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Belgian series with Filipina characters wins Best Drama

Posted at | Updated as of 03/22/14 2:15 AM

The British Filipino actresses had their very own Oscar-style selfie with colleagues from the show

LONDON - A European television series with two Filipino characters has won top accolades at the Flemish TV awards, following cult success since its original run at the end of 2013.

Eigen Kweek, which aired on Belgian channel Een, was awarded Best Drama at the Nacht van de Vlaamse Televisie Sterren, dubbed as the Flemish version of the US Emmy Awards.

The show also won in the Best Actress category for the performance of Sien Eggers, who played the mother Ria, while Wim Willaert, who played farmer Frank, received a nomination for Best Actor.

The six-part series centers on a local farmer who lost all his money, and his attempts to regain it by growing cannabis. It also features two Filipino characters, sisters Julita and Nenita Pineda from Caloocan City, who both ended up in Belgium is search of a better life.

“Overwhelmingly proud for the recognition, and well deserved,” said Rhoda Montemayor, the British Filipina actress who played Julita, a young and vivacious Filipino.

Theodosia Tadiar, who played the more conservative role of Nenita, was also “thrilled” of the show’s achievement. “Hugely proud,” she said, “of Joël Vanhoebrouck, our director, of Philippe de Schepper, the main writer, of the entire cast and crew who were all fantastic. I was so happy to be standing there on stage with everyone, to share that honor.”

Rhoda and Theodosia attended the Flemish TV awards in Belgium where their show won two trophies

The London-based actresses travelled from England to Belgium to attend the award ceremony on March 15, which was held in Hasselt, the capital of Limburg province in the northeast of the country.

Wearing matching dresses from designer Eva Bos, known for her ultra feminine garments, the actresses presented the award for Best Female Presenter, which was given to seasoned journalist Kathleen Cools.

“It was such a privilege to be invited and it was so wonderful to be reunited with members of the cast and crew,” said Montemayor, who also played Pink Ranger from the popular series “Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive”.

“It was a wonderful surprise,” Tadiar added. “I couldn't wait to see the other cast members and was very excited to be part of this very glamorous affair.”

Tadiar and Montemayor donned matching dresses from Eva Bos

Since its original broadcast between October and December 2013, the show has become a cult hit and has amassed a strong following, with dozens of fansites popping up on social media platforms like Facebook.

And despite being based in the UK, the British Filipino stars are also starting to feel its effect with more random people recognizing both of them in public, particularly among Belgians.

“It was very surreal to suddenly be exposed to how much of a cult hit the show actually was, with so many people from other actors to the flight attendant on our plane, recognizing us and congratulating us for such a wonderful series. They really loved it. What a buzz,” Montemayor explained.

Tadiar also recalls being approached at Heathrow Airport in London, where “a man in the queue turned around to ask us if we were the actresses in the show and again said how much he liked it. Very surreal.”

Eigen Kweek is out now on DVD.