa lang ng MMFFP ay palpak na. Announcement pa lang ng 7 official entries ay nagkagulo na. At tama ba namang iurong ang deadline para ma-accommodate ang ibang entries dahil hindi pa ito tapos? Hanggang sa kailangan pang mag-usap-usap ang mga producers para alamin kung ano ang kanilang decision sa bagong ruling na ipinalabas. Bakit kailangang producers ang masunod kung may sinusunod na rulings taun-taon? Kulang sa paninindigan ang pamunuan ng MMFFP ngayong taon. Sa interbyu ni Mayor Rey Malonzo sa The Buzz, nagpaliwanag ito sa mga naganap na kapalpakan. Ipinipilit niya ang kanyang katwiran na nasusupalpal naman ng mas mabigat na ebidensya. Tulad na lamang sa hindi pagkasama ni Lualhati Bautista sa dalawang kategorya, ang Best Original Story at Screenplay.

Aniya, nabanggit naman daw, baka hindi lang narinig dahil sa studio problems sa PICC. Isisi pa ba kay Lani Mercado ang kapalpakan eh ang husay nga nitong mag-present? Bakit ayaw tanggapin ni Mayor Rey Malonzo na lantaran ang kapalpakan sa MMFFP ngayong taon? Ewan pero nakakawalang gana na yang MMFFP na yan. Taun-taon na lang may gulo, kontrobersya at higit sa lahat, umiiral ang kapangyarihan ng ilan. Kaya kung kami sa ilang film production like Star Cinema at Imus Productions, mag-isip-isip sila ng maraming beses kung sasali pa sila next year. At kung sasali man sila, gumawa na lang sila ng ka-cheapang pelikula para matalo man sila, hindi masakit. At kung iisip man sila ng pang-entry next year, huwag na silang mag-strive for cinematic excellence and globally competitive movies dahil hindi sila kikilalanin at bibigyan ng parangal. Sayang lang ang efforts nila. Magpatuloy pa rin sila sa paggawa ng pelikulang magaganda pero ipalabas na lang nila sa regular showing at huwag magpagamit dyan sa mga kung sinu-sinong malalaking tao sa industriya at pulitika. Kay Direk Chito Roño, ipagpatuloy mo ang paninindigan mo. Wala ka ng kailangang patunayan bilang isang direktor dahil ginawa mo ang alam mong pinakamahusay mo, pero yung hindi ka kikilalanin, hindi mo na kasalanan yun. Salamat sa pagsasabuhay mo ng pelikulang Dekada ‘70.

At para kay Vilma Santos, mananatali pa rin siyang pinakamahusay na aktres para sa inyong lingkod at sa kanyang mga tagahanga. Binastos man siya ng MMFFP, marami pa rin ang naniniwala na siya pa rin ang rightful winner. Hindi ang MMFFP ang sisira sa legacy ng isang Vilma Santos. Sa awards derby next year, pupusta ako na aanihin niya ang prutas na hindi niya inani ngayon sa MMFFP. Sa MMFFP, nakakalungkot na hinayaan ninyong dungisan ng ilan ang imahe ng taunang parangal na ito. Hindi ninyo dapat hinayaan na gamitin kayo ng mga gahaman. You are not indebted sa iilang makapangyarihan kundi sa sambayanang Pilipino. Tiyak na may magri-react sa aking sinulat sa kolum na ito. Ito ang nararamdaman ko. Matindi ang epekto sa akin ng mga pangyayari at kung paanong tumimo sa aking puso at isipan ang Dekada ’70, ang pelikulang nagpamulat sa akin kung gaano kasarap magkaroon ng isang pamilya at makipaglaban para sa iyong minamahal. Kay Vilma, Boyet, Piolo, Direk Chito, Lualhati Bautista at sa Star Cinema, maraming salamat sa Dekada ’70. Mabuhay ang tunay na pelikulang Pilipino! – Eric John Salut, Pilipino Star, December 31, 2002, Reposted by: Sol Jose Vanzi (READ MORE)

The Light “…Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to “Dekada ’70” and “Mga Munting Tinig,” This was unexpected because “Dekada” was a major production that took many months to make, while “Munting Tinig” was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be “Dekada” is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while “Munting Tinig” is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films’ contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian’s Best Picture award…The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in “Dekada ’70” is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively “passive,” “colorless” and “undramatic” portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie’s central Bartolome family, spent most of the film’s running time meekly following her husband’s dictates, like most women in the ’70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn’t true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie’s time frame, this “passivity” was an astute artistic decision on Vilma’s part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in “Dekada” was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer – May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

