Celeste Legaspi is Entertainer of the Year again after 38 years


Aliw Awards bestow honors to 2017’s best performers in the live circuit
Artists in the live circuit had their share of honors when their hard work were recognized by the Aliw Awards Foundation in a musically energized ceremonies on December 19 at the Mabuhay Pavilion of the Manila Hotel.

Celebrating the foundation’s 40th anniversary, trophies were handed at the 30th Annual Aliw Awards with new additions to its roster of achievers for the year.

Biggest winner of them all was iconic singer-recording artist-stage actress Celeste Legaspi who took the Entertainer of the Year plum, plus Lifetime Achievement Award and Best Actress (Non-Musical Play) as Leticia in “Virgin Labfest 13’s Si Dr. Dolly Dalisay At Ang Mga Ladybugs.”

It was the second time for the daughter of National Artist Cesar Legaspi after 38 years to be bestowed the Entertainer of the Year distinction having been declared the third winner in 1979.

Singing “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal” in the finale, Legaspi thanked Aliw Awards for the triple distinction and also made a fitting pitch for the Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 entry, “Ang Larawan,” which she co-produced with friends. Incidentally, the movie adaptation of the Nick Joaquin classic was proclaimed Best Picture on December 27 during the Gabi Ng Parangal, making Legaspi a multiple-awardee across entertainment genres.

Another notable winner was filmmaker Joel Lamangan, who was elevated to the Hall of Fame as Aliw Awards Best Actor. Many people don’t know but Lamangan already won three Best Actor trophies for his live performances as early as 1981 for “Ang Buhay Ni Galileo,” which he recently reprised; “Macbeth,” “Everybody Loves Them Filipinos” and “Fake.” He also won Best Stage Director (Musical) for “Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag.”

Pinky Amador

Others elevated to the Hall of Fame were Pinky Amador as Best Actress. She performed “La Vien En Rose” in its original French lyrics, then in English and Filipino by Pete Lacaba; lawyer-actor-producer-director Vince Tañada for Best Stage Direction for “Ako Si Ninoy” in 2009, “Enzo, Santo” in 2010 and “Katips” in 2016; Ateneo de Manila University’s resident artist-director Ricky Abad for Best Director; and Rockin’ 60s as Best Group Lounge Performers.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards were handed to dancer-choreographer-actress Geleen Eugenio, singer-recording artist Claire dela Fuente, singer Jun Polistico, Spirit of ’67 singing group who were already elevated to the Hall of Fame in 2006, and McDonald’s founding chairman George Yang for his love for classical music and sponsoring scholarships through the Klassical Music Foundation. Yang’s award was received for him by Andrew Fernando. Awardees who were not able to come were Hajji Alejandro and Onofre Pagsanghan.

Alice Reyes

In a short chat with The Manila Times, Aliw Awards Foundation founding chairman and current president Alice Reyes said they plan to bring the award to the regional level this year so as to recognize the abundant Filipino talent in the provinces.

The 2017 Board of Judges was composed of Reyes, Rod Cornejo, Harlene Bautista, Joy Belmonte, Consoliza Laguardia, Wanda Tulfo-Teo, Rema Manzano and Dero Pedero. The Screening Committee was co-chaired by Sonny Valencia and Frank Rivera with members Dennis Aguilar, Arthur Casanova, Aristeo Garcia, Njel de Mesa, Joey Nombres, Philip Panganiban, Jan Reyes, Tess Tan and Art Tapalla.

Hosting the show was Garie Concepcion who was awarded Best Female Host.

Below is the complete list of winners:


Entertainer of the Year: Celeste Legaspi

Best Major Concert (Female): Lea Salonga, “Songs from the Stage,” PICC

Best Major Concert (Male): Erik Santos, “Greatest OPM Classics,” The Theater at Solaire

Best Major Concert (Group): Aegis, “Aegis Na Aegis: A Story Of Us”

Best Performance in a Concert (Male): Gerald Santos, “Something New In My Life,” SM Skydome

Jessa Zaragoza with daughter Jayda and husband Dingdong Avanzado

Best Performance in a Concert (Female): Jessa Zaragoza, Angeles Casino Filipino

Best Collaboration in a Concert: Hajji Alejandro/Rey Valera/Marco Sison, “OPM Icons,” The Theater at Solaire

Best Child Performer: Noel Comia Jr., “Fun Home,” Atlantis Productions

Best New Artist (Male/Female): LA Santos

Best New Artist (Group): UGG

Best Actress in a Featured Role: Aicelle Santos, Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag, Grand Leisure Corporation/GTF

Best Actor in a Featured Role (Play and Musical): Joel Saracho, “Buwan At Baril in Eb Major,” Sugid Productions and Jim Pebanco, Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag

Best Actor (Non-Musical): Alexis Yasuda, “Love Team, Virgin Labfest 13” and Paul Cedrick Juan, “Sakuntala,” Art Theater Manila

Best Actress (Non-Musical): Celeste Legaspi, Si Dr. Dolly Dalisay At Ang Mga Ladybugs, Virgin Labfest 13

Best Actor (Musical): David Ezra, “Aurelio Sedisyoso,” Tanghalang Pilipino

Best Actress (Musical): Cris Villonco, Fun Home, Atlantis Productions

Best Female Host: Garie Concepcion

Best Male Host: Robi Domingo

Best Stand-Up Comedian: Alex Calleja

Joel Lamangan

Best Stage Director (Musical): Joel Lamangan, Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag

Best Dance Company: Addlib

Best Cultural Group: Aklan Performing Arts Network

Best Choral Group: Pagcor Choir

Best Festival Practices and Performance: Bambani Festival (Isabela) and Niyogyugan Festival (Lucena, Quezon)

Best Instrumentalist: Merjohn Lagaya (Violin)

Best DJ for Electronic Dance Music: Jennifer Lee

Best Classical Dancer (Male): Rudy de Dios, Ballet Manila

Best Classical Dancer (Female): Denise Parungao, Ballet Philippines

Best Classical Performer (Male): Al Gatmaitan

Best Classical Performer (Female): Lara Maigue

Best Crossover Performer: Ynez Veneracion

Best Production for Children: “Mga Palaka Sa Balon,” Manila Tytana College

Best Non-Musical Production: Sakuntala, Art Theater Manila

Best Original Musical Production: Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag, Grand Leisure Corporation/GTF

Best Dance Production: “Ibong Adarna,” Ballet Manila

Best Ensemble Performance: Ensemble Cast of “Obra Ni Juan,” Philippine Stagers Foundation

Best Performance In A New Concept Production: Banaue Miclat-Janssen, Banaue And Kammerchor Manila/Miclat Arts Foundation

Best New Concept Production: “Anatomya Ng Babaeng Pugita,” BJMP Baguio City

Best Director For New Concept Production: Angelo Aurelio, Anatomya Ng Babaeng Pugita, BJMP Baguio City

Best Concert Stage Director: Bong Quintana, “Pili Pinas,” Pagcor

Best Musical Director/Composer For Musical Theater: Pippo Cifra, Obra Ni Juan, Philippine Stagers Foundation and Von de Guzman, Maynila Sa Mga Kuko Ng Liwanag, Grand Leisure Corporation, GFT

Best Performer in Hotels, Music Lounges and Bars: Jean Kiley, CenterPlay/Chaos Night Club, City of Dreams Manila

Best Performer in Hotels, Music Lounges and Bars (Group): Draybers, Bar 360, Resorts World Manila

Breakthrough Performance: JC Santos, Buwan At Baril in Eb Major


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