John Lloyd Cruz and LJ Reyes were the big winners at the 39th Gawad Urian Awards held at the Kia Theater in Cubao, Quezon City last Wednesday night.
Cruz won his first Best Actor award from Urian for the movie “Honor Thy Father,” his one of two Urian nominations this year. He was also nominated for the blockbuster film “A Second Chance.”
The sleepy audience in the theater erupted into loud cheers and applause when it was announced that Cruz won best actor.
“Hindi po ako naniniwala sa awards. Pero naniniwala po ako that there is honor in hard work, patience, perseverance, and timing,” said Cruz as he accepted his award.
Cruz thanked director Erik Matti, and screenwriter Michiko Yamamoto, co-stars of the movie “Honor Thy Father,” Star Cinema ABS-CBN chief content officer Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN president Carlo Katigbak, and his mother, Aida.
“In case you find my first sentence puzzling, I also came here tonight as an actor to give honor and celebrate my pure love for cinema. Mabuhay po kayong lahat,” the actor said.
LJ Reyes was named Best Actress for the movie “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan” beating Nora Aunor, Jennylyn Mercado, Alessandra de Rossi, Ces Quesada, Mercedes Cabral, Angeli Bayani and Anika Dolonius.
“Taklub (Trap),” a movie that focuses on the struggles of survivors of typhoon “Yolanda” in Tacloban, Leyte in 2013, was named Best Picture.
The film, directed by Brillante Mendoza, edged out other seven nominees for the top award such as “Heneral Luna,” “Honor Thy Father,” “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan,” “ARI: My Life With A King,” “Bambanti,” “Da Dog Show,” and “Imbisibol.”
Jerrold Tarog was awarded Best Director for “Heneral Luna,” the country’s entry to the 2016 Oscar Awards. The movie, however, did not make the shortlist.
The annual film awards, known for its unique choices rather than the popular ones, is regarded as the most prestigious and credible award-giving body in the Philippines.
Since its inception, Gawad Urian has not been tainted with scandals or controversies like vote-buying or dubious results of the winners.
Members of the Manunuring Pelikulang Pilipino (MPP) are Grace Javier Alfonso, MPP president; columnist Butch Francisco; film lecturer Mario A. Hernando, national artist Bienvenido Lumbera; Miguel Rapatan, director, Center for Educational Multimedia DLSU; Benilda Santos, dean, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila; professor emeritus and former dean of UP mass communications Dr. Nicanor Tiongson; Rolando Tolentino of the UP Film Institute Faculty; public anthropologist and film educator Tito Genova Valiente and newspaper editor and professor Lito B. Zulueta.
(ROBERT R. REQUINTINA & MEL CAPARAS)