2002 Gawad Urian Best Actress

Novel to Film “…”Dekada ’70,” the eagerly awaited filmization of Lualhati Bautista’s seminal novel in the explosive ’80s, has eight nominations. Best director nominee Chito Rono successfully focuses the novel’s many-sided dimensions on a mother’s stirring from domestic conventions and sensibilities as her family copes with the changes wrought by a collapsing order. The movie, written by Bautista herself and nominated for best screenplay, manages to provides viewers, particularly the young, with the feel of the Marcos years, reacquainting them with a particularly sordid passage in history when innocence was ravaged and continuity was ruptured. The wonder is that the movie did not get the lion’s share of the technical design (Manny Morfe), and sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc) – should at least suggest its achievement. Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon are strong contenders for best actor and best actress, while yound actor Piolo Pascual is nominated for best supporting actor. The 26th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the society of respected film critics, will be held on May 17 at the AFP Theater…” – Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2003 (READ MORE)

The Light “…Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to “Dekada ’70” and “Mga Munting Tinig,” This was unexpected because “Dekada” was a major production that took many months to make, while “Munting Tinig” was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be “Dekada” is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while “Munting Tinig” is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films’ contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian’s Best Picture award…The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in “Dekada ’70” is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively “passive,” “colorless” and “undramatic” portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie’s central Bartolome family, spent most of the film’s running time meekly following her husband’s dictates, like most women in the ’70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn’t true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie’s time frame, this “passivity” was an astute artistic decision on Vilma’s part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in “Dekada” was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer – May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

Anak natin si Piolo? “…Gawad Urian best supporting actor Piolo Pascual (“Dekada ’70”) arrived early at the awards ceremony Saturday night and reserve a seat for “Dekada ’70” costar Vilma Santos, who would later be declared best actress. Vilma and Piolo played mother and son in the moving Chito Rono movie based on the screenplay by Lualhati Bautista, who won for best screenplay. Piolo was very affectionate to “mom” Vilma, hugging and kissing her when she arrived. He was seen clasping her hands moments before his name was announced as best supporting actor at theTeatro Arturo Enrile in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City…The movie critics’ group paid tribute to writer Ricardo “Ricky” Lee by naming him the recipient of the Natatnging Gawad for lifetime achievement for his invaluable contributions to the film industry for more than three decades. The award was handed to him by three of the many actresses who breathed life to his creations – Vilma (“Relasyon”), Dina Bonnevie (“Gumapang Ka Sa Lusak”) and Gina Alajar (“Salome”). Lee has so far written about 120 screenplays and won some 50 awards. His most recent work, Marilou Diaz-Abaya’s “Bagong Buwan,” was honored by many local and international award-giving bodies…Edu Manzano was very effective as the show’s only host. He kept the audience awake and laughing with his witty remarks, delivered with his trademark deadpan expression. Even Piolo and Vilma were not spared from Edu’s jokes. he imitated Piolo after the young actor delivered a very emotional acceptance speech. When Vilma said she was sharing her award with her costars in “Dekada ’70,” particularly to her “eldest son” Piolo, the camera caught Edu having his own dramatic highlights.” “What?” he asked his ex-wife in mock surprise, “Anak natin si Piolo?…” – Marinel R. Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 20, 2003 (READ MORE)

For the first time in the history of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino’s Gawad Urian Awards and probably in any national award giving ceremony, for that matter a tie was announced in the Best Film category. Star Cinema’s Dekada ’70 and Gil Portes and Ray Cuerdo’s Munting Tinig were declared as the best of the 2002 produced films. The Urian is known as the award-giving body that has most often declared ties. Allow me to explain why. A certain standard of excellence in every category has been set by the critics. In the case of the best film, it has to be one that is technically proficient in all aspects such as sound, music, production design, editing and cinematography. Beyond technical excellence and artistic sense in storytelling, it must always have a theme that is not pretentious. The film should successfully capture that “truth” grounded on the Filipino experience. Based on these, it is, thus, possible to have more than two films hitting the grade. Declaring ties, therefore, is only tantamount to saying that there may be more than one film which deserved to be called excellent.

