Manila, May 20, 2003 -- For the first time in the history of the Manunuri 
ng Pelikulang Pilipino's Gawad Urian Awards  and probably in any national 
award giving ceremony, for that matter  a tie was announced in the Best 
Film category. Star Cinema's Dekada '70 and Gil Portes and Ray Cuerdo's 
Munting Tinig were declared as the best of the 2002 produced films.

The Urian is known as the award-giving body that has most often declared 
ties. Allow me to explain why.

  A certain standard of excellence in every category has been set by the 
critics. In the case of the best film, it has to be one that is technically 
proficient in all aspects such as sound, music, production design, editing 
and cinematography. Beyond technical excellence and artistic sense in 
storytelling, it must always have a theme that is not pretentious. The film 
should successfully capture that "truth" grounded on the Filipino 
experience. Based on these, it is, thus, possible to have more than two 
films hitting the grade. Declaring ties, therefore, is only tantamount to 
saying that there may be more than one film which deserved to be called 
It certainly happened this year for Dekada '70 and Mga Munting Tinig. Both 
hit that mark of excellence. Congratulations to all those who contributed 
to the creation of these two momentous films.

The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino has always dedicated itself to 
selecting and recognizing the best films. When the group was created in May 
1, 1976, it declared itself as an alliance of consumer activists who write 
articles, not for PR, but as independent reviews that give citations and 

The present group has never deviated from the same objectives and values as 
that of the first group. Three members who were part of the original one 
are still with the present crop of critics. They aim to continue awarding 
the best works and performances; encouraging continuous dialogue on film; 
and exploring and redefining the responsibilities of the industry 
practitioners and filmmakers to the public.

The Gawad Urian recently held at the AFP theater started with a production 
number featuring Regine Velasquez, who was draped with filmstrips. She 
changed into two elegant gowns during the opening salvo.

The other artists who participated in the production were Janno Gibbs, Anna 
Fegi, JR, Jose Illana, Arni Hidalgo, Rufa Mae Quinto, Marissa Sanchez with 
the Sex Bomb dancers, and video assists by Michael V and Ogie Alcasid. 
Capping the evening was a musical number by Aiza Seguerra, 1728, 604 and 
Ciara Sotto.

The presentors were Richard Gomez, Lucy Torres, Assunta de Rossi, Cherrie 
Gil, Rudy Fernanadez, Dingdong Dantes, Tanya Garcia, Jeffrey Quizon, 
Giselle Tongi, Judy Ann Santos, Maricel Soriano, Danica Sotto, James 
Blanco, Angelu de Leon, Vhong Navarro and Butch Francisco.

Memorable "thank you" speeches started with Ricky Lee's, who praised film 
artists and producers with whom he has worked. He also expressed his 
appreciation to the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino for finally recognizing 
and presenting a Natatanging Gawad Urian to a scriptwriter.

Piolo Pascual was in tears and had a litany of names to thank as he 
completed his grand slam for the Best Supporting Actor category with his 
Urian award.

Elizabeth Oropesa earned a good round of applause as she thanked her 
"Honey" when she received her Best Supporting Actress award.

Jay Manalo seemed rather touched by the Best Actor Award and thanked all 
his children  quite a number, which did not escape the audience's interest.

Gil Portes was in high spirits when he finally bagged the Best Director 
award, after numerous nominations from the Manu.

Vilma, who won the Best Actress Award, thanked the special people in her 
life, including host, Edu Manzano, who was miming on the side, hoping Vilma 
would include him in her speech. He certainly got the crowd in the theater 
roaring with his antics when he embraced Piolo and declared that he was a 
long lost son.

Here is a rundown of the best of last year's films.

The nominees for best sound were: Noel Buencamino and Ari Trofeo for Mga 
Munting Tinig, Nestor Mutia for Diskarte, Albert Idioma and Alex Tomboc for 
Dekada '70, and Dan Ferat for American Adobo. Audio Media won the 
Pinakamahusay na Tunog Award.

The nominees for best music were: Tony Cortes for Diskarte, Joy Marfil for 
Mga Munting Tinig, Jesse Lasaten for Kailangan Kita, Archie Castillo for 
Laman and Jesse Lucas for Jologs. Tony Cortes won the Pinakamahusay sa 
Musika award for Diskarte.
Nominees for best production design were: Arthur Nicdao for Mga Munting 
Tinig, Manny Morfe for Dekada '70, Noel Naval for Kailangan Kita, Judy Lou 
de Pio for Laman and Jake de Asis for Paraisong Parisukat. Arthur Nicdao 
won the Pinakamahusay na Disenyong Pamproduksyon for Mga Munting Tinig.

