Yesterday, the Film Academy of the Philippines announced Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa as the country’s submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards that will happen on February 2017. The film bested nine other entries which includes Berlin winner Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, Cinemalaya Best Picture Pamilya Ordinaryo, and the last minute addition Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz.
This is the first time for director Brillante Mendoza who has been shortlisted thrice before (2009 for Kinatay, 2013 for Thy Womb, and 2015 for Taklub). Mendoza has also won Best Director at Cannes Film Festival back in 2009, also for Kinatay. In a way, he’s – for lack of a better term – overdue for an Oscar submission. Why he hasn’t represented us thus far is really surprising.
Ma’Rosa, tells a day in the life of a poor family, headed by their matriarch Rosa (played by Jaclyn Jose), as they scramble to find the money to pay off the corrupt policemen that have arrested them or dealing drugs. Back in May, it competed at the Cannes Film Festival Main Competition section where it pulled off the historic Best Actress win for Jose, being the first Filipina and Southeast Asian actress to do so. Certainly, it has the clout and the festival exposure.
Now let’s dissect its chances. Can Ma’Rosa pull off that elusive first nomination for the Philippines? For those counting, we’ve submitted 27 times in the past — back from our very first in 1953 for Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan up to last year’s Heneral Luna from Jerrold Tarog) to no avail. No nomination and no shortlist mention.
As mentioned above, one of the things going for Ma’Rosa is its festival exposure. Not only did it take a home a prize at Cannes, it also played at the Toronto Film Festival. It has partnered with sales agency company Films Distribution which also distributed current Best Foreign Language Film winner Son of Saul. Impressive, right? Well not in the sense you’re thinking of. It has to be clarified though. Films Distribution is not an Oscar-campaigner studio per se. It’s not the same as Focus Features or Fox Searchlight or even The Weinstein Company. Son of Saul‘s win last year was due to being campaigned by Focus Features which handled its whole awards run campaign. Ma’Rosa doesn’t have that.. yet. In reality, the most Films Distribution can do is to help the movie gain more festival exposure. Going by a quick search shows that after Toronto, it’s also heading to BFI London, which is good. More festival exposure is always better.
Reviews by foreign critics is always a factor too. It has to be mentioned first that Mendoza is really as divisive when it comes to foreign critics. Remember when the late Roger Ebert mentioned that Kinatay surpassed Vincet Gallo’s The Brown Bunny as “the worst film in Canes history?” So it’s a bit of delight that Ma’Rosa is probably one of the better-reviewed films in his filmography. While critics still had reservations, they were more welcoming than the usual. THR mentioned “Thankfully, and as in his other features, Mendoza again manages to turn his locations into a character in its own right. ” Variety’s Maggie Lee summed it best when she said “Boasting a simple, coherent plot shot with real-time, handheld verismo, it’s a work of understated confidence that will not disappoint his festival acolytes, but probably won’t win many new converts.”
A lot has been mentioned about how we, at a certain extent, can be helped by our own country’s narrative right now. As the world probably knows already, we’re very vocal in our battle with the issue of drugs. And many feel that the movie is timely and that can help buzz. Historically, not really. This category really doesn’t care about that, to be frank. A year after Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture, a significant amount of queer films were submitted for Best Foreign language Film including our own Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. The total number of gay films nominated that year? Zero. In 2010, an election year in many countries, a lot of them rode that narrative, again including us when we submitted Dondon Santos’ Noy and Brazil went with Lula. Number of election themed nominated movies that year? Zero. This whole controversy reminded me just three years ago when we went with Transit as our submission (make no mistake, still a great film, just not a great Oscar entry) over the snubbed On the Job and the FAP’s reasoning was that they don’t want to submit a film that showed the negative side of the country. Submitting Ma’Rosa I guess is a huge leap to the other direction, if that means something.
The biggest factor that can probably help Ma’Rosa is its Cannes win. Sure its only Best Actress (and by only I mean that in the hierarchy of Cannes wins, its in the lower tier alongside Best Actor and Best Screenplay. This sentence, by no means, does not intend to take anything away from the marvelous Jaclyn Jose), but a win is still a win. And that it’s still buzz. For a movie that was perceived as a non-event of some sort at Cannes (it was one of the least buzzed films of the competition, but then it’s pretty understandable since he’s competing with the likes of veterans and/or those with Hollywood cast), how it ended up going home with a win is a win itself already.
Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Three days ago, it was announced that Lav Diaz’ Ang Babaeng Humayo will go for a September 23 release, which would make it eligible for this year since it’ll be meeting the necessary requirements to contend. The huge amount of buzz over its historic Golden Lion win (the highest honor ever received by a Filipino movie in history) is too much to ignore. Sure, it’s a Lav Diaz film which means it runs for more than three hours, and that didn’t help Norte two years ago. That said, foreign critics being unanimously positive about it, plus the film being called as his most accessible (especially since Diaz is another name that’s divisive to foreign critics), with a sure huge company to back its campaign (Charo Santos was the president of the biggest TV network in the country), it’s basically a decision too obvious to make by that time. That’s why it’s a tad surprising that the announcement happened yesterday. This prompted Humayo to move back to a September 28 screening, which will make it ineligible for next year’s submission too. That, and the buzz over Golden Lion and the Toronto inclusion will be old news by then. Let it be clear though that none of this should be pointed against Ma’Rosa, Mendoza, or any of his team, since decision wasn’t really theirs.
A few weeks ago pre-Venice Film Fest, I wrote about the possible submissions and strongly felt that none of the films would do the trick. In that case, why not throw a bone to Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa. But the whole Golden Lion win affected everything. My final verdict says that nope we ain’t getting that nomination nor that Top 9 mention. If anything, my takeaway with this year is that we’ve finally acknowledged and submitted Mendoza’s work (which was already beyond deserving back in 2009 when we had that tragic Ded na si Lolo submission), but at the expense of a stronger contender. I’d love to be wrong though.
Off to next year.
While it’s obvious by now that the PMPC Star Awards for Television isn’t really what you’d call as prestigious, it’s probably the closest award giving body there is to local TV. That’s why it’s still somehow relevant. Besides, every now and then there are still some inspired lineup and wins from this group even if it’s at the expense of mostly boring ones. That’s why year in and year out, it’s still fun to predict these things just to see which direction they decide to be in every year. Anyway, let’s see which craziness they’d do. Here are my predictions for this year:
Best TV Station
- ABS-CBN (Channel 2)
- ABS-CBN Sports+Action (Channel 23, still listed as Studio 23)
- AksyonTV (Channel 41)
- CNN Philippines (Channel 9)
- GMA (Channel 7)
- GMA News TV (Channel 11)
- IBC (Channel 13)
- Net 25 (Channel 25)
- PTV (Channel 4)
- TV5 (Channel 5)
- UNTV Life (Channel 37)
It still amuses me why the PMPC still bothers including all the other stations when during the previous 28 years, the award has gone to either ABS-CBN and GMA only. That said, it’s refreshing to see both CNN Philippines and ABS-CBN Sports + Action here. However, they must do up the cleaning and leave PTV, IBC,and Aksyon TV to rest. As for who’s winning it, it seems like they’re still on a Kapamilya high so I guess it’s another year where Quezon Avenue trumps over Kamuning.
PREDICTION: ABS-CBN 2
Best Primetime Drama Series
- Bagito (ABS-CBN)
- Bridges of Love (ABS-CBN)
- Forevermore (ABS-CBN)
- Hawak Kamay (ABS-CBN)
- Nathaniel (ABS-CBN)
- Pari ‘Koy (GMA)
- The Rich Man’s Daughter (GMA)
Surprisingly enough, there isn’t an overwhelming frontrunner this year. There’s no really huge ensemble show like last year’s winner Ikaw Lamang. I think Bagito and Pari Koy are fillers here and they didn’t get any other nomination outside of this one. The Rich Man’s Daughter failed to come close with GMA’s previous same sex drama My Husband’s Lover in 2013, and even that lost the race. The race is probably between Nathaniel (high rated show promoting good moral values) and Forevermore (the show that really launched the Lizquen pairing), and I give the edge to the former.
Best Daytime Drama Series
- Ang Lihim ni Annasandra (GMA)
- Flordeliza (ABS-CBN)
- Healing Hearts (GMA)
- Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? (GMA)
- Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita (ABS-CBN)
- Oh My G! (ABS-CBN)
- The Half Sisters (GMA)
With no Be Careful with My Heart in the running anymore, this category could go to many contenders. The Half Sisters has been one of those rare shows that passed the one-year mark especially in this current time when dramas would run nine months the longest. And it still hasn’t showed any signs of ending yet. But then there’s also FlordeLiza which received three acting nominations and is seen as the comeback of Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal in ABSCBN. And despite not getting nominations for its cast(outside of Breakthrough Actor and Actress), Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita is a Ricky Lee creation and one whose prestige can go well with the voters. Actually, you could pick any from the three.