It certainly happened this year for Dekada ’70 and Mga Munting Tinig. Both hit that mark of excellence. Congratulations to all those who contributed to the creation of these two momentous films. The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino has always dedicated itself to selecting and recognizing the best films. When the group was created in May 1, 1976, it declared itself as an alliance of consumer activists who write articles, not for PR, but as independent reviews that give citations and awards. The present group has never deviated from the same objectives and values as that of the first group. Three members who were part of the original one are still with the present crop of critics. They aim to continue awarding the best works and performances; encouraging continuous dialogue on film; and exploring and redefining the responsibilities of the industry practitioners and filmmakers to the public. The Gawad Urian recently held at the AFP theater started with a production number featuring Regine Velasquez, who was draped with filmstrips. She changed into two elegant gowns during the opening salvo.

The other artists who participated in the production were Janno Gibbs, Anna Fegi, JR, Jose Illana, Arni Hidalgo, Rufa Mae Quinto, Marissa Sanchez with the Sex Bomb dancers, and video assists by Michael V and Ogie Alcasid. Capping the evening was a musical number by Aiza Seguerra, 1728, 604 and Ciara Sotto. The presentors were Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Assunta de Rossi, Cherrie Gil, Rudy Fernanadez, Dingdong Dantes, Tanya Garcia, Jeffrey Quizon, Giselle Tongi, Judy Ann Santos, Maricel Soriano, Danica Sotto, James Blanco, Angelu de Leon, Vhong Navarro and Butch Francisco. Memorable “thank you” speeches started with Ricky Lee’s, who praised film artists and producers with whom he has worked. He also expressed his appreciation to the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for finally recognizing and presenting a Natatanging Gawad Urian to a scriptwriter. Piolo Pascual was in tears and had a litany of names to thank as he completed his grand slam for the Best Supporting Actor category with his Urian award. Elizabeth Oropesa earned a good round of applause as she thanked her “Honey” when she received her Best Supporting Actress award.

Jay Manalo seemed rather touched by the Best Actor Award and thanked all his children quite a number, which did not escape the audience’s interest. Gil Portes was in high spirits when he finally bagged the Best Director award, after numerous nominations from the Manunuri. Vilma, who won the Best Actress Award, thanked the special people in her life, including host, Edu Manzano, who was miming on the side, hoping Vilma would include him in her speech. He certainly got the crowd in the theater roaring with his antics when he embraced Piolo and declared that he was a long lost son…The special award, Natatanging Gawad Urian, was presented to Ricky Lee for his numerous outstanding screenplays. A special reading was performed by Gina Alajar and Dina Bonnevie. Vilma Santos read the citation for the Ricky Lee’s recognition. The Gawad Urian Night was not too overwhelming, but friendly and exciting. It was not glittering, but it was colorful. It was not ostentatious, but it was substantial. It was not huge, but it was meaningful. Also contributing significantly to the successful presentation this year was the masterful and witty hosting by Edu Manzano. – Sol Jose Vanzi, May 20, 2003 (READ MORE)

2002 Gawad Urian

A few days before the Urian Awards last Saturday, some movie writers attending the presscon of Jose Llana said they already know the winners in the acting categories. Vilma Santos as best actress for “Dekada ’70,” Jay Manalo as best actor for “Prosti,” Beth Oropesa as best supporting actress for “Laman,” and Piolo Pascual as best supporting actor for “Dekada.” They claim to have heard this from some Urian members. The day before the awards night, we attended the presscon of “Huling Birhen sa Lupa” at Viva and Director Joel Lamangan told us he already knew Beth and Jay, who are shooting the film with him on location in Batangas, would win because he was requested to let them leave the set to attend the awards night. True enough, when awards night came at the AFP Theater, these are really those who won. Maybe the Manunuri should be more discreet next time to prevent such leakage. But the show itself is indeed smooth and slick, starting with the great opening number by Regine Velasquez. The tribute to Ricky Lee, who won the Natatanging Gawad Urian for his work as a scriptwiter, is particularly good. Singers Michael Santana, Ana Fegi and Janno Gibbs sang songs from Ricky’s films, Gina Alajar and Dina Bonnevie read excerpts from his scripts, Nora Aunor, Sharon Cuneta and Beth O. sang hosannahs to him, then Vilma Santos handed him the actual trophy.

