Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz won the top acting awards in the 31st Film Academy of the Philippines Luna Awards.
However, both artists were unable to attend the event held last night, June 1, at the Quezon City Sports Club.
Angel was named Best Actress for One More Try while John Lloyd won Best Actor for The Mistress.
Star Cinema's The Mistress won the most number of trophies with six recognitions, namely Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress for Hilda Koronel, Best Supporting Actor for Ronaldo Valdez and Best Actor for John Lloyd.
The period film El Presidente earned The Best film plum, beating other nominees such as Bwakaw, One More Try, Sta. Niña, The Healing, The Mistress, and Thy Womb.
Before the winner of Best Film was announced, FAP Director General Leo Martinez explained that a film can only be considered for the Best Film award when it is nominated in three categories and these nominations must include Best Direction and Best Screenplay.
Laguna Governor ER Ejercito accepted the Best Film trophy for El Presidente. He told the crowd, "I would like to thank the Film Academy of the Philippines for recognizing our efforts to make a quality film.
"I would like to dedicate this award to the pillars of the film industry: Eddie Romero, Espiridion Laxa, Fernando Poe Jr., and Joseph Estrada.
"Salamat rin sa aking ama, si George Estregan Sr. At sa aking idol, si Mr. Eddie Garcia!"
SPECIAL AWARDS. One of the recipients of the special awards that night was veteran actor Eddie Garcia.
When he accepted the Fernando Poe Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award, he gratefully told everyone, "Nais kong pasalamatan ang Film Academy of the Philippines at ang pamilya Poe para sa karangalan na ito."
He then addressed the Late King of Philippine Movies.
Eddie quipped, "Ronnie, alam ko nanonood ka. Maraming salamat dito. Hayaan mo, hindi ko pa alam kung kailan, magkikita tayo riyan and we'll have a cold one for old time's sake."
Director Peque Gallaga revealed that he almost fainted when he learned that he won the Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievements. In a pretaped video, Direk Peque observed that "what we need in the Philippines are young, good producers. Yun ang hinahanap ko, yun ang hinahanap natin."
When he personally accepted the award last night, Direk Peque said that he had mixed feelings about it. "I am embarassed to receive this award coz you know, two-thirds of my work was co-created with another person. He was not my assistant, he was my creative partner. I want to share this award with Mr. Lore Reyes," he said.
Director Peque Gallaga received the Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievements.
The late Marilou Diaz Abaya was posthumously given the Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award. She was described as "one of politically-conscious lady film directors who emerged in the local cinema scene."
The trophy was accepted by her son, vocalist Marc Abaya.
Of his mother who passed away in October 2012, Marc said, "She was brilliant and I learned a lot from her. Thank you so much for honoring my mother. She would always say, 'As filmmakers, we must understand our audience. You can make films for ourselves but if they do not come across, then it is for nothing.'"
This year marks the 4th decade of the Film Academy of the Philippines.
Here is the complete list of winners of the 31st Luna Awards:
Best Picture: El Presidente
Best Direction: Olive Lamasan (The Mistress)
Best Actor: John Lloyd Cruz (The Mistress)
Best Actress: Angel Locsin (One More Try)
Best Supporting Actor: Ronaldo Valdez (The Mistress)
Best Supporting Actress: Hilda Koronel (The Mistress)
Best Screenplay: Vanessa Valdez (The Mistress)
Best Cinematography: Carlo Mendoza (El Presidente)
Best Production Design: Danny Red and Joel Bilbao (El Presidente)
Best Editing: Marya Ignacio (The Mistress)
Best Musical Score: Jessie Lasaten: (El Presidente)
Best Sound: Albert Idioma (El Presidente)
Fernando Poe Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award: Eddie Garcia
Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievements: Peque Gallaga
Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award: Marilou Diaz Abaya