Even in his wildest dreams, showbiz newcomer Christian Bables could never have contemplated celebrating his first acting award in such a manner. A clear favorite, Bables snagged the hearts of critics and moviegoers alike with his portrayal of the ever-loyal Barbs, the best friend of Paolo Ballesteros' Trisha, in "Die Beautiful."
Retreat to the months before he agreed to be part of Jun Robles Lana's transgender dramedy and Bables, with only one other film to his name, was a ball of insecurities as he wondered whether he could actually make it as an actor. In that context, he was still looking to prove himself, hence his decision to accept such a challenging role.
"Gusto ko lang talagang umarte," Bables explained in an interview with MJ Felipe of ABS-CBN News, before he was presented with his Best Supporting Actor award at the Gabi ng Parangal held Tuesday at the Kia Theater in Cubao. "Never kong inisip na makakarating ako sa ganitong sitwasyon so medyo nagugulantang pa rin ako sa mga nangyayari pero I'm thankful."
Bables' thespic showcase as a trans man — a performance backed by thorough research, he said — triumphed over performances from the likes of Joel Torre and Lou Veloso, screen veterans who are no strangers to acting accolades. His success, a victory for the young bloods, proved fitting in a year of transition for the Metro Manila Film Festival, whose shift away from entries characterized only by commercial draw have drawn much optimism for its future.
His win also gave birth to suggestions that he actually fared better than lead star Ballesteros, who, for his own portrayal of a trans man, won the filmfest's top acting honor. Bables humbly shrugged those off and said that his co-star deserved all the credit he has been getting.
"Dalawa po kaming magaling," Bables insisted. "Hindi ko rin po siguro mapu-pull off iyon (his performance) kung hindi dahil kay Paolo. Naghuhugutan po kami."
During his acceptance speech, Bables fumbled his words, perhaps an indication that he is telling the truth when he admitted that he is not used to such occasions. He also bared his emotions when he broke down in tears after mentioning his mother, who has been very supportive of his dreams.
"At sa mommy ko. Nagbunga na iyong katigasan ng ulo ko. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat na nagtiwala sa kaya kong gawin," Bables said.