Ricky, a founding member of the Urian himself (we left it at the same time in 1980), deserves the award because he is really the first scriptwriter to become a household name. We just wish he delivered a shorter acceptance speech since there’s beauty in brevity. Another winner who rumbled on and on is Piolo Pascual, who really put on an act along with Judy Ann Santos, who presented him his award. He’s the only one who scored a grand slam this year, so we can understand why he is a tad too emotional for comfort. Jay Manalo was more coherent and even managed to make a roll call of all his kids with various women, including his current wife, Raiza. Beth O., in turn, looked like a blushing bride as she received her award (her second best supporting actress plum from the Urian after “Milagros”), thanking her much younger husband, Joel Valdez, so sweetly. Mercifully, she gave a very short speech. Another winner who is obviously so overwhelmed is Gil Portes, best director for “Munting Tinig,” as he kept on giggling while delivering his acceptance speech. As for Ate Vi, this is her eighth Urian best actress trophy after “Relasyon,” “Broken Marriage,” “Sister Stella L,” “Pahiram ng Isang Umaga,” “Ipagpatawad Mo,” “Dahil Mahal Kita (Dolzura Cortez Story),” and “Bata, Bata, Paano Ka Ginawa.” This makes her the winningest actress ever and her Vilmanians have reason to gloat.

The concept of singing the songs from the nominated best films (by Tex Ordonez, Jose Llana, Jay Ar and Arnee Hidalgo) is good, along with the idea of lining up all the winners on stage for a final tribute before they announced the last awardee, Vilma Santos. Ate Vi was inexplicably already on stage but without a trophy, so you already know she’d be handed the award for the last category, which is the best actress award. But the production number involving Rufa Mae Quinto, the Sex Bomb, Marissa Sanchez, Michael V. and Ogie Alcasid was a dud. They tried to be funny spoofing Katya Santos and Mother Lily but only ended up being silly and corny. Host Edu Manzano did a fairly good job and even stole the scene when he too cried as ex-wife Ate Vi delivered her acceptance speech. In fairness, the Urian had a good roster of presentors like Rudy Fernandez, Maricel Soriano, Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Cherie Gil, etc. Unlike other award-giving bodies who just call on stage whoever is available inside the theater to act as presentors. As Rudy Fernandez himself pointed out, “Ang Urian talaga, mahilig sa tie,” so this year, the tie is in the best picture category, with Star Cinema’s “Dekada” and Teamwork Productions’ “Mga Munting Tinig” sharing the honor. – Sol Jose Vanzi, Malaya, May 23, 2003 (READ MORE)

2002 Star Awards Best Actress

Novel to Film “…”Dekada ’70,” the eagerly awaited filmization of Lualhati Bautista’s seminal novel in the explosive ’80s, has eight nominations. Best director nominee Chito Rono successfully focuses the novel’s many-sided dimensions on a mother’s stirring from domestic conventions and sensibilities as her family copes with the changes wrought by a collapsing order. The movie, written by Bautista herself and nominated for best screenplay, manages to provides viewers, particularly the young, with the feel of the Marcos years, reacquainting them with a particularly sordid passage in history when innocence was ravaged and continuity was ruptured. The wonder is that the movie did not get the lion’s share of the technical design (Manny Morfe), and sound (Albert Michael Idioma and Alex Tomboc) – should at least suggest its achievement. Vilma Santos and Christopher de Leon are strong contenders for best actor and best actress, while yound actor Piolo Pascual is nominated for best supporting actor. The 26th Gawad Urian of the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the society of respected film critics, will be held on May 17 at the AFP Theater…” – Lito B. Zulueta, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 28, 2003 (READ MORE)