ALTERNATE: The Half Sisters
Best Drama Actor
- Alden Richards (Illustrado / GMA)
- Daniel Padilla (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
- Eddie Garcia (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
- Gerald Anderson (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
- Jericho Rosales (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- Paulo Avelino (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- Piolo Pascual (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
There’s no Coco Martin in the race this year, so it’s hard to pin down which direction they’d go here. It’s one Kapuso actor vs. six Kapamilyas here, but we’re talking about the biggest Kapuso actor there is. Thus, I feel like PMPC will jump on the bandwagon and reward Alden Richards the win here. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before (Dingdong Dantes won in 2010), and he’s playing the role of the country’s national hero. You know it says something that they went all the way back to his Ilustrado project just to nominate him here, so they’d waste no time not giving him the actual win. That said, if not Richards, I think they’ll use this Coco-less field to reward either Paulo Avelino or Gerald Anderson who both are still winless here.
PREDICTION: Alden Richards, “Ilustrado“
ALTERNATE: Paulo Avelino, “Bridges of Love”
Best Drama Actress
- Aiko Melendez (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
- Angelica Panganiban (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
- Coney Reyes (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
- Empress Schuck (Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? / GMA)
- Jodi Sta. Maria (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
- Jolina Magdangal (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
- Maja Salvador (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- Shaina Magdayao (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
Let me begin by saying it’s really surprising that Empress Schuck ended up as the lone Kapuso representative here considering that she’s a kontrabida in an afternoon soap opera. That said, I think the on air rivalry of their characters will just translate here with the two Pangako Sa’Yo characters battling it out. Back in 2000, Eula Valdez won over Jean Garcia in this same race with the latter winning the following year. As for this one, I see Jodi Sta. Maria finally getting her overdue win especially after she failed to win one for her turn in Be Careful with My Heart. Watch out for Jolina Magdangal though considering the amount of baity materials her character had gone through in Flordeliza.
PREDICTION: Jodi Sta. Maria, “Pangako Sa’Yo“
ALTERNATE: Jolina Magdangal, “FlordeLiza”
Best Drama Supporting Actor
- Baron Geisler (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
- Carlo Aquino (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
- Edu Manzano (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- JM de Guzman (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
- Mike Tan (The Rich Man’s Daughter / GMA)
- Ronnie Lazaro (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
- Tirso Cruz III (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
To be frank, I’m certain that if JM de Guzman didn’t screw up his second chance, you know he has this one locked. But then again, I guess it will go to one of their two favorite character actors: Baron Geisler for his role as the evil villain in Nathaniel, or Carlo Aquino in Flordeliza. I’m giving the edge to Geisler simply because his is a more flat out evil role here and the three performances this category has awarded are all kontrabida turns.
PREDICTION: Baron Geisler, “Nathaniel“
ALTERNATE: Carlo Aquino, “FlordeLiza”
Best Drama Supporting Actress
- Amy Austria-Ventura (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
- Carmina Villaroel (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- Eula Valdez (Illustrado / GMA)
- Irma Adlawan (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)
- Jean Garcia (The Half Sisters / GMA)
- Sheryl Cruz (Strawberry Lane / GMA)
- Sofia Andres (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)
It’s sooooooooo PMPC to nominate Eula Valdez and Jean Garcia against each other the same year they nominated Jodi Sta. Maria and Angelica Panganiban in Lead. You know they’re trying to score that all four would attend and have that epic reunion photo. That said, I have no idea who’ll win here considering this is only the category’s third year of existence and the previous two years were back to back wins for KC Concepcion. If that’s any indication, maybe they like their younger actresses, so I guess I’ll have to go with Sofia Andres here.
PREDICTION: Sofia Andres, “Forevermore“
ALTERNATE: Amy Austria-Ventura, “Pangako Sa’Yo”
Best Child Performer
- Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
- Ashley Sarmiento (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
- Chlaui Malayao (Yagit / GMA)
- Harvey Bautista (Wansapanataym presents: “Remote ni Eric” / ABS-CBN)
- Jana Agoncillo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
- Marco Masa (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
- Xyriel Manabat (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
- Zaijian Jaranilla (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
I think Jana Agoncillo is considered as the breakout young child discovery of the year, and as shown by her two nominations, the PMPC is fond of her. But knowing that she has no chance to win in New Female TV Personality, this might be where they reward her. Watch out for Marco Masa considering that the only winners here are two performances headlining their own show (Andrea Brillantes’ AnnaLiza and Raikko Mateo in Honesto.)
