Plus and minuses at the 24th Star Awards for television

I WAS asked by a colleague about the highlights and sidelights at the recently-concluded Star Awards for Television of the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) held at the Newport Theater of the Resorts World Hotel in Pasay City last Saturday evening, November 13 (till past 1a.m. the following day, November 14).

I told him I’ve already had the awards night’s winners posted online, at siguradong meron na rin ngang lumabas na mga ulat, on print, tungkol sa mga nagwagi.

Ang telecast ng 24th Star Awards for Television ay sa Sabado ng gabi, November 20, sa ABS-CBN-2, pagkatapos ng Sports Unlimited.  Ito’y produced ng Camera Entertainment outfit nina Joed Serrano at Carol Rodrigo.

Usually, the night’s winners, especially those in major categories, make up for the “highlight news.”

Kung may anumang controversy kaugnay nito during the awards proceedings, highlight news din ‘yon.

Sa mga sidelights, nariyan ang mga kaganapan off-camera, sa mismong venue, sa backstage, sa dressing room and elsewhere, within the awards programs’ perimeters, at the exact time na nakasaad sa imbitasyon hanggang sa matapos ang programa.

Ang oras na itinakda para sa gabi ng parangal ay alas-6 ng gabi; supposedly, sa oras na ito magdaratingan ang mga invited guests from different television networks. Usually, and expectedly so, ika-7 na ng gabi ay kakaunti pa ang nagdaratingan.

Malayo ang venue?  Well, maraming mga taga-TV-and-movie industry na nakatira sa southernmost part ng Metro Manila kaya hindi ito problema.  Madalas ding gawin ang Star Awards ceremonies, halimbawa, sa Ateneo Theater, o saan mang venue sa Quezon City, para sa mga taga-northern part ng Metro Manila, at ganundin ang usual turnout ng guests.  Isa hanggang dalawang oras pa rin ang hihintayin bago sila magdatingan.

Sa mga early comers that night, on top sa list ang isa sa mga female host ng Umagang Kayganda na si Donita Rose.  She was with her husband at blooming pa rin si Donita hanggang ngayon.

And TV newcomer Carla Abellana, who impresses us further with her sense of professionalism, lalo’t baguhan pa nga lang.  Isa si Carla sa pinakamaaga sa venue, na very radiant in her flesh-colored evening gown.  Sayang at hindi siya napansin ng mga nag-judge sa special awards na Star of the Night, Face of the Night, at (new) Celebrity of the Night.  Dahil newcomer nga, na isa sa mga major stars ngayon ng GMA-7.
For us, Carla Abellana was most deserving of any of the said awards; o kung hindi man, puwede siyang i-tie sa mga nagwagi.

Wala rin lang Glamour Star of the Night for a female star (na ang Male winner ay si Richard Gutierrez), sana si Carla Abellana na lang ang binigyan ng award na ‘yun, since she also exuded glamour, mula sa pagtuntong pa lang niya sa venue hanggang sa pagtanggap niya ng kanyang trophy, as Best New Female TV Personality para sa unang tinampukang teleseryeng Rosalinda ng GMA-7.

When she delivered her “thank you” speech, pinatunayan rin ni Carla ang husay niya sa pagsasalita in front of an audience kaya hindi kami magtataka if in the future ay magiging host na rin siya sa mga awards nights, tulad sa mga naging host that night, like Ruffa Gutierrez, Miriam Quiambao and Angel Aquino.

And by the way, deserving si Carla A., hindi lang sa pinanalunan niyang award kundi sa kaukulang positive publicity dahil very punctual siya sa pagdalo and was able to carry herself onstage properly, kahit walang celebrity escort na mas kilalang aktor, o talent manager na “mas sikat” sa artista niya.

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Napansin din namin, marami nga palang dumating sa awards night, minus their partners.  Marami sanang maisusulat na “sidelights.”  But that in itself, for us, is an item of note.

So, there’s Carla Abellana, minus Geoff Eigenmann na kanyang suitor, at dating leading man sa ilang naunang teleserye.

Sa mga big winners, walang Kim Chiu na um-attend although nominated ang young actress sa major category, like her ka-loveteam na si Gerald Anderson.  Talagang masidhi ang epekto ng hiwalayan ng dalawa, at natiis din nila ang kanilang Kimerald fanatics who would’ve been very happy kung pareho silang um-attend at nai-share agad ni Gerald kay Kim ang victory sa una niyang pagwawagi ng acting award (Best Single Performance by an Actor, for MMK’s Lubid episode).

Sabi ni Gerald, Kim was watching Jovit Baldovino’s concert that night.  At least, alam niya kung nasaan ang kapareha that night.  Pero walang text message bilang pag-congratulate na agad naiparating si Kim.

Ang female counterpart ni Gerald  na si Gretchen Barretto (Best Single Performance by an Actress, for MMK’s Larawan) ay um-attend kasama ang partner na si Mr. Tonyboy Cojuangco, kaya lalong happy sa pananalo si Gretchen, who was also last year’s winner para sa nasabing kategorya.

