Held at the Quezon City Sports Club on August 26, the 30th Luna Awards proceeded with nary a hitch although the program started a bit late. Hosts for the night were Rez Cortez and Katya Santos. It was a revelation that Katya has a talent for hosting an event.
FAP Director General Leo Martinez giving a short opening remarks
Like last year, the presentors for the awards were mostly the presidents of the FAP guilds. Other presentors were Robert Arevalo for the 3 posthumous awards, Cai Cortez and Bebong Osorio for the best supporting actress and actor, Col. Jimmy Tiu for the Golden Reel Award for Dolphy.
It was serendipitous that the eventual best actress and best actor winners were both present on the awards night. Maja Salvador of Thelma and Gov. E.R. Ejercito of Manila Kingpin lent class to the gala affair.
Luna Awards auditor Malou Villarey showing off the statuettes
Dressed in pink, Maja Salvador thanked her father, the late Ross Rival of the Salvador clan. It can be remembered that Phillip Salvador was the one who helped Maja in entering showbiz. Her portrayal of Thelma was deserving of the best actress statuette.
Maja also thanked Thelma’s director Paul Soriano for “believing in her.” Noticeable was the small crowd at the back, presumably avid fans of Maja, displaying a luminous poster
Avid fans of Maja Salvador
The Laguna governor was attired in a black suit, sporting an Emilio Aguinaldo haircut. According to their PM (Production Manager), ongoing was the production of their movie El Presidente.
As what Gov. E.R. himself mentioned in his acceptance speech, El Presidente has been allocated a hundred million budget. Like Manila Kingpin, the epic movie is a contender in the December Metro Manila Film Festival.
Aside from thanking all the people who were instrumental in the success of Manila Kingpin, Gov. E.R. congratulated Maja Salvador. He also intimated that he and Maja have the same birthday – October 5.
After the best picture trophy was awarded to Manila Kingpin, someone at the back asked why the winning movie lost in the race for best cinematography. For unknown reasons, Manila Kingpin did not get a nomination in that category.
John Regala was somewhat emotional in thanking Gov. E.R. for his inclusion in Manila Kingpin – the Asiong Salonga Story. John won the best supporting actor award. Incidentally, John got another nomination for his supporting role in Zombadings.
Best Actor Jeorge Estregan with wife Pagsanjan mayor Maita Ejercito, Best Actress Maja Salvador and Best Supporting Actor John Regala. Conspicuously absent was Best Supporting Actress winner Lovi Poe
Another worthy winner was Paul Soriano for directing Thelma. He also got a trophy for best screenplay, in a collaboration with Froilan Medina. Although not an actor, Paul got countless requests for photo-ops.
The husband and wife team of Fritz Silorio and Mona Soriano grabbed the Luna statuette for the best production design. They were both ecstatic because they were not expecting anything.
Aside from the winners, other personalities seen in the photo-ops were National Artist Eddie Romero, the former Maita Soriano now Mrs. Maita Ejercito and mayor of Pagsanjan, and, of course, FAP Director General Leo Martinez.
Some film director sighted were Jose “Kaka” Balagtas, Mel Chionglo, Cloyd Robinson, Bert Ortega, Leonardo Belen.
FAP also gave out special awards. The Golden Reel Award for Dolphy was received by Mar Lopez while Augusto Salvador and Jun Urbano personally received the FPJ Lifetime Achievement and Manuel De Leon Award respectively.
Pictorial of the winners, mostly from the movies Thelma and Manila Kingpin
Posthumous awards were bestowed on Ben Feleo, Don Escudero and Jose Batac. Mang Ben is the director father of Johnny Delgado. Don is a director while Joe is a cinematographer.
Due to the unexpected influx of guests, there was a mild shortage of food. But latecomers were served dinner after waiting for 30 minutes. “Nagluto pa ho,” the headwaiter explained.
Providing the entertainment during lulls was the tandem of Jun Garlan and Jaybee Ramos. Their son Jopper Ril, who also gave a rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, was their keyboardist.
Other entertainers of the night were Inna Esparagosa and Melba Paguia. Inna’s album Pablo Vergara Original Compositions is already selling while Melba’s Bakit Ikaw Pa is soon to come out in the market. Both singers are proteges of Pablo Vergara.
The program was written and directed by Director Jose Carreon. The coverage for documentation was by the production team of Director William Mayo with Pepsi Guerrero handling the voice over chore.
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