PREDICTION: Jana Agoncillo, “Dream Dad“
ALTERNATE: Marco Masa, “Nathaniel”
Best Comedy Program
- 2 1/2 Daddies (TV5)
- Home Sweetie Home (ABS-CBN)
- Ismol Family (GMA)
- Luv U (ABS-CBN)
- Mac and Chiz (TV5)
- Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento (GMA)
- Vampire Ang Daddy Ko (GMA)
The presence of the two TV5 comedies here at least provided some diversity, regardless of their actual quality. And due to lack of competition anymore in the Youth Oriented Program, 3x winner Luv U has been transferred here instead. But then, count on current winner Home Sweetie Home to bag a consecutive one. The show hasn’t been canceled anyway, and it’s still doing good in the ratings.
PREDICTION: Home Sweetie Home
ALTERNATE: Luv U
Best Comedy Actor
- Clarence Delgado (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
- Jayson Gainza (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
- John Lloyd Cruz (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)
- Michael V. (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
- Ryan Agoncillo (Ismol Family / GMA)
- Sef Cadayona (Bubble Gang / GMA)
- Vic Sotto (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)
With his new Asian TV Awards nomination this year for his turn in Pepito Manaloto, expect Michael V to win his fifth trophy in this category. That said, it’s not wise to dismiss current champ Sef Cadayona targeting back to back wins as the Bubble Gang representative or Jayson Gainza who has yet to win one here despite being nominated multiple times already for his work in Banana Split.
PREDICTION: Michael V., “Pepito Manaloto”
ALTERNATE: Sef Cadayona, “Bubble Gang”
Best Comedy Actress
- Angelica Panganiban (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
- Carmi Martin (Ismol Family / GMA)
- Manilyn Reynes (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
- Mutya Orquia (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
- Rufa Mae Quinto (Bubble Gang / GMA)
- Ryzza Mae Dizon (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)
- Toni Gonzaga (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)
Since 2000, Rufa Mae Quinto has won this category eight times, so it’s a bit of a giveaway that as long as she’s nominated, then she’s in contention for the win. And considering the dire emptiness of this category, then this can be an easy ninth win. That said, if they decide to have both Amor and Claudia win, then they might give this one to Angelica Panganiban so that they’d both be rewarded on Star Awards night.
PREDICTION: Rufa Mae Quinto, “Bubble Gang”
ALTERNATE: Angelica Panganiban, “Banana Split Extra Scoop”
Best Single Performance by An Actor
- Alex Medina (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Niloko Niyo Ako” / ABS-CBN)
- Arjo Atayde (Maalala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Liham” / ABS-CBN)
- Coco Martin (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Watawat” / ABS-CBN)
- Edgar Allan Guzman (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Box” / ABS-CBN)
- John Lloyd Cruz (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Hat” / ABS-CBN)
- Matt Evans (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Nasa Maling Landas” / ABS-CBN)
- Mike Tan (Magpakailanman episode: “8 Shades of Gay: The Tubato Family Story” / GMA)
It’s really a battle of two PMPC favorites in this category. On one hand, there’s Coco Martin who has won four of the last six years in Best Actor: Drama category. Chances are, when he’s nominated, you know he’s winning. Add the fact that he still hasn’t won in this category, and it’s for the most buzzed about MMK episode of the year about the SAS44 soldiers, and you know it’s a shoo-in already. But then there’s Arjo Atayde who has won one Star trophy the last three years: New Male Personality in 2012, Drama Supporting Actor in 2013, and this exact category last year. I’m actually predicting a tie, but look at Mike Tan to possibly upset since they tend to favor gender bender performances here.
PREDICTION: Coco Martin, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” and Arjo Atayde, “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
ALTERNATE: Mike Tan,”Magpakailanman”
Best Single Performance by An Actress
Current winner Sunshine Cruz is in contention again so she can easily do a repeat back to back win in this category just like Gretchen Barretto in 2009 and 2010. Then it’s not safe to dismiss the Superstar Nora Aunor in the race especially since she played a comfort woman haunted by her past in Karelasyon. And then there’s Angel Locsin possibly winning seven years since her first if the voters are big fans of the two-parter SAF44 special. Right now, I’d give the edge to La Aunor winning here.
PREDICTION: Nora Aunor, “Karelasyon”
ALTERNATE: Sunshine Cruz, “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
Best New Male TV Personality
- Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
- Jemuell Ventinilla (Yagit / GMA)
- Joshua Garcia (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
- JV Cruz (Iskoolmates: May Pakialam Ka! / PTV)
- Kurt Ong (Wansapanataym presents: “My Kung Fu Chinito / ABS-CBN)
- Kyle Blanco (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
- Sancho Vito (Let the Love Begin / GMA)
This is surprisingly a weak year for new male actors as a lot of these are really fringe contenders. But then sometimes, this is the type of an open category that gives them the freedom to choose really random contenders such as 2009 winner JR de Guzman for TV 5’s Midnight DJ. I’d say Alonzo Muhlach wins this one just for being the easiest choice here. Incidentally enough, it was also in 2009 when a child star last won here (Zaijan Jaranilla for May Bukas Pa) which tied him with previously mentioned JR de Guzman. Maybe this year Alonzo ties with a random contender too. Who’s your bet?
