The year 2021 is film and theater actress Angie Ferro’s most auspicious year; and she is nearly 82 years old.
Fresh from her best actress award for “Lola Igna” by director Eduardo Roy Jr. at the 2019 Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP), Angie bags this year’s Nora Aunor Ulirang Artista Lifetime Achievement Award from the Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) headed by Roldan Castro.
In 1978 she won her first FAMAS best supporting actress in Celso Ad Castillo’s “Pagputi ng Uwak Pag-itim ng Tagak.”
Angie hails from Baleno, Masbate and got infected with the acting bug since she joined the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) in 1969 under founding director Cecile Guidote Alvarez, who became her mentor and close associate.
Her iconic forays in theater included, among others “Blood Wedding,” “Ang Reyna at Mga Rebelde,” “Ang Butihing Tao ng Setzuan,” and as Hecuba in “Trojan Women.” In the last she reprised the same role with Cecile alternating in the Tagalog adaptation of Mars D. Cavestany titled “Muslim A-Babai” who also played Menelaus with Nora Aunor playing the role of Cassandra. An import from Cyprus Nicos Shiafkalis directed the project.
This was performed at the floating stage of Parks & Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) before it was renamed after Ninoy Aquino. For years, Angie was one the artistic directors of Cecile based at said park with former PETA artists Joe Gruta, Gigi Felix-Velarde and the late Siegfried Sepulveda, also in their respective capacity as artistic directors.
Parenthetical, two ample buildings at the park became Cecile’s theater/TV studio and homeground as Executive Director for UNESCO-International Theater Institute (ITI) after coming home from her self-exile at La Ma Ma Theater, New York together with her late
husband former senator Heherson Alvarez who was on a shoot-to-kill order during Martial Law.
Here she again produced and hosted the truncated and pioneering weekly drama anthology Balintataw TV Production vis-a-vis the pathbreaking theater for the differently-abled called DREAMS (Development, Rehabilitation, Education, Arts, Media and Science) Academy of which Angie was one of the faculty. DREAMS went on to bag the most internationally- coveted award UNESCO Artist for Peace handed in Paris.
It was also at the park where bosom friend of Angie — Mars Cavestany PhD, now Fil-Australian — has co-founded with me Balintataw Film and Theater Arts. This held acting and theater arts workshops for Cecile’s outreach and poverty alleviation projects throughout the country even up to the time when she was appointed Executive Director of National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Fortuitously, it was also at the park where my first feature film “Uod Sa Laman” with Cavestany as co-writer was hatched with Angie Ferro in the lead together with Allan Paule, Criselda Volks, Ronnie Lazaro, Pen Medina, Ray Ventura, etc.
I brought said film through a travel grant auspiced by Cecile to the annual UNESCO-ITI Theater Arts Congress in Cyprus then headed by director Nicos Shiafkalis.
In a lecture-demonstration, I showed some of Angie’s luminous footages in which she gamely breezed through in all her scenes the famously known acting techniques of the Method popularized in Hollywood by Strasberg and Adler as their legacy from the great Russian modern-day acting guru Stanislavski.
Yes, through much of Angie Ferro’s acting career she keeps Stanislavski’s teachings at heart like the proverbial holy grail, if not the Bible.
Multi-awarded film and theater actress Angie Ferro