Maricel Soriano, this year’s best drama actress (for ABS-CBN’s Florinda) also came without any special escort, pero masayang-masaya in the company of longtime friends Roderick Paulate and this year’s new MTRCB Chief, Ms. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares. Hindi namin nakita kung kasama ni Ms. Mary Grace ang kanyang actress-mom, Susan Roces who was nominated in the best drama actress category. Mahabang oras ang ipinaghintay nila in one of the venue’s guest/dressing rooms, mula sa paggagawad ng Ading Fernando Lifetime Achievement Award (na presentors sina Maricel at Roderick) hanggang sa magkakasunod na parangal for Drama Actor/Actress, Single Performances at Best Station of the Year.  Sa panghuling kategorya ay isa sa mga nag-present si Ms. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares, who was generous enough na pagbigyan ang imbitasyon ng PMPC sa okasyong ito.

Of course, may mga celebrities na hindi man naka-attend ay understandable din ang sitwasyon, like Ms. Lorna Tolentino who had colds and fever that night.  Pero masaya si LT sa pagwawagi ng teleseryeng pinagbidahan niya, ang Dahil May Isang Ikaw, as Best Primetime TV Series at ipinaaabot ang kanyang pasasalamat sa PMPC.

Knowing LT, win or lose ay very sport siya at talagang laging uma-attend sa mga affairs ng movie/TV industry, lalo noong nabubuhay pa ang kanyang actor-producer-husband na si Rudy Fernandez.

Need we ask kung bakit walang Marian Rivera, as Best Drama Actor awardee Dingdong Dantes’ partner?  May reason din naman para um-attend si Marian, dahil bahagi siya ng Show Me Da Manny (with boxing champ Manny Pacquiao) which won as Best Comedy show, or not to mention, siya ang kapareha ni Dingdong sa pinanalunang performance in the teleserye, Stairway To Heaven, pero no-show ang sikat na aktres ng Kapuso network.  Lalo tuloy naging matindi ang speculations na hiwalay na sina Marian at Dingdong; or contrary to speculations, sabi naman ni Dingdong ay maayos pa rin ang relasyon nila ni Marian hanggang ngayon.

Hindi naman ibig sabihin na komo’t wala sila sa isang affair ay hiwalay na sila.  Ang iba pang celebrities that night ay nakita namin, minus their reel-and-real life partners:  Paulo Avelino, minus LJ Reyes; Hayden Kho, minus Vicki Belo; Lance Raymundo, minus his non-showbiz girlfriend; Luis Manzano, minus a special date (pero napakaaga ring dumating ni Luis, mga two hours before the show started, at naro’n lang siya with ABS-CBN production people).  Ditto Toni Gonzaga, minus director-boyfriend Paul Soriano.  Toni G. was in a triumphant red gown at talagang winner na winner ang dating niya lalo’t double victory ang kanyang natamo, as Best Reality Show host (for PBB Double Up Primetime) and Best Female Musical-Variety Show host, for ASAP XV.

This year’s Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show (female) host, Bianca Gonzales, came with no special partner, too. At dahil wala pa raw talagang special someone si . Bianca.  Mas nauna siyan manalo ng award, as TV host, kesa magkaroon ng boyfriend (or, is that so?).  Si Boy Abunda naman, malaon nang may special someone (open naman si Kuya Boy about this), at malaon na rin siyang nananalo ng award, as TV host.  Kaya elevated na siya sa Star Awards for TV hall of fame, sa pagwawagi ng 15 tropeo para sa kategorya niya.  He won this year as host of Channel 2’s Bottomline and The Buzz.

Ang isa pang co-host ng Pilipinas Got Talent, si Billy Crawford, was an early bird, too, dahil nasa opening number sila.  Billy’s girlfriend, Nikki Gil, was also a striking presence, at nanalo ngang Face of the Night (female).  With Carol Banawa and Ms. Joey Albert, inawit nila ang teleserye theme songs na ang dalawang nagwagi ay ang Dahil May Isang Ikaw at Rosalka.

Tulad ni Billy C and Nikki G, kumpleto ang duo nina Ogie Alcasid at Regine Velasquez, both nominated in separate categories.  Gabi ni Ogie ang affair, winning as Best Comedy Actor, for Bubble Gang, at nu’ng nagdi-deliver siya ng acceptance speech ay ipinakita ng camera si Regine, seated, at feeling masaya talaga for her husband-to-be. Sayang at hindi performer that night si Ms. Regine. Instead, it was Kuh Ledesma who sang the finale number.

Sabi sa amin, no interviews are allowed.  Ganun din ang bilin ng producer last year, sa Star Awards for TV ’09. No interviews (especially with Star Magic talents; nakapaskil pa sa dressing room). Pero marami ring taga-media (non-PMPC members) who had a field day interviewing nominees and other guest celebrities.  Okay.  Wala rin bang pang-sidelights kung hindi darating ang mga artista, with their dates?  Well, as long as there are stars around, with or without whoever, we can always write our piece. William Reyes

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