The Light “…Topping the Urian for surprise value was the join award for Best Picture to “Dekada ’70” and “Mga Munting Tinig,” This was unexpected because “Dekada” was a major production that took many months to make, while “Munting Tinig” was a small low-budget film that was shot in only a few weeks. Despite this, both films were cited as the best local movies for 2002. A possible interpretation of the twin awards could be “Dekada” is cited for tackling asn important period in the country;s political life with extensive resources of a major studio, while “Munting Tinig” is honored for its ability to dramatize a simple, heartwarming tale that provides much-needed inspiration, despite its limited budget. In other words, the two films’ contrasting approaches are both needed by local movies today, hence the decision for them to share the Urian’s Best Picture award…The Best Actress trophy that Vilma Santos won for her performance in “Dekada ’70” is another noteworthy decision because, when the film was first shown, even veteran observers rapped Vilma for her relatively “passive,” “colorless” and “undramatic” portrayal in the movie. This was because her character, the wife and mother in the movie’s central Bartolome family, spent most of the film’s running time meekly following her husband’s dictates, like most women in the ’70s. Some people took this as a weak thespic stance, and we had to point out in some articles taht his wasn’t true at all. In fact, given the convention of the movie’s time frame, this “passivity” was an astute artistic decision on Vilma’s part, and thoroughly merited by her character and the period in which she lived. In fact, what Vilma did in “Dekada” was more difficult because it was so controlled and subtle, it would have been far easier for her to melodramatically tear up the scenery and act up a storm. Gratifyingly, by the time the film awards season came around, enough people has seen the light, and Vilma went on to win a phalanx of Best Actress trophies, now including the Urian…” – Nestor U. Torre, Philippine Daily Inquirer – May 24, 2003 (READ MORE)

Star Awards “…Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos still gets the jitters when accepting acting awards. She bested five other equally worthy nominees to the best actress throne in last Saturday’s Star Awards for Movies at the UP Theatre. She won for her moving portrayal of a timid mother empowered by the death of her son in Chito Rono’s period drama, “Dekada ’70,” which was an official entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) last December. Ironically, Ara Mina, who edged out Vilma from the best actress derby in the MMFF, was not among those cited by Star Awards. Vilma competed with Sharon Cuneta (“Magkapatid”), Maricel Soriano (“Mano Po”), Claudine Baretto (“Kailangan Kita”), and Alessandra de Rossi (“Mga Munting Tinig”)…” – Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 11, 2003 (READ MORE)

Actress-Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos, new actor Yul Servo, and the independent film, “Mga Munting Tinig,” proved that the local movie industry recognizes talent and good films, veteran or newcomer, when they bagged top honors at the 19th Star Awards for the Movies held last Saturday night at the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City. Santos was named “Movie Actress of the Year” for her role as a mother who experienced awakening during the ’70s turmoil in “Dekada ’70.” Santos, one of the country’s most awarded actresses, admitted she still feels the tension from the announcement of nominees to the winner. “Nakakakaba pa rin po hanggang ngayon (I still feel nervous even now),” she said in her acceptance speech. Meanwhile, newcomer Yul Servo was named “Movie Actor of the Year” for playing a young husband subjected to extreme culture shock when he finds life hard in a Manila suburb in the controversial movie, “Laman.” The rest of the major trophies went to Gil Portes, “Movie Director of the Year” for “Munting Tinig;” Piolo Pascual, “Movie Supporting Actor of the Year” for “Dekada ’70”; and Kris Aquino, “Movie Supporting Actress of the Year” for “Mano Po.”

“Mga Munting Tinig” won most of the awards, copping with seven out of 16, including Child Performer of the Year (Brian Ronquillo), Musical Score (Joy Marfil), Production Design (Arthur Licdao) and Original Screenplay. According to its director and scriptwriter, Portes, the group completed “Munting Tinig” in only 15 days. He added, “This movie just won in the Sta. Barbara International Film Festival and is the first locally produced movie bought by Warner Bros. for worldwide distribution.” Other winners at the 19th Star Awards were “Agimat” for Best Special Effects; Jordan Herrera, New Movie Actor of the Year for “Gamitan;” Nancy Castiglione, New Movie Actress of the Year for “I Think I’m in Love;” Ogie Alcasid for “Kailangan Kita,” Best Movie Theme Song; and Lualhati Bautista for Best Adapted Sceenplay, “Dekada ’70.” Special awards given were the “Darling of the Press” for Onemig Bondoc, the “Male Star of the Night” for Bong Revilla, the “Female Star of the Night” for Maricel Soriano and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” for Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr. Trivia host was Charlene Gonzales. Hosts of last night’s Star Awards were Cesar Montano, Bong Revilla, Philip Salvador, Kris Aquino, Maricel Soriano and Vilma Santos. Performers were Sharon Cuneta, Jolina Magdangal, Ogie Alcasid, Jaya, Angelika de la Cruz, Patricia Javier, Karylle, and Zsa Zsa Padilla. – Sol Jose Vanzi, March 10, 2003 (READ MORE)