"Maraming-maraming salamat po pala sa mga jurors na tamang-tama ang ginawa!" said Ai-Ai delas Alas in her acceptance speech at the awards night of the 36th Metro Manila Film Festival held last December 26.
In a poll conducted by PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal), almost half of the PEPsters—who answered the question, "Kuntento ka ba sa resulta ng MMFF 2010 Awards Night?"—rejoiced over the feat of the Comedy Queen and Star Cinema.
Out of the 1,679 voters, 50.15% said, "Oo, deserving ang mga nanalo," while 49.85% clicked, "Hindi, nakakagulat ang mga winners."
Ang Tanging Ina Mo (Last Na 'To) was the festival's biggest winner, bagging a total of nine out of the 23 awards—Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Story, Best Supporting Actress, Best Musical Score, Best Child Performer, and Gender Sensitive Award.
But a mild controversy arose when Rosario failed to clinch a nomination in the Best Director and Best Actress categories. Film critics expected Jennylyn Mercado, who portrayed the role of "a young and liberated Filipina in the 1920s," to earn a nomination, at least.
Check out the excerpts of some reviews below:
"Jennylyn Mercado's acting in this movie boldly highlights her growth as a true actress. Her ability to convey emotions and feelings on camera without resorting to sigawan and sampalan elevates her to a level far from that of her young contemporaries."—Bong Godinez, www.pep.ph
"Jennylyn Mercado has a face perfect for the role, and acquits herself well in her role."—Danton Remoto, Philippine Star.
But one of the jurors, Butch Francisco, asserted in his "Star Bytes" column: "The part of Rosario is a role of a lifetime. It is a difficult one that called for a long preparation and a series of workshops. That required her to look coquettish and flirtatious. The judges didn’t see that on screen. For heaven’s sake, she [Jennylyn] doesn’t even know how to hold a cigarette—when the character is supposed to be ahead of her time and one who smokes and smokes like it’s second nature to her character."
Majority—72.83%, to be exact—of the 1,303 PEPsters were not convinced, and expressed dismay over the non-inclusion of Jennylyn Mercado in the list.
For Ai-Ai's part, not a tinge of controversy could dampen her spirits, "At sa mga fans, ha, maghanda kayo ng P320, manood kayo ng Rosario, tapos manood kayo ng Tanging Ina. Tingnan n'yo, mas magaling ako do'n."