It was fast-paced with nary a gap. Credible with no leak of winners. And if the screams and shouts of fans attending the glitzy awards night on Sunday were any indication, the Nora Aunor-Vilma Santos rivalry has been re-ignited indeed following many long years at the inaugural rites of the Entertainment Editors Awards, known simply as The Eddys.
Santos, who won for “Everything About Her,” now holds the distinction as the very first Best Actress winner of the newest award-giving body in the industry, organized no less by the entertainment editors of the country’s top news publications. Her son, Luis Manzano, who co-hosted the event with his dad Edu, accepted the award on his mom’s behalf. Soon after, Santos—who is out of the country on vacation from congress—sent her message of thanks to the group from abroad.
Via text message, the Lipa City Representative—who since joining politics in 1998 has tried to make at least one movie a year—said, “Maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat! Am still here in the States and [will]be back on the 17th. Salamat to The Eddys’ board of judges and members.”
Aunor, who was nominated for her role in “Tuos,” was gracious in defeat, applauding loudly and lengthily when her rival and kumare was named Best Actress by presenters Jodi Sta. Maria and Cristine Reyes. The Superstar earned praise from both SPEEd’s members and guests—many of them considered industry movers and shakers—for making sure she attended the awards night and staying all through the seamless Viva Live production.
Fellow nominee Rhian Ramos—who arrived in a flashy sports car and escorted by her racecar driver boyfriend Jason Choachuy—also got the nod of the entertainment press for gracing the affair, along with Christian Bables, Raymond Lee (Best Supporting Actor contenders), and Maria Isabel Lopez (Best Supporting Actress nominee).
Society of Philippine Entertainment Editors (SPEEd) president Isah Red set the tone of the night in his opening address when he said the organization’s sole aim in mounting The Eddys is to inspire and encourage workers in the industry to more produce films to make the Filipino proud.
“The Eddys is not about us, it is about you,” he emphasized. “It is a celebration of outstanding works in the industry of the previous year.
Risking the no-show of nominees—given what has been the common albeit improper practice of actors to grace awards nights only if they were assured of victory—the officers and members of the editors’ group further assured media in their interviews that not one of them knew who the winners were until the presenters opened the envelopes on stage.
“In fact, the ones I voted for did not win,” PRO Dondon Sermino of Abante told The Manila Times. Secretary Ian Fariñas of People’s Tonight seconded that the results were indeed kept secret to the final second.
“Our auditors from Chan Robles and Associates were very strict and very efficient,” she added.
Best Actor winner Paolo Ballesteros (“Die Beautiful”), and Best Supporting Actress winner Angel Locsin (“Everything About Her”) were conspicuously absent at the event, but quickly became active on social media with the former engaging posts from The Eddys with likes, and the latter issuing an apology for missing the event.
Pressed to confirm talks that certain quarters had called several SPEEd members in the lead up to the awards night—asking if their talents had indeed won to ensure their attendance—the group regrettably replied in the affirmative. Without naming names, the callers were politely told the editors group cannot do so.
“How else can we preserve the integrity of the awards?” The Manila Times Lifestyle and Entertainment Editor and SPEEd PRO Tessa Mauricio-Arriola remarked in the same cordial tone.
The first award given out for the night was Best Documentary for 2016’s Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture “Sunday Beauty Queen.” One of the cast members, Mylyn Jacobo, touchingly expressed her thanks and excitement as an Overseas Filipino Worker taking center stage at a glitzy showbiz event. Offering the award to the country’s modern day heroes, her fellow OFWs, she described the experience as surreal to the delight of the crowd.
Highly applauded too were the special awards given that night, the first two, the Joe Quirino and Manny Pichel Awards for Boy Abunda and Lav Diaz for successfully crossing over from careers in Entertainment journalism to TV hosting and film directing respectively; and the third, Producer of the Year to Regal Films matriarch Lily Monteverde.
In his speech, recalled how the late columnist-turned-TV host, after whom his award was named, had somehow been instrumental to what he has become today.
“Who among us didn’t dream of hosting such a star-studded show as his? And his famous line, ‘Take it away!’—that will never be forgotten,” said Abunda.
Monteverde, who was honored for her immense contribution to Philippine moviemaking as an active producer for almost six decades, related, “This started as a passion, eventually becoming a small business … but as long as I and my family are here, we will continue doing movies.”
Given a Posthumous Award was scriptwriter Joaquin “Jake” Tordesillas who just passed away on June 30, and had even attended a brainstorming session for The Eddys. Accompanied by Tordesillas’ sister Honey, good friend and director Maryo J. Delos Reyes delivered an emotional speech to pay tribute to the multi-awarded script writer behind such classics as “Bagets,” “Annie Batungbakal” and “Mga Kuwento Ni Lola Basyang.”
Hosting The Eddys, which will be aired on July 16 on ABS-CBN, had father and son Edu and Luis Manzano as the perfect hosts, with the likes of James Reid and Nadine Lustre, Elmo Magalona and Janella Salvador, Yassi Pressman and Arjo Atayde, Richard Guttierez and Sarah Lahbati, Jodi Sta. Maria and Cristine Reyes, Lorna Tolentino and Christopher de Leon, and Martin Nivera and Ogie Alcasid gracing the stage.
The rest of the winners’ roll is as follows: Best Picture, “Ang Babaeng Humayo;” Best Director, Lav Diaz (“Ang Babaeng Humayo”); Best Supporting Actor, John Lloyd Cruz (“Ang Babaeng Humayo”); Best Musical Score, “Everything About Her;” Best Sound, “Seklusyon;” Best Theme Song, “Saving Sally;” Best Visual Effects, “Seklusyon;” Best Editing and Best Production Design, “Die Beautiful;” Best Cinematography, “Seklusyon;” and Best Screenplay, “Everything About Her.”