PREDICTION: Alonzo Muhlach, “Inday Bote”
ALTERNATE: Joshua Garcia, “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita”
Best New Female TV Personality
- Ali Forbes (Pinay Beauty Queen Academy / GMA News TV)
- Jana Agoncilo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
- Loisa Andalio (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
- Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza (Eat Bulaga!/Kalyeserye / GMA)
- Maris Racal (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Lobo” / ABS-CBN)
- MJ Lastimosa (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Takure / ABS-CBN)
- Stephanie Yamut (Yagit / GMA)
Two words: MAINE MENDOZA. ‘Nuff said.
But really, it’s such a strong category and a lot of these other nominees would have won in much weaker years. But it can’t be refuted that this is Maine Mendoza’s year, and there’s no one more fitting to win this one than her. She really is the female TV personality to look for this year. The only way I see the others winning this is if there’s a tie, and you know even that is unfair.
PREDICTION: Maine Mendoza, “Eat Bulaga”
ALTERNATE: Maris Racal, “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
Best Male TV Host
- Billy Crawford (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
- German Moreno (Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman / GMA)
- Luis Manzano (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Martin Nievera (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Robi Domingo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Vice Ganda (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
- Wally Bayola (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
Sure it’s not the traditional hosting per se, but Wally Bayola has been doing the equal lifting as we enjoy the daily Kalyeserye episodes. Lola Nidora has been a huge part of Pinoy pop culture especially this year that if Allan K can win this category in 2011, you know it’s Wally Bayola’s to lose.
PREDICTION: Wally Bayola, “Eat Bulaga”
ALTERNATE: Billy Crawford, “It’s Showtime!”
Best Female TV Host
- Anne Curtis (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
- Julia Clarete (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
- Pia Guanio (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
- Sarah Geronimo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Toni Gonzaga (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Vina Morales (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
- Zsa Zsa Padilla (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Toni Gonzaga has been dominating this category winning four of the last five years that you know it will just be an additional trophy to her mantle case for this year. That said, the only time she lost was to Anne Curtis two years ago, and since they’re duking out here again, maybe she’d be the one to dethrone her too.
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga, “ASAP 20”
ALTERNATE: Anne Curtis, “It’s Showtime!”
As for the rest of the categories, here are my predictions:
Best Drama Mini-Series
ALTERNATE: Give Love on Christmas
Best Drama Anthology
Best Gag Show
PREDICTION: Goin Bulilit
ALTERNATE: Banana Split: Extra Scoop
Best Musical-Variety Show
PREDICTION: ASAP 20
ALTERNATE: It’s Showtime
Best Reality Show
PREDICTION: I Do
ALTERNATE: Pinay Beauty Queen Academy
Best Reality Show Host
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Enchong Dee and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: 737”
ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, John Prats and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: All In”
Best Game Show
ALTERNATE: Celebrity Bluff
Best Game Show Host
PREDICTION: Luis Manzano, “Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal”
ALTERNATE: Willie Revillame, “Wowowin”
Best Talent Search Program
PREDICTION: Talentadong Pinoy 2014
ALTERNATE: Bet ng Bayan
Best Talent Search Program Host
PREDICTION: Billy Crawford, “Your Face Sounds Familiar”
ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga, Luis Mazano, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga, “The Voice of the Philippines Season 2”
Best Celebrity Talk Show
PREDICTION: Aquino and Abunda Tonight
ALTERNATE: Gandang Gabi Vice
Best Celebrity Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Vice Ganda, “Gandang Gabi Vice”
ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, “Aquino and Abunda Tonight”
Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show
PREDICTION: The Buzz
Best Male Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Ricky Lo “Startalk”
ALTERNATE: Joey de Leon,”Startalk”
Best Female Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga, “The Buzz”
ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, “The Buzz”
Best Educational Program
ALTERNATE: Swak na Swak
Best Educational Program Host
PREDICTION: Kim Atienza, “Matanglawin”
ALTERNATE: Jennlyn Mercado, “Sarap with Family”
Best Documentary Program
ALTERNATE: Reporter’s Notebook
Best Documentary Program Host
PREDICTION: Sandra Aguinaldo, Kara David, Jay Taruc, Howie Severino, “I-Witness”
ALTERNATE: Jiggy Manicad, Maki Pulido, “Reporter’s Notebook”
Best Documentary Special
PREDICTION: Spratlys: Mga Isla ng Kalayaan
ALTERNATE: #PUSO2019: Ang Pambihirang Love Story ng mga Pinoy sa Basketball
Best News Program
PREDICTION: State of the Nation with Jessica Soho
Best Male Newscaster
PREDICTION: Julius Babao “Bandila”
ALTERNATE: Erwin Tulfo,”Aksyon Prime”
Best Female Newscaster
PREDICTION: Karen Davila, “Bandila”
ALTERNATE: Jessica Soho,”State of the Nation”
Best Morning Show
PREDICTION: Umagang Kay Ganda
ALTERNATE: Unang Hirit
Best Morning Show Host
PREDICTION: Umagang Kay Ganda hosts
ALTERNATE: Unang Hirit hosts
Best Magazine Show
ALTERNATE: Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho
Best Magazine Show Host
PREDICTION: Susan Enriquez, Cesar Apolinario, “iJuander”
ALTERNATE: Jessica Soho,”Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho”
Best Children Show
PREDICTION: Tropang Potchi
Best Children Show Host
PREDICTION: Sabrina Man, Miggy Jimenez, Isabel “Lenlen” Frial, Nomer Limatog, Miggs Cuaderno, and Kyle Daniel Ocampo, “Tropang Potchi”
ALTERNATE: Aira Binas, Gerard Pangusan, Rissey Reyes, Alex Reyes, and Fred Lo,”Hi-5 Philippines”
Best Public Affairs Program
PREDICTION: The Bottomline with Boy Abunda
ALTERNATE: Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie
Best Public Affairs Program Host
PREDICTION: Boy Abunda, “The Bottomline”
ALTERNATE: Winnie Monsod, “Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie”
Best Public Service Program
PREDICTION: T3: Alliance
ALTERNATE: SOCO: Scene of the Crime Operatives
Best Public Service Program Host
PREDICTION: Tulfo brothers, “T3: Alliance”
ALTERNATE: Vicky Morales, “Wish Ko Lang”
Best Travel Show
PREDICTION: Biyahe ni Drew
ALTERNATE: Business Flight
Best Travel Show Host
PREDICTION: Drew Arellano, “Biyahe ni Drew”
ALTERNATE: Venus Raj, Cristina Decena,”Business Flight”
Best Lifestyle Show
ALTERNATE: Gandang Ricky Reyes
Best Lifestyle Show Host
PREDICTION: Kris Aquino, “KrisTV”
ALTERNATE: Ricky Reyes, “Gandang Ricky Reyes“
The concept of who is the best for a particular field is a very subjective one. Each taste differs from another one. The current lead acting winners at the Gawad Urian last week gave me a thought that we are slowly shifting to younger actors to handle lead roles in both mainstream and independent films. With that, I came up with a list of the best young actors of the current generation. The main and single criteria that I used here is that the actors need to be under the age of 35 and below. Their filmographies, performances, and other relevant factors were considered as well. However, like what I mentioned, each opinion is subjective, so I’m sharing this with you and you can agree with me or take it with a grain of salt.
First, here are names that were close but failed to make the cut: Wendell Ramos, Vhong Navarro, Ketchup Eusebio, and Paulo Avelino.
So now, let’s begin with the actual countdown:
16. ZANJOE MARUDO
Notable Performances: Altar, Sa’yo Lamang, Wedding Tayo Wedding Hindi
Zanjoe Marudo is probably one of the underrated contemporary actors we have. While he is usually relegated to supporting roles and leading man roles, he simply makes the best out of what’s given to him. It also does not hurt that he’s one of the actors that works well in the comedy genre while not totally being ignorant in dramatic roles. As a matter of fact, he has starred in straight comedies (Kimmy Dora), straight dramas (Sa’yo Lamang), straight thrillers (Altar), as well as rom-coms (You Got Me), and horror-comedy (Cinco episode: Puso). It seems that his handler aims for a pretty much versatile résumé.
15. JOEM BASCON
Notable Performances: Noy, Ka Oryang, Batanes
Started out in the business as part of the teenage show Let’s Go, Joem Bascon was first launched as simply a Piolo Pascual look a-like. Years later, he emerged as one of the go to young character actors with his hunky looks and strong features as add-ons to his undeniable talent. He also went on to win a Supporting Actor Urian in 2010 for his performance as a wheelchaired drug dealer in the politically themed movie Noy. While Joem’s current projects is the ABSCBN drama Walang Hanggan, he still takes indie movie roles every now and then such as his recent turn in Ka Oryang.
