Edgar Allan Guzman won as best actor in the recently concluded 7th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival for the Erick Salud film Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me.
This triumph was an affirmation for the newbie who was first seen in Astig, also a Cinemalaya entry two years ago.
Edgar nearly did not make it as the lead actor in this Jerry Gracio adaptation of the Eros Atalia novel which drew huge crowds during the Cinemalaya filmfest. He was at first turned down, together with his leading lady Mercedes Cabral, as lead performers in the film produced by Noel Ferrer.
But his producer and his director fought for Edgar and Mercedes. And Edgar winning the best actor trophy only proved he was the right choice after all.
The jurors picked Edgar because of his "fresh, youthful, intelligently nuanced, and natural portrayal." It was victory that surprised Edgar, like his winning as Mr. Pogi in the noontime show Eat Bulaga! five years ago.
"I didn't know what to say [when I accepted the award]," Edgar told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a post-awards interview.
"I didn't expect to win but I believe it is the will of God na nanalo ako. Ang sarap ng feeling. It really felt good.
"I felt my heart beating with excitement when I heard my name was called as the winner."
WISH GRANTED. Since he started doing indie films two years ago, Edgar set his sights on earning recognition for his acting.
Of course, he was wishing to win an acting award. Any actor worth his salt would love to be lauded for a good performance.
"When I grow old, I want to able to look back and say that once upon a time, I was recognized for my acting talent.
"For a good performance. Ang sarap talaga ng pakiramdam na manalo ng award.
"Parang kapareho ito nung manalo ako sa Mr. Pogi. Kasi, dala-dala mo iyan [award] sa pangalan mo.
"Parang title din naman ang best actor award, kasi it's a reward for a job well done. I am very happy that the jurors found merit in my acting," he said.
One person who is truly happy for Edgar winning the Cinemalaya best actor award is his director Erick Salud.