The nominees for best editing were: George Jarlego for Mga Munting Tinig, 
Tala Ellenbergher for Mano Po, Renewin Alano for Laman, Francis Vinarao for 
Diskate and Vito Cajili for Jologs. The Pinakamahusay na Editing went to 
Francis Vinarao for Diskarte.

The nominees for best cinematography were: Eli Cruz for Mga Munting Tinig, 
Leslie Garchitorena for Mano Po, Shayne Clemente for Kailangan Kita, 
Richard Padernal for Agimat, Larry Manda for Utang ni Tatang, and Jorj 
Anthony Tadena for Prosti. Shayne Clemente went home with the Pinakamahusay 
na Sinematograpiya award for Kailangan Kita.

The nominees for best screenplay were: Ned Trespeces for Jologs, Adolf 
Alix, Sennedy Que and Gil Portes for Mga Munting Tinig, Roy Iglesias for 
Mano Po, Lualhati Bautista for Dekada '70, Wali Ching for Laman and Roy 
Iglesias for Prosti. The winner for Pinakamahusay na Dulang Pampalekila was 
Lualhati Bautista for Dekada '70.

The nominees for best direction were: Gil Portes for Mga Munting Tinig, 
Joel Lamangan for Mano Po, Chito Rono for Dekada 70, Rory Quintos for 
Kailangan Kita, Maryo de los Reyes for Laman and Laurice Guillen for 
American Adobo. Gil Portes for won the Pinakamahusay na Direksyon for Mga 
Munting Tinig.

The nominees for best supporting actor were: Jay Manalo for Mano Po, Piolo 
Pascual for Dekada '70, Tirso Cruz for Mano Po, Johnny Delgado for 
Kailangan Kita and Jeffrey Quizon for Utang ni Tatang. Piolo Pascual won 
the Pinakamahusay na Pangalawang Aktor for Dekada 70.

The nominees for best supporting actress were: Irma Adlawan for Mga Munting 
Tinig, Elizabeth Oropesa for Laman, Madeline Nicolas for Paraisong 
Parisukat, Dexter Doria in Mga Munting Tinig, Amy Austria for Mano Po, Judy 
Ann Santos for Magkapatid, Rachel Villavicencio for Prosti and Kris Aquino 
for Mano Po. Elizabeth Oropesa won the Pinakamahusay na Pagganap Bilang 
Pangalawang Aktres for Laman.

The nominees for best actor were: Ricky Davao for American Adobo, Yul Servo 
for Laman, Aga Mulach for Kailangan Kita, Jay Manalo for Prosti, Vhong 
Navarro for Jologs, Albert Martinez for Laman, Christopher de Leon for 
Dekada '70, and Rudy Fernandez for Diskarte. The Pinakamahusay na Pagganap 
Bilang Pangunahing Aktor went to Jay Manalo for Prosti.

The nominees for best actress were: Vilma Santos for Dekada 70, Dina 
Bonnevie for American Adobo, Ara Mina for Mano Po, Cherie Pie Picache for 
American Adobo, Alessandra de Rossi for Mga Munting Tinig and Claudine 
Baretto for Kailangan Kita. Vilma Santos won the Pinakamahusay na Pagganap 
Bilang Pangunahing Aktres for Dekada '70.

The nominees for best film were: Mano Po, Dekada 70, Mga Munting Tinig and 
Laman. Dekada '70 and Mga Munting Tinig shared the award and, as the 
Manunuris would say, "it's a tie."

The Pinakamahusay na Maikling Pelikula award went to Binyag by Miriami 
Tanangco, a University of the Philippines film graduate.

The special award, Natatanging Gawad Urian, was presented to Ricky Lee for 
his numerous outstanding screenplays. A special reading was performed by 
Gina Alajar and Dina Bonnevie. Vilma Santos read the citation for the Ricky 
Lee's recognition.

The Gawad Urian Night was not too overwhelming, but friendly and exciting. 
It was not glittering, but it was colorful. It was not ostentatious, but it 
was substantial. It was not huge, but it was meaningful.

Also contributing significantly to the successful presentation this year 
was the masterful and witty hosting by Edu Manzano.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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