14. SAM MILBY
Notable Performances: Third World Happy, Forever and a Day, My Big Love
Sam Milby, who was once a housemate in the country’s biggest reality show, turned out to be one of the best actors of his generation. Whether it’s his work as the lovable chubby guy Macky in My Big Love or an academe member in Babe I Love You, Sam has this certain movie star charisma that is difficult to resist. Beyond that though is the depth in his recent performances that require more emotional tugs such as the son who experiences a life changing realization in Third World Happy or his serious competitive businessman in Forever and a Day, It is very easy to predict that there’s still a long way ahead waiting for Milby’s star to shine even brighter.
13. JIRO MANIO
Notable Performances: Magnifico, La Vida Rosa, Foster Child
At a very young age, Jiro Manio has already given some of the finest performances in recent Philippine cinema. His turn as the lovable child Magnifico won raves not only here in the country but in other parts of the world as well. Before that, he used to sweep Child Acting categories for his performances in other movies such as Bagong Buwan, Mila, and La Vida Rosa. While his succeeding movies ranged from excellent (Foster Child), to good (Tanging Ina) to bad (Bahay Kubo) to unfathomable (Manay Po series), his capabilities as an actor will never ever be denied.
12. JASON ABALOS
Notable Performances: Endo, Thelma, Adela
For his age, Jason Abalos seems to exude this level of confidence and maturity of men older than him. That was most evident in his Urian winning performance “Endo” when partnered with more mature actress Ina Feleo. He also got a chance to be paired with the country’s top young actress Judy Ann Santos in a TV anthology. While Jason is very much active in his television career (he never runs out of series whether it’s in daytime or primetime), it will be better to see Jason Abalos do movies and take the center stage once again.
11. MARVIN AGUSTIN
Notable Performances: Tanging Yaman, Kutob, Patikul
Marvin Agustin was once a member of the elite club of loveteams in Philippine entertainment in the late 90s. His early works were usually pairings with loveteam Jolina Magdangal. However, the decade 2000 showed the best of Marvin Agustin when he started to move on to projects that tend to result to critical and commercial acclaim such as “Tanging Yaman” and “Trip”. And even before Dingdong Dantes showed the psychopath role in Segunda Mano last year, Marvin already did the same performance in Jose Javier Reyes’ Kutob in 2005. While he veered away from leading man materials in films, Marvin still stars in notable ones such as his nominated performance in last year’s indie film “Patikul.”
10. YUL SERVO
Notable Performances: Batang Westside, Laman, Naglalayag
While he was never introduced as a matinee or teenage idol, Yul Servo has made a name for himself via Lav Diaz’s Batang Westside in 2001. This 33 year old Moreno chinito actor has then made his mark in the industry when he starred in Maryo J delos Reyes’s Laman in 2002 and Albert Martinez’s Rosario last year. He also played the leading man of the one and only Superstar Nora Aunor in Naglalayag which gave him lots of nominations during that year’s awards season. Servo has acted and starred with the likes of Joel Torre, Nora Aunor, Jaclyn Jose, Albert Martinez, and Elizabeth Oropesa in his decade long career, and if that’s not impressive, then I don’t know what is.
09. DENNIS TRILLO
Notable Performances: Aishite Imasu, Blue Moon, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Dennis Trillo gave one of the most memorable breakthrough performances in Philippine movie history when he starred as a cross-dressing man to whom a high Japanese officer fell in love with in the middle of war. This performance gave Trillo two Star Awards, a Luna, and a FAMAS. His next performances such as the gradpa’s son in Blue Moon, the syndicate leader in Mano Po 6, and the gym instructor torn between a mother and her daughter in Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow merited awards consideration as well.
08. PAOLO CONTIS
Notable Performances: Pagsasamang Kay Ganda: Noon at Ngayon, Banal, Listonero
One of the most successful Ang TV alumnus, Paolo Contis managed to smoothly translate his career from sidekicks and ensemble members to actual stars and lead actors of the films he starred in. While he currently works as a co-host of GMA’s Manny Manny Prizes, his film performances such as the gay son in Noon at Ngayon and his Star Awards Best Actor winning performance in Banal were some of the reasons why Contis is ahead to some of his contemporaries in terms of achievements.
07. BARON GEISLER
Notable Performances: Jologs, Jay, Manila Kingpin: Asiong Salonga Story
Baron Geisler’s personal issues usually meddle with people’s perception of him as a celebrity but never when it comes to his works. As an actor, Geisler is one of the most versatile out there. As for starters, he played Vilma Santos’ goody two shoes in Anak that gave him several awards nominations. Next, he made an impact as the gay survivor who was almost killed in the ensemble driven film Jologs. While most of his succeeding performances were villainous turns in Nandito Ako Nagmamahal Sa’yo, Baler, and Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story, his most compelling performance to date was when he play the title role of the gay report Jay in 2009.
