The newborn LUNA was baptized in simple rites at the Film Academy office last Saturday, May 7, 2005. The christening ceremony was officiated by Ms. Boots Anson-Roa, assisted by FAP Chairman Espiridion Laxa and FAP Director General Leo Martinez.
In attendance were the godparents of Luna (who are actually senders of winning entries in the search for the FAP statuette name). A brainchild of FAP Director General Leo Martinez, the Name the FAP Statuette contest was launched in www.fapweb.org, the official website of the Film Academy which is fast beoming the premier e-zine of the Philippine entertainment sector.
“She’s turning 23 next week, it’s high time to give the lady a proper name,” said the tireless FAP Director General. Mowelfund Executive Director Boots Anson-Roa said in jest, “Wala nga kasing pangalan kaya iba-iba ang pet name niya, minsan Kulasa ang tawag namin, minsan naman Kulaspira.”
FAP Chairman Espiridion Laxa was glad to take note of the 221 names sent in by 319 surfers of the cyber community. The panel of judges, composed of Jose Carreon, Pablo Gomez and Manny Morfe, undertook the painstaking task of screening the entries into a shortlist of 25 names. After requesting for the reasons from the senders, the judges further trimmed down the list to the final 5 names headed by Luna followed by Tala, Maria Clara, Maharlika and Likha.
FAP Director General Leo Martinez stressing a point. Looking on are the contest judges Jose Carreon, Pablo Reina Libiran (representing Pablo Gomez), Manny Morfe and FAP Chairman Espiridion Laxa.
Courtesy of grand prize winners Baltazar Dela Cruz and Romeo Cando, the Film Academy Awards will now be called the Luna Awards. Bart and Romy received 5,000 pesos each for their creative effort. Second prize went to TALA, which earned 3,000 pesos for Valerie Ann Bacay. Third prize was MARIA CLARA, an entry by Bing Manalo worth 2,000 pesos. Honorable mention, with a 1,000 cash prize each, went to Paulino Umali, Jayson Enriquez, May Francelline Jimenez, Teresita Clarin, Cecilio Del Castillo, Gerardo Delos Santos, Romualdo Arrieta, Denver Dangatan and JR Victorio (the last 3 failed to attend the awarding ceremonies). Aside from the certificates, all winners received an invitation to the Luna Awards on May 14 to be held at the Westin Philippine Plaza.
Seated: FAP Director General Leo Martinez, Host Boots Anson-Roa, FAP Chairman Espiridion Laxa. Standing from left: Gerardo Delos Santos, Jasper Enriquez (representing his brother Jayson), Cecilio Del Castillo, Valerie Ann Bacay, Baltazar Dela Cruz, Romeo Cando, Bing Manalo, Paulino Umali, May Francelline Jimenez and Teresita Clarin.
“Actually yung anak ko ang nag-i-internet, pinasali lang niya ko. Luningning daw ang entry niya kaya naisip ko, Luningning ang anak eh di siguro Luna ang nanay,” quipped Dr. Cando when interviewed why he chose the winning name. “It represents the moon, tinitingala at itinatangi sa gabi,” he added. Dr. Cando is the District Health Officer of the Manila Health Department.
Bart Dela Cruz, a young student of San Beda, seemed somewhat stupefied by the accolades he was getting. “Beauty, elegance, supremacy,” was all he could say for his reason in choosing the name Luna.
Second prize winner Valerie Ann Bacay is not a showbiz enthusiast. The beauteous Glaxo employee got wind of the contest thru a Manila Bulletin article. “Nakakatuwa kasi ang website, nakakalibang talaga,” she said with a promise to visit www.fapweb.org at least once a week. It’s a coincidence that Tess Clarin, the writer of Valerie’s favorite column Explosive, is a co-winner in the honorable mention bracket.
Third placer Bing Manalo of GMA-7 explained his reason then hastily added, “Sana andun si Susan Roces sa Westin.” Obviously a fan of Susan Roces, the good-looking Bing requested an extra invitation for his companion to the May 14 Luna Awards. He’s hoping to get a photo op with the movie industry’s first lady.
SGP vice president and well-known poet Pablo Reina Libiran gifted Luna with a poem which he composed an hour before the ceremonies began. Some of the web writers, led by Tess Clarin, Issa Sebullen and Vince Ragay, also graced the affair. Several GMA-7 cameras and one from Galing Pinoy witnessed the momentous event. Galing Pinoy is a new TV magazine that will have its pilot telecast on Friday the 13 th at RJTV 29.
Luna is a fitting name to the FAP statuette which was conceptualized by Ulay Tantoco from a coffee-table book sketch of Juan Luna, the first National Artist. Unfortunately, Ulay couldn’t attend the event because he was in Vietnam for the taping of Vietnam Rose, a forthcoming TV soap.
The Luna Awards will be telecast on RPN-9 starting at 5 pm. on May 14, 2005.