'Naglalayag' sails high at MFF awards night

By Mario Bautista
People's Journal
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
6:51:29 PM

NORANIANS were shrieking in ecstasy at the Aliw Theatre on Monday night. Their idol, Nora Aunor, won Manila Filmfest best actress for her portrayal of a retired judge who falls in love with a cab driver young enough to be her son in "Naglalayag."
The film itself won nine other awards, including best picture (with a P500,000 cash prize), best director for Maryo de los Reyes (who has been winning other best director awards for "Magnifico"), best actor for Yul Servo as the taxi driver Ate Guy finds irresistible, best supporting actress for Jaclyn Jose as Yul's termagant mom, best story and best screenplay for Irma Dimaranan (who also took home a P100,000 cash prize), best musical score for Lutgardo Labad, best theme song for Rey Valera's "Pag-ibig Sa Gitna ng Buhay Ko," and best float.
Mayor Lito Atienza handing trophies to the winners: Yul, Nora and Direk Maryo
The other acting trophies went to Albert Martinez as best supporting actor as the oppressive stepfather in "Anak Ka ng Tatay Mo" and Joshua Dionisio as best child actor as the possessed child in "Kulimlim."

Other technical awardees are Gerry Santos for best production design in "Kulimlim," Dodge Ledesma as best visual effects for "Volta," Ramon Reyes for best sound in "Sabel," Jess Navarro for best editing in "Kulimlim" and Odyssey Flores for best cinematography in "Kulimlim."

A special award was given to SM Manila Cinema 11 as filmfest topgrosser.
Male star of the night is Robin Padilla while female star of the night is host Lorna Tolentino, who was no longer around to receive her prize as she has left after hosting the first half of the ceremonies.

Aside from Lorna, the other hosts were Ara Mina and TV host TJ Manotoc who has not done a single movie.The Gawad Maynila lifetime achievement award was given to veteran actress Anita Linda, who has been acting in films since right after World War II.

The awards night dragged on and on because there were so many unnecessary production numbers.

In fairness to Ai Ai de las Alas who did the opening number, she did a bravura performance making several costume changes in interpreting various songs, wearing a Muslim costume, a Filipina terno, a 1950's balloon skirt as she boogied on stage, a Japanese kimono, a jefrox outfit as she dished out "Bonggahan," and a patadyong as she sang "Dalagang Pilipina." It's a physically taxing number that can easily tire out any performer.

In comparison to her, the other female performers who came scantily clad on stage like Angelica Jones and Cherry Lou singing 60's songs with Tirso Cruz III and Michael de Mesa, Regine Tolentino and Aleck Bovick doing a "Showgirls" dance number, and Geneva Cruz and Patricia Javier doing some rock songs, look like they're more concerned to show some skin than in entertaining the audience with their musical numbers.

Other guests who rendered insipid song numbers are Regine Velasquez, Jay R and the best actress winner herself who appeared like she has to pay her dues first before the trophy is handed to her because her award was given right after her song number.

Actually, the most entertaining moment of the evening was when Albert Martinez delivered his acceptance speech and he made a mistake of calling Mayor Lito Atienza as Mayor Lim. He said sorry quite profusely then made the same mistake again. We hope this is not an indication of things to come in the FAP Awards Night which he (Albert) is producing this Saturday.

We don't know why actor Alberto de Esteban, who played Yul's gay friend in "Naglalayag," went up on stage twice to accept awards meant for other people. And he delivered his own acceptance speech, too. Also, that woman who was with him who seems to represent Angora Films, producer of "Naglalayag," should be given a workshop by  Maryo J on the protocol of how to behave with more discretion in accepting trophies in behalf of other winners. Not a few people commented she seemed like she's drunk when she accepted the award for Jaclyn Jose and even said, "Pa-picture na tayo."
We just hope the awards won by "Naglalayag" will now help the movie to attract more viewers so it won't end up as a cellar dweller. It's about time all those diehard Noranians show their muscle at the box office, too, and not just during awards nights when they keep on screaming for Ate Guy. Each Noranian should be required to watch the movie at least five times, in different theaters, to help increase the film's box office take. This is the best way to show that they truly love their idol unconditionally.

This article was originally viewable in the archive section of journal.com.ph. It is no longer accessible, so I made a copy of it here for educational purposes. All rights belong to their respective owners.