Dec 04
27th LUNA AWARDS—THE FINALISTS by Jose N. Carreon  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, Dec 4, 2009

(First of two parts)

With the final lists of nominees for the 11 categories of the 27th Luna Awards about to be reviewed by a smaller batch of voters, it appears that only six of last year’s winners have a chance to make it two in a row during this year’s awards night for filmic achievements in 2008.

Last year’s 26th Luna Awards winners who are still in the running are Director Maryo J. de los Reyes (A Love Story); Supporting Actor Dante Rivero (A Love Story); Editor Jess Navarro (Silip); Musical Scorer Carmina Robles-Cuya (Quija); Sound Engineer Ditoy Aguila (Quija); and best picture producer Star Cinema (A Love Story).

The rest of last year’s winners did not even make it to the citers lists. They included Actor Paolo Contis (Banal), Actress Maricel Soriano (Bahay Kubo), Supporting Actress Angelica Panganiban (A Love Story), Scriptwriter Vanessa Valdez (A Love Story), Cinematographer Renato de Vera (Ataul for Rent) and Production Designer Rodell Cruz (Resiklo).

Let us review this year’s lists of nominees category by category to point certain trivia that will make this year’s Luna Awards interesting.

Best Direction

Luna Awards 2007 best director Maryo J. delos Reyes is in the nominees’ list for Torotot. Maryo also won best director for Magnifico in 2003.2006 best director Jose Javier Reyes is nominated for Magkaibigan. Vying against the two are Mark Meily for 2008 Metropolitan Manila Film Festival’s best film Baler; Chito S. Rono for Caregiver; and Cathy Garcia-Molina for A Very Special Love.

In the 26 years of the luna Awards, there had been five multi- or two-time winners in this category. Joel Lamangan tops the list with four. Eddie Garcia won three times. Two-time winners were the late National Artist for Film Lino Brocka, August Salvador and Elwood Perez.

Best Screenplay

Only one former winner—Michiko Yamamoto (Magnifico) in 2003—heads the nominated scriptwriters this year. Michiko is nominated for Endo which she co-wrote with Jade Francis Castro and Raymond Lee.

The other nominees are Chris Martinez for Caregiver, Roy Iglesias for Baler, Paul Alexander Morales for Concerto and Dante Nico Garcia and Benjamin Lingan for Ploning.

There had been three multi-time winners and three two-time winners in this category. The Academy gave two screenplay awards—original and adapataion—up to 1997. The winningest scriptwriter is Ricky Lee who has amassed seven trophies (five for original and two for adaptation). Raquel Villavicencio won two original and two adaptation while the late Orlando Nadres won two adaptation and an original screenplay.

Two-time winners are director Calos J. Caparas, Humilde Meek Roxas and Amado Lacuesta. The last two writers have unfortunately passed away.


Nominated for best cinematography are two former winners. They are 2002 best cinematographer Shayne Clemente-Sarte (Kailangan Kita) for For the First Time and 2005 winner Charlie S. Peralta (Nasaan Ka Man) for Ploning.

Three other cinematographers barged into the best 5 list, namely Eli Balce for Caregiver; Metro Filmfest 2008 best cinematographer Lee Meily for Baler and Larry Manda for 100.

In the category of cinematography, there are only four multi-time winners. Romy Vitug took home the Luna Award trophy eight times, including the first ever award for the year 1982. Three others—the late Eduardo Totoy Jacinto and the brothers Araojo (the late Johnny and the younger Romulo)—won three times each.

Production Design

It will be a first time winner for this category as the best 5 list seems to be crowded by young and new designers.

The five nominees are Nancy Arcega (A Very Special Love), Raymond George Fernandez (Ploning), Mario Lipit (Kulam), Aped Santos (Baler), Gerry Santos (Concerto) and Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije for Serbis.

From 1982, there have been two four-time winners, three three-time winners and a two-time winner in this category. Topping the winners are Don Escudero (co-winner with Rodell Cruz in 1982) and Manny Morfe, the present president of the Production Designers’ Guild of the Philippines. Three–time winners are Joey Luna, Benjie de Guzman and Rodell Cruz. Fiel Zabat (who migrated to the States after winning in 1983 and 84) chalked up two wins.


The nominees for the editing category included two former winners—Jess Navarro, the present president of the United Film sditors Guild who is nominated for Torotot and who chalked up wins in 1999 (Sidhi), 2000 (Death Row) and 2007 (Silip); and Marya Ignacio, who is nominated for two films (A Very Special Love and My Only You), who best editor in 2004 (Aishite Imasu) and 2005 (Nasaan Ka Man).

The other nominees are Manet Dayrit (Caregiver) and Ike Veneracion (100).

There are three editors who are holders of four or more best editing trophies. They are now all full-time directors—Edgardo Boy Vinarao (6-time winner), Augusto Salvador (4-time winner) and Ike Jarlego Jr. (4-time winner). Two-time winners are Renato de Leon (1998 and 1993), Jess Navarro (1999 and 2000), Marya Ignacio (2004 and 2005) and Vito Cajili (2006 and 2003).

Musical Score

The last three best musical score winners are represented in this year’s nominees’ list for this particular category.

2005 winner Von de Guzman (for Blue Moon) is nominated for Kulam. 2006 winner Vincent de Jesus (for Zsa Zsa Saturnah) has sneaked in two films, namely Baler and I.T.A.L.Y. And 2007 winner Carmina Robles-Cuya (for Quija) is in the hustings for another trophy for Caregiver.

The other nominated scorer is cited Jesse Lasaten for Ploning.

Because musical scorers also vie for the best theme song (which was handed out last in 2001), Willy Cruz owns the most number of Luna Awards trophies—four for musical scoring and nine for best theme song.

The late George Canseco garnered two Lunas for scoring and four for best theme song while the late Ernani Cuenco won three times, twice for scoring and once for best theme song. Three-time winners for best musical scoring are Nonong Buencamino and Ryan Cayabyab. Two-time winners are Jimmy Fabregas and Blitz Padua.


Three former winners are back in the middle of the fight for the best sound Luna.

Albert Michael Idioma is nominated for three—with solo credit for Ploning and When Love Begins. He shares credit with Addiss Tabong for one Night Only. Albert has already two Luna trophies to his credit for Malikmata (2003) and Feng Shui (2004). His co-worker Addiss also won in 2005 for Nasaan Ka Man.

The other nominees are Ditoy Aguila, winner in 2007 for Quija, for his work in Baler and Ronald de Asis for Magkaibigan.

Because sound technicians comprise a small collegial group, it is not surprising that five sound experts account for wins in 20 years of the awards. The late Ramon Reyes Jr. won six times while Rollie Ruta won five times but in consecutive order—from the years 1984 to 1988 (which is the record for consecutive wins in the Luna Awards). The late Vic Macamay won five time also. Gaudencio Barredo and Albert Idioma complete the list with two trophies each.

(Continued next week: Performance categories and awards trivia)

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