Paolo Contis and Ai-Ai delas Alas bested some of the most renowned actors and actresses in the 24th Star Awards for Movies organized by the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC).
The three-hour awarding ceremony was held last night, June 27, at the Henry Lee Irwin Theater of the Ateneo de Manila University. The Star Cinema film One More Chance bagged four awards that night: Movie of the Year, Movie Director of the Year (Cathy Garcia-Molina), Movie Editor of the Year (Marya Ignacio), and Movie Cinematographer of the Year (Manuel Teehankee).
Paolo Contis emerged as the Best Actor for the Metro Manila Film Fest entry Banal, beating John Lloyd Cruz (One More Chance), Ryan Eigenmann (Baliw), Sid Lucero (Selda), Aga Muhlach (A Love Story), and Piolo Pascual (Paano Kita Iibigin).
The GMA-7 star was overwhelmed by his victory, especially since it was his first acting award for a movie. "Unang acting award ko ito sa pelikula. Salamat sa mga hindi tumanggap ng role at ako ang nandito. Siyempre, kay Isabel Oli, thank you for inspiring me."
Paolo told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) that he was the third choice for the movie about errant cops directed by GMA-7 reporter Cesar Apolinario.
Hailed as the Movie Actress of the Year, Ai-Ai delas Alas could not help but become emotional when she accepted the award from the PMPC. "Ang galing ni Lord, sa kabila ng mga tsismis, nagbibigay siya ng balanse," said a teary-eyed Ai-Ai during her acceptance speech. The comedienne had the crowd laughing when she pointed out, "Yung mga kalaban ko, umiiyak, ako nahulog lang ako sa hagdanan, nanalo na."
Ai-Ai, who starred in the Wenn Deramas comedy Ang Cute ng Ina Mo, was able to beat another comedy film starring Lorna Tolentino (Katas ng Saudi), and dramatic movies starring Bea Alonzo (One More Chance), Cherry Pie Picache (Foster Child), Judy Ann Santos (Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo), and Maricel Soriano (A Love Story).
Aside from Paolo, another first-time winner was Cathy Garcia-Molina, who helmed One More Chance. "Noong nasa film school ako [at the University of the Philippines-Diliman], sabi ko hindi ko kakalimutan ang mga taong tumulong sa akin. Lord, thank you sa talent na pinahiram ninyo sa akin," said the female director. "Pare, John Lloyd, salamat sa pagbibigay buhay kay Popoy. Kay Bea, salamat sa pagbibigay buhay mo kay Basya. Basya, anak, salamat sa pagpapahiram ng pangalan mo."
The hosts of the evening were Piolo Pascual, Dawn Zulueta, Pops Fernandez, and Mariel Rodriguez. Piolo bagged the male Celebrity Fab of the Night award as well as the Male Face of the Night. Young actress Maja Salvador, who was wearing a peach Grecian-inspired long gown, was named the female Celebrity Fab of the Night. Dawn Zulueta, the wife of Davao del Norte Congressman Anton Lagdameo, was named as the Celebrity Mom of the Night.
The female Face of the Night was Pops Fernandez while the Stars of the Night were John Lloyd Cruz and Eula Valdes. John Lloyd managed to crack jokes when he accepted his award. "I was actually hoping to win tonight para may [pambili ng] gas. Ang mahal na po kasi ng gas kaya bago mag-midnight, magpa-gas na po kayo."
Tapped to be trivia hosts were Aga Muhlach, Angel Locsin, and Luis Manzano—all of whom taped video segments that tackled the theme "Musical Moments At The Movies."
The artists cited for their
outstanding musical legacy were Nida Blanca, Dolphy, Nora Aunor, Fernando Poe
Jr., Sharon Cuneta, Maricel Soriano, and Vilma Santos.
One of the highlights of the evening was the tribute to the late Rudy Fernandez, who was given a posthumous award as the Ulirang Artista this year. Singers Pops Fernandez, Erik Santos, and Gian Magdangal performed the song written by Tirso Cruz III titled "Awit ni Daboy." Rudy's sister, Marie, accepted the award and gave a touching speech about the actor's legacy.
"In the 38 years that Rudy was in the movie industry, pinahahalagahan niya ang bawat award. Last June 7, Rudy went away. When he left, his family wept. Lumisan po ang isang tunay na uliran. Di po natin malilimutan ang kanyang maamong mukha, his warm smile that greeted everyone.
"Rudy's life was short but it was a life that was blessed, a life that was
meaningful, a life that was filled with love. Rudy left a legacy of kindness, a
legacy of humility, and a legacy of compassion. It is a legacy that will
continue to live on," said Marie in her speech.
The PMPC Star Awards for Movies was aired on ABS-CBN last Sunday, June 29, 2008.
Click HERE to view photos of the event.