MANILA, Philippines - Don’t heave a sigh of relief yet because the recently concluded 41st Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation (GMMSF) Entertainment Awards isn’t the last to go in awarding the local entertainment industry this year.
Young Critics Circle of the academe-based film and art critics has yet to proclaim the bests in their gauge. Famas, the oldest award-giving body in the country and its nemesis, the Maria Clara Awards, the first ever award giver in the field together with the so-called “real” industry award, and the Luna Awards, formerly known as Academy Awards of the Film Academy of the Philippines, have yet to set the date of their awards rites.
As such, the atmosphere of each awards ceremony, with the exception of one or two award groups, especially in this star struck nation, is frenzy and fan-based like what happened during the GMMSF Entertainment Awards night at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza in Ayala Avenue, Makati City Tuesday night.
As early as 4 in the afternoon, the theater lobby was already teeming with fans including the members and officers of the host organization.
That’s why it wasn’t difficult to tell if the parameter of the awarding was a result of an extensive and intensive market research on the most saleable films and actors, TV shows and stars, music and singers or the corresponding patronage of their followers because given this premise, it’s the fans as consumers who make or break the stars as commodities.
It was obviously a day to reckon with the stars of ABS-CBN, Star Cinema and other affiliates of the giant network.
As soon as Christian Bautista arrived as early as before 7 p.m. and Toni Gonzaga to follow after a few minutes, being the hosts of the show, the floor had to wait for them both but she had to be hostage outside the venue to photo-ops and TV interviews however of her home studio shows.
The elevator leading to the hallway to the auditorium was guarded with video and still cameramen to get the freshest shots of celebrities, young and old, being fished out by the lift.
Teen sensation Coco Martin was easily the crowd favorite, comedienne Pokwang was a comic relief even at the backstage, tall and clean Sean Lim was a looker and wacky duo Melay and Jason were crowd-drawers, too.
Even when they presented onstage, Melason’s mass appeal didn’t diminish a bit no matter how they read the wrong cue cards with affected English.
It was the fault of the production, though, and they had to stay composed and relaxed, still able to crack jokes.
Bangs Garcia and Will Devaughn, too, had bloopers but not their fault, either. It was the briefing.
Pandemonium broke loose when young love team Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu appeared on the door.
They won the Box-Office Prince and Princess of the Philippine Movies.
Tailing them was John Lloyd Cruz, pronounced as the Box-Office King sans his Queen Sarah Geronimo, who also brought the house down.
“Kung nasaan ka man sa Amerika, this award is also for you. Hindi ko makukuha ito kung wala ka,” exclaimed Cruz, who was also adjudged Film Actor of the Year for Star Cinema’s “In My Life.”
Cruz’s love interest in the film, Luis Manzano, was mobbed as he entered the hall so security men had to pave the way from the frantic fans.
Manzano tied with Cruz in the Best Actor category and during their acceptance speeches, they were bantering, role playing gay lovers, some members of the audience were delighted, others just shrugged them off but in the end, acted real troopers and professionals in thanking all people responsible for their winning.
Manzano accepted the Best Actress trophy in behalf of his mom Vilma Santos for the same family film and thanked her and her Vilmanians for the unwavering support.
Veteran actress Gina Pareno came in with daughter Raquel Tajonera and granddaughter Candice, Raquel’s eldest who has just finished college.
Pareno won the Global Actress Award and thanked the late Inday Badiday, Rudy Fernandez and entertainment writer-lawyer Billy Balbastro who she said were instrumental in her transformation from the dismal to the brightest period in her life.
Pareno, the doting mom and granny, never mind playing fotog to her Raquel and Candice as they posed for a souvenir shot with Cruz.
“Hindi naman ako box-office director kaya nagtataka ako kung bakit nabigyan ako ng ganitong recognition but I am equally proud of this award,” said 2009 Cannes Palm d’Or Best Director Brillante Mendoza after receiving the Global Director Award.
Mendoza had a marathon awarding that day when he came from a recognition program of the City of Manila as one of the outstanding Filipinos to give honor to the country as it celebrated its foundation.
We asked actor Mark Gil about his daughter with Jaclyn Jose, Andi Eigenmman who has been jerky TV toast of the town these days.
He was very happy, of course.
“’Yon, mayaman na,” he quipped.
Has she shared her blessings with him?
“No, sa kanya ‘yon,” Gil smiled.
Was it pure coincidence that Ai Ai de las Alas, who won the Best in Comedy, female category, came in after Pokwang had left the hall?
Movie scribe Linda Cabuhayan saw Ara Mina trying to evade former beau Jomari Yllana but she had to acknowledge Yllana’s companion, who’s obviously also a friend so she kissed and talked a little with him just the same.
Jericho Rosales was so charming and excited when he accepted the Most Promising Male Singer trophy. “Sabi nila, singer na rin daw ako so I thank everyone who’s responsible with my singing career, Star Records, Genesis Entertainment where I auditioned as a singer…”
Nina, on the other hand, won the Most Promising Female Singer.
The awards weren’t a monopoly of ABS-CBN and its conglomerates because Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera were named Love Team of the Year.
To grant the audience’s request of a public kiss, Dantes and Rivera obliged and smacked sweetly.
Frencheska Farr, lead of the musical film “Emir,” also a GMA Network talent, received the Most Promising Female Singer award.
Pops Fernandez was so sweet and stunning in her gray gown and beautiful in her song.
She bagged the Concert Queen title anew. “I thank Rowell Santiago for being our director. He is such a person who knows our sentiments and feelings so he handles us naturally.”
It was a starry night for the Guillermo awarding although there were many absent winners.
So we also thought Tess Celestino has stopped producing awards on TV because of ads scarcity in the past when her Airtime Marketing was the same production which covered the event.
“Ang naging problema lang kasi no’n, ayaw ng mga advertisers na nag-aaway-away ang mga awards organizers kaya ayaw nilang sumuporta. Pero itong Guillermo, wala namang kaaway kaya puwede. I already did produce one awards night before this,” volunteered.
Celestino said the “GMMSF Entertainment Awards” will be telecast on Channel 2 on Sunday, June 27.