Philstage will honor Celeste Legaspi and the late Zeneida Amador


Theater icons Celeste Legaspi (in photo) and the late Zeneida Amador are the first recipients of the Natatanging Gawad Buhay. It will be conferred by Philstage on Friday, March 26, 2010 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Toletino (CCP Little Theater).


For their lifetime achievements and contributions to the professionalization of Philippine performing arts, theater icons Zeneida Amador and Celete Legaspi have been chosen as the first recipients of the Natatanging Gawad Buhay, a lifetime achievement award conferred by the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group, Inc. (Philstage). They are joined by Avon Philippines, a long-time corporate supporter of performing arts companies.

The awards will be conferred during the 2009 Gawad Buhay! : The PHILSTAGE Awards for the Performing Arts ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 26, 2010 at the Tanghalang Aurelio Toletino (CCP Little Theater). The awards show is open to the public with free admission.

Bibot, as Amador was fondly called by colleagues and wards in theater, film and television circles, was the founding artistic director and guiding spirit of Repertory Philippines. She pioneered English theater in the country and was responsible for the professional training of hundreds of theater practitioners. An excellent actor, director and teacher, she was a formidable presence in Philippine theater and was founding chairman of Philstage until her death in 2004.

Legaspi is a multi-awarded singer, actress and theater and music producer who co-founded the pioneering Musical Theater Philippines as its artistic director. Through her efforts, the production of original Filipino musicals flourished for over two decades since the 1980s. As founding president of the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and Philstage, she was instrumental in steering the country’s only alliance of professional performing arts companies.

Avon Philippines is acknowledged as a valued corporate supporter through its sustained assistance in the provision of free makeup for productions of professional and community-based performing arts companies since the early 1970s.

Now on its second year, Gawad Buhay! is an independently juried and first-ever industry awards exclusively for the performing arts. Ninety five artists and productions vie for thirty individual and group award categories honoring outstanding achievements in play, musical and dance productions of Philstage member-companies for 2009.

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"With the excitement building up after the award’s maiden edition last year, we expect bigger support from the artists, our friends in the media and our audiences for this year’s ceremonies," enthused Fernando Josef, Philstage president and artistic director of Tanghalang Pilipino.

The two-hour programme will feature excerpts of performances from last year’s nominated productions. Invited to perform are Menchu Lauchengco Yulo and Marvin Ong from Repertory Philippines’ Sweeney Todd; Joann Co and Victor Robinson III from PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto; and Candice Adea and Angel Gabriel from Ballet Philippines’ Masterworks.

PHILSTAGE is the country’s only organization of professional performing arts companies with a regular season programming of repertory development and performance pedagogy training. Its Board of Directors include PETA’s Melvin Lee, vice president; Ballet Philippines’ Sandy Hontiveros, secretary; Repertory Philippines Gidget Tolentino, treasurer; Actors Actors’ Leonardo Lim, Ballet Manila’s Susan Macuja, Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s Tony Espejo, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit’sMitch Valdes, TRUMPET’s Audie Gemora, and PHILSTAGE Executive Director Elmar Beltran Ingles as members.

The Gawad Buhay jury is composed of Exie Abola, Walter Ang, Gilbert Cadiz, Ronald Elepaño III, Arvin Ello, Ralph Semino Galan. Rolando Inocencio, Glenn Sevilla Mas, Joy Parohinog, Joey Ting, and Basilio Esteban Villaruz.

Below is the complete list of nominees:


Outstanding Play Production: REP’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao and Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples from the Desert, and PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?


Outstanding Musical Production: PETA’s Ismail at Isabel and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto, and TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal


Outstanding Dance Production: BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw, and BP’s Masterworks and Neo-Filipino

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Outstanding Stage Direction: Jose Mari Avellana (REP’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Teresa Jamias (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples From the Desert), Maribel Legarda (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), Phil Noble (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), and Nonon Padilla (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?)

Outstanding Original Script: Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto), Tony Perez (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), and Rody Vera (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Play: The Casts of TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao and Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto, and PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play: Liesl Batucan and Ana Abad Santos-Bitong (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Ana Abad Santos-Bitong (TP’s Streetcar Named Desire), Shamaine Centenera Buencamino (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao), and Sherry Lara (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples From the Desert)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play: Lex Marcos, Juliene Mendoza and Jack Yabut ( all for PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Play: Mailes Kanapi (TP’s Stretcar Named Desire) and Peewee O’Hara (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples from the Desert)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Play: Chrome Cosio (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao), Dido Dela Paz (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), and Jonathan Tadioan (TP’s Flores Para Los Muertos)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Musical: The Casts of PETA’s Ismail at Isabel and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto, and TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical: Caisa Borromeo (REP’s I Love You Because), Mechu Lauchengco-Yulo (REP’s Sweeney Todd), and Eula Valdes (TP’s Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal)

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Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical: Nar Cabico and Joey Paras (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnah Ze Muzikal), and Audie Gemora (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical: Liesl Batucan (REP’s Sweeney Todd) and Kyla Rivera (REP’s I Love You Because)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical: Miguel Faustman (REP’s The Fantasticks), and Franco Laurel and Marvin Ong (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

Outstanding Libretto: Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto)

Outstanding Choreography for Play or Musical: Carlon Matobato (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), and Dudz Terana, Phil Noble and Carlon Matobato (PETA’s Juan Tamad)

Outstanding Choreography for Dance Production: Augustus Damian III’s Evacuation (BP’s Masterworks), Alice Reyes’ Amada (BP’s Neo-Filipino), and Edna Vida’s Ensalada (BP’s Masterworks)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Dance Production: The Casts of BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw, and BP’s Masterworks and Neo-Filipino

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in Dance: Candice Adea (BP’s Neo-Filipino), Lisa Macuja Elizalde (BM’s Don Quxote), and Yanti Marduli (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in Dance: Francis Cascano (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), and Biag Gaongen and Ronelson Yadao (BP’s Neo-Filipino)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in Dance: Marian Faustino (BP’s Neo- Filipino)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in Dance: Lucky Vicentino (BP’s Neo Filipino)

Outstanding Adaptation or Translation: Alice Reyes (BP’s Amada in Neo-Filipino), Daisy Avellana (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Liza Magtoto (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto), and Don Pagusara (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao)

Outstanding Musical Direction: Jed Balsamo (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), Vincent De Jesus (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal), and Gerard Salonga (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

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Outstanding Musical Composition: Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), Vincent De Jesus (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal), Kalayo (BP’s Neo-Filipino), and Mebuyan (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao)


Outstanding Set Design: Salvador Bernal (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Gino Gonzalez (BP’s Neo Filipino), Jonathan Janolo (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), Boni Juan (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), Boni Juan (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), and Tuxqs Rutaquio (TP’s Streetcar Named Desire/Flores Para Los Muertos)


Outstanding Costume Design: Michael Angelo Albay (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), Gino Gonzales (BP’s Neo-Filipino), Gino Gonzales (REP’s Sweeney Todd), Boni Juan (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto)


Outstanding Lighting Design: Katsch Catoy (BP’s Neo Filipino), Martin Esteva (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Ian Torqueza PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Jimmy Villanueva (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), and Jonjon Villareal (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto)


Outstanding Sound Design: Lamberto Avellana, Jr. (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Aries Alcayaga PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Gie Bernardo (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel).


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