06. CARLO AQUINO
Notable Performances: Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa, Minsan May Isang Puso, Sa Aking Pagkakagising sa Kamulatan
Carlo Aquino shared the screen with veterans such as Vilma Santos, Albert Martinez, Ricky Davao, and Jaclyn Jose. It’s difficult to make level yourself up with them but Carlo does it with so much ease that he even gets nominations and trophies even at a young age. When he got older, he suffered some career lie low due to the awkward transition of every celebrity child star to adulthood. However, that did not stop him from giving bravura performances one after the other may it be in leading roles such as Sa Aking Pagkagising sa Kamulatan in 2005 and Torotot in 2008 or supporting turns such as Baler and Tanging Ina franchise.
05. PIOLO PASCUAL
Notable Performances: Dekada ’70, Milan, Manila
Probably the most famous eligible bachelor in the local entertainment industry, Piolo Pascual is by no means just a guy with good looks. Time and again, he has already proven that he is an all around guy that made waves whether it is in recording, television, and now, producing industry as well. But of course, when we mention Piolo Pascual the actor, his effective and intense performances in his films such as his FAMAS winning stint in Milan, Star Awards winning performances in Don’t Give Up On Us and Paano Kita Iibigin are some of what folks will remember. Awards aficionados though will always remember how Piolo Pascual was the last person who achieved grandslam status by winning all major supporting actor awards from the MMFF, PMPC, FAP, FAMAS, and Urian for his turn as son Jules Bartolome in Star Cinema’s Dekada 70.
04. JERICHO ROSALES
Notable Performances: Tanging Yaman, Santa Santita, Pacquiao: The Movie
From one Hunk to another, Jericho Rosales has really come a long way from his Mr. Pogi days. This former fish vendor achieved so many from being a primetime royalty to a member of The Hunks to recording artist and to an award winning actor. While most criticisms re: Echo always root from his English accent, no one can deny his approach to move roles given to him. His supporting performances in Tanging Yaman, Bagong Buwan, Noon at Ngayon up to his lead ones such as Baler, Pacquiao: the Movie, and Santa Santita are living proofs of his effectiveness as one of the best actors of his generation.
03. COCO MARTIN
Notable Performances: Serbis, Kinatay, Noy
Dubbed as the Prince of Philippine Indie Movies, Coco martin must feel a lot of pressure in his shoulders to be named as such. However, that cool and effortless demeanor he exudes when he portrays his roles is a big testament on why he is achieving success both in mainstream and independent industry. That characteristic is most prevalent in his performances wherein he was a masseur (Masahista), a conflicted young husband (Kinatay), and a desperate reporter (Noy). Lately, Coco is busy fulfilling his television star status, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one waiting for his next big screen output.
02. SID LUCERO
Notable Performances: Selda, Independecia, Muli
Given that he is the son of one of the country’s best actors, it is easy to figure out that 31 year old actor Sid Lucero will really do well in this field. But while we are expecting good stuff from him, we’re still surprised to find out that not only did he bring the good stuff, he even brought the great stuff in his performances. With Sid, what you see is not necessarily what you get. Behind his machismo overload demeanor comes a vulnerable and effective portrayal of different types of people such as his performances in the movies Selda, Donsol, and Muli. Sid is also one of the only six actors (and the youngest at that) to receive multiple Best Actor awards at the Gawad Urian Awards. Yes, you can close your mouth now.
01. JOHN LLOYD CRUZ
Notable Performances: One More Chance, In My Life, My Amnesia Girl
Finally, the one I consider as the best actor, in my opinion, of his generation, John Lloyd Cruz is one of the best risk takers among his contemporaries. He started out showing potential already when he won Best Actor at the 2000 Star Awards for TV beating the likes of Eddie Garcia and Richard Gomez. His movie star status started out doing love teams one after the other, but it wasn’t until his performance of Popoy in 2006 cult classic One More Chance that relegated him into the most charismatic actor in recent years. Whether it’s with Bea Alonzo, Sarah Geronimo, Toni Gonzaga, and Angel Locsin, all of John Lloyd’s movies never fail to hit stride with the watchers. Oh, and he is always at the top of his acting game. Have I mentioned the big slap he gave Vilma Santos after shouting at her face? That’s some pretty big balls out there, and John Lloyd always I’m sure is the country’s best among his peers.
There you have it. Who do you think was left out? Did you agree with my John Lloyd pick? Are you looking for Rainier Castillo? Pipe them in at the Comments section. 🙂