"First timers" shine at the 7th Cinemalaya awards night

(Clockwise) Bembol Roco, Best Actor (Directors’ Showcase) for Isda; Shamaine Buencamino, Best Supporting Actress (Directors’ Showcase) for Niño; Jaime Pebangco, Best Supporting Actor (Directors’ Showcase) for Patikul; Edgar Allan Guzman, Best Actor (New Breed) for Ligo na U, Lapit na Me; and Racquel Villavicencio, Best Actress (Directors’ S


It’s always asweet victory especially for first-time winners, as in last Sunday night’s 7th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Awards at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon, pito sa walong naparangalan sa kahusayan sa pagganap ay nanalo sa taunang kumpetisyon.

These include Bembol Roco, Best Actor for Isda; Racquel Villavicencio, Best Actress for Bisperas; Jaime Pebangco, Best Supporting Actor for Patikul; and Julia Clarete, Best Supporting Actress for Bisperas.

These mentioned films are included in the Directors’ Showcase category.

At ang mga nagwagi para sa mga entries na kabilang sa New Breed Full-length Feature Films category na sina Shamaine Buencamino, best supporting actress for Niño; Art Acuña, best supporting actor for Niño; and Edgar Allan Guzman, best actor for Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me.

Sa acting awardees ay tanging si Eugene Domingo—who won best actress for Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (New Breed Full-length Feature)—ang hindi ’first-time’ Cinemalaya awardee, having previously won as best supporting actress for Chris Martinez’s 100 in 2008.

SPEECHES. Si Bembol Roco ang pinakabeterano sa pagwawagi ng parangal sa iba’t ibang award-giving bodies, simula pa noong mid-’70s sa una niyang pagbibida sa pelikulang Maynila: Sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag na idinirek ng namayapa nang National Artist for Film, Lino Brocka.

At the Cinemalaya 2011 awarding, the actor—who was called by his real name Rafael "Bembol" Roco, Jr. by presenter Jennifer Sevilla—delivered the shortest speech in the awards night.

"I’m surprised, and... thank you so much!" sabi ni Bembol.

Bembol was named best actor for his "understated performance" in the film Isda (Fable of the Fish), directed by Adolf Alix, Jr.

In contrast, first-time best actress winner Racquel Villavicencio was overwhelmed by her win, she remained speechless onstage for a few minutes. But she delivered a lengthy speech upon regaining her composure.

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"Sorry, I was backstage kasi tinawag na ako para mag-prepare, tapos biglang narinig ko yung pangalan ko," she apologized.

Then, she amusingly asked, "What’s this for?"

One of the night’s hosts, Angel Aquino, said that it’s understandable that Racquel had that confusion, as she was "brilliant in both movies, Bisperas and Nino."

The character actress, who also previously won other awards as production designer and as screenwriter, won the Cinemalaya 2011 top acting plum for Jeffrey Jeturian’s Bisperas.

"Thank you, Direk Jeffrey!" unang sambit ni Racquel.

"This is my first time to ever hold this trophy. And this is my second year pa lang, as part of the films of Cinemalaya.

"Last year I had an entry also. Pangalawang taon pa lang ito, ang bilis naman ng reward. Thank you so much!"

Pinasalamatan ni Racquel—who came to the awarding ceremony in an elegant black gown—ang "pamilya" niya sa Bisperas at ang totoo niyang pamilya.

At the post-awarding cocktails ay nakausap din ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Racquel.

What does winning, especially the Cinemalaya award, mean to her?

"It means, tataas na siguro yung talent fee ko!" she said, half-jokingly.

"Sana, di ba? It means baka may gusto nang mag-manage sa akin ngayon.

"My friends were asking me, ’What’s next?’ E, baka mag-direct ako next year.

"Ang tatalunin ko naman, yung mga direktor!" she laughed.

FIRST EVER. Para sa character actor na si Jaime "Jim" Pebangco, ang natamo niyang award sa Cinemalaya 2011 ay isang "long-overdue" reward, having started in the movies with a cameo performance in the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal’s Himala (1982).

Jim’s director in Patikul (2011)—for which he won his "first ever acting award as Cinemalaya best supporting actor (Directors’ Showcase)—was Joel Lamangan.

Si Lamangan din ang crowd director noon ni Bernal sa nasabing classic film.

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Nakausap din ng PEP si Jim sa lobby ng CCP Main Theater matapos ang awarding, at overwhelmed pa rin ang character actor.

He said the award was a precious advanced birthday gift for him on August 11.

First-ever acting award din ang napanalunan sa Cinemalaya 2011 ng young actor na si Edgar Allan Guzman, who won as best actor para sa Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me ng debuting filmmaker na Erick Salud.

"A, ang sarap palang tumanggap ng award, kahit may sakit ka!" unang sambit ni Edgar Allan.

"Unang-una, gusto kong pasalamatan ang Diyos na nagbigay sa akin ng maraming blessings tulad nito.

"At ang masasabi ko lang, e, ito na ang simula ko sa paggawa ng maraming pelikula sa Cinemalaya... at sana sa mainstream. Yun po ang aking pangarap."

Inalay rin ni Edgar Allan ang kanyang tagumpay sa kanyang ina, mga kapatid, manager na si Noel Ferrer, girlfriend na si Johlan Veluz, director na si Erick Salud, kapareha sa pelikula na si Mercedes Cabral, at sa jury ng Cinemalaya.

At nagbiro pa ang young actor, bilang panghuling statement: "Ang masasabi ko lang po sa inyong lahat, ligo na kayo, lapit na ’ko!"

BEAUTIFUL TROPHY. Shamaine Buencamino is a veteran of many film and stage roles, for which she won acting recognitions.

Pero sa taong ito lamang ng Cinemalaya siya nagkamit ng parangal, as best supporting actress para sa New Breed entry na Niño, na idinirek ni Loy Arcenas mula sa screenplay ni Rody Vera.

Sa una niyang pananalita ay buong lugod ding binanggit ni Shamaine ang nagdisenyo ng tropeyong Balanghai.

"Naniniwala po ako na isa ito sa pinakamagandang trophy dito sa Pilipinas," aniya.

"Ipinagmamalaki ko na gawa ito ng aking kaklase, Gerry Leonardo! Hindi na ako magpapagawa sa ’yo, meron na rin po ako!" biro pa ng aktres.

"Para po sa akin, ang pagsali sa mga Cinemalaya films... Yung pag-aaral no’n ay sapat pong pag-aaral para sa pelikula at pagkakaroon ng boses para magkuwento, tumulong sa pagkuwento tungkol sa mga kuwento ng mga Pilipino.

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"Direk Loy, thank you so much for trusting me with this role," wika pa ni Shamaine, who played the role of the outspoken daughter of Fides Cuyugan, the family matriarch.

Bukod sa mga nabanggit, hindi nakadalo sa Cinemalaya 2011 awards ceremonies para tumanggap ng kani-kanyang napanalunang acting trophies ang indie actor na si Art Acuña, para sa Nino at actress-TV host na si Julia Clarete para sa Bisperas.


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