Thursday, April 12, 2018

Recap, Videos and Winners List GAWAD BUHAY AWARDS for 2017: "Pag-uusig" and "Adarna" Lead Awardees!

April 13, 2018




The emcees of the night were Topper Fabregas and Meann Espinosa, both on their third time as emcees of this awards show. The two had comic chemistry throughout that buoyed up energy during the length of the show. They had recurrent funny digs at the Solaire and "The Lion King" from their opening spiel up to their closing. They had an orchestra of one, Rony Fortich at the piano. He had been tasked to time the acceptance speech and start playing music once the speech reached the one minute mark as a sign to wrap it up.


Emcees Meann Espinosa and Topper Fabregas

The opening number was based on Topper's frustration of not having been in a Gawad Buhay winning musical. So, there were a series of songs from various musical productions that have won over the years featuring Topper in various silly antics in many of them. These shows were: "Annie,""3 Stars and a Sun," "Grease," "Rak of Aegis", "Mabining Mandirigma," "Bluebird of Happiness," "Little Women," "Juan Tamad at ang Limang Milyong Boto," "Skin Deep," "Stageshow," "Priscilla Queen of the Desert", "Caredivas" and "La Cage Aux Folles".

Chris Millado and Celeste Legaspi present the awards to the two automatic winners of the night, each was the only nominee in their respective categories.


J-Mee Katanyag

Outstanding Original Libretto
J-Mee Katanyag, “Tagu-taguan, Nasaan ang Buwan?” (Peta)

Outstanding Play—Original or Translation/Adaptation
“Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)


Audie Gemora and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo

Local theater royalty Audie Gemora (in a plaid coat) and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo presented the technical awards. The stark simplicity that was "Agnes of God" swept all its nominations in these categories.

Outstanding Set Design
Joey Mendoza, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Mio Infante, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Joey Mendoza, “Blackbird” (TNT)
Ohm David, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Salvador Bernal, “The Nutcracker” (BP)

Outstanding Sound Design
Jethro Joaquin, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Jethro Joaquin, “Blackbird” (TNT)
Jaime Godinez and Rards Corpuz, “Newsies” (9WT)
Rards Corpus, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)

Outstanding Lighting Design
John Batalla, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Katsch Katoy, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Dennis Marasigan, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
John Batalla, “Hair” (Rep)
Katsch Katoy, “The Nutcracker” (BP)

Outstanding Costume Design
Bonsai Cielo, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Eric Pineda, “Newsies” (9WT)
James Reyes, “Aurelio Sedisyoso” (TP)
Bonsai Cielo, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)
Salvador Bernal, “The Nutcracker” (BP)



This was followed by a song number rendered by the ensemble of "Ang Buhay ni Galileo" led by Bodjie Pascua. This was the first of the three nominees for Best Original Musical Composition which would be performed tonight.

Meann and Topper came out in tights and were hilarious in their interpretative dancing routine. Actual ballet dancers came out to "show us how it should really be done."

Ballet dancer Joseph Phillips and actress Adriana Agcaoili presented the Modern Dance categories.


Romeo Peralta dedicated his award to his wife and three sons. 

Male Featured Performance in Modern Dance
Mark Sumaylo, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Rudolph Capongcol, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Romeo Peralta, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Elpidio Magat, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)


Sarah Alejandro

Female Featured Performance in Modern Dance
Abigail Oliveiro, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Katrene San Miguel, “Minamahal, Sinasamba”/from “A Gala Celebration” (BP)
Sarah Alejandro, “Amada”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)

Male Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Rudy de Dios, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Anselmo Dictado, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Victor Maguad, “Moon”/from “A Gala Celebration” (BP)
Eugene Obille, “Ang Sultan”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)
Ronelson Yadao, “Songs of the Wayfarer”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Modern Dance
“Ibong Adarna” (BM)
“Visions of Fire”/from “A Gala Celebration” (BP)
“Ang Sultan”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)
“Songs of a Wayfarer”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)

This award was received by choreographer Gerardo Francisco, whom we will see more of winning in later categories.

Roeder Camanag and Leloi Arcete presented the Classical Dance categories.


Abigail Oliveiro had such a charming British accent when she gave her speech. 

Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Abigail Oliveiro, “Don Quixote” (BM)
Veronica Atienza, “La Bayadere” (PBT)
Stephanie Cabral, “The Nutcracker” (BP)


Denise Parungao shows off her better angle.

Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Denise Parungao, “Swan Lake” (BP)
Kim Abrogena, “La Bayadere” (Philippine Ballet Theatre/PBT)
Denise Parungao, “The Nutcracker” (BP)
Jemima Reyes, “The Nutcracker” (BP)
Katherine Barkman, “Swan Lake” (BM)

Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Victor Maguad, “Swan Lake” (BP)
Victor Maguad, “The Nutcracker” (BP)
Elpidio Magat, “Snow White” (BM)

Male Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Victor Maguad, “Grand Pas Classique”/from “A Gala Celebration” (BP)
Peter San Juan, “La Bayadere” (PBT)
Gerardo Francisco, “Swan Lake” (BM)
Victor Maguad, “The Nutcracker” (BP)

The awards for the male dancers took a long time to give out properly since Ms. Leloi made an error in the winner announcement (causing Topper to call her Faye Dunaway, LOL!). After going through all the fuss to correct the error, it turned out that San Juan was not present to receive his award.

Arman Ferrer sang one of his songs from "Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag," another nominee for outstanding musical composition.



Lisa Macuja
and Toots Tolentino present the remainder of the dance awards.


Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production
Gerardo Francisco, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Eisa Jocson, “Your Highness” (Ballet Philippines/BP)
Bam Damian III, “Minamahal, Sinasamba”/from “A Gala Celebration” (BP)
Edna Vida, Alice Reyes and Adam Sage, “The Nutcracker” (BP)
Gener Caringal, “Ang Sultan”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)


Multiple winner last night Gerardo Francisco

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Classical Dance
“Don Quixote” (BM)
“Swan Lake” (BP)
“The Nutcracker” (BP)

Outstanding Classical Dance Production
“Don Quixote” (BM)
“Swan Lake” (BP)
“The Nutcracker” (BP)

Outstanding Modern Dance Production
“Ibong Adarna” (BM)
“A Gala Celebration” (BP)
“Your Highness” (BP)
“Ang Sultan”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)
“Songs of a Wayfarer”/from “The Exemplars: Amada and Other Dances” (BP)


Natatanging Gawad to Ms. Agnes Locsin



Final tableau of "Magkaugnay"

Tanghalang Pilipino's Nanding Josef and former Ballet Philippines principal dancer Cecile Sicangco present the Natatanging Gawad Buhay award to Agnes Locsin. We were shown live samples of her diverse artistry in choreography: the haunting "Arachnida" and the joyful "Magkaugnay". No speech was given, instead Ms. Locsin presented Nonie Buencamino doing a modern interpretative dance about a guy who loved taking selfies.



There was a short medley of tunes from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" by the ensemble led by Yanah Laurel and the four kids who played Jeremy and Jemima on the show, Albert Tilos, Noel Comia Jr., Isabelli Araneta-Elizalde and Zoe Alvaralde.

A most irrepressible (as usual) Jon Santos and Myke Salomon presented the next awards as their past characters Bernadette (from "Priscilla") and Faraj (from "Caredivas") respectively. All three winners were no shows last night.


Jon Santos and Myke Salomon, a.k.a. Bernadette and Faraj

.Female Featured Performance in a Musical
Shiela Valderrama-Martinez, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (GT)
Aicelle Santos, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (GT)
Upeng Galang-Fernandez, “A Game of Trolls” (Peta)
Joan Bugcat, “Tagu-taguan, Nasaan ang Buwan?” (Peta)
Maronne Cruz, “Hair” (Rep)

Aicelle had just left for the UK to join the touring production of "Miss Saigon" as Gigi.

Male Featured Performance in a Musical
Jef Flores, “Newsies” (9WT)
Baron Geisler, “Aurelio Sedisyoso” (TP)
Floyd Tena, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (GT)
Roi Calilong, “Tagu-taguan, Nasaan ang Buwan?” (Peta)
Reb Atadero, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)

Geisler's award was received by his director Chris Millado, who cited how the theater could be a tool for rehabilitation of lives. 

Male Lead Performance in a Musical
Gian Magdangal, “Newsies” (9WT)
Arman Ferrer, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (GT)
David Ezra, “Aurelio Sedisyoso” (TP)
Markki Stroem, “Hair” (Rep)
George Schulze, “Hair” (Rep)

Karla Gutierrez and Rem Zamora presented the much-anticipated acting awards for plays. These are very tightly contested categories. All the winners were in attendance last night.



Rebecca Coates

Female Featured Performance in a Play
Rebecca Coates, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Caisa Borromeo, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Tami Monsod, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Antonette Go, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Lhorvie Nuevo, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)


Marco Viana thanked his mother for defending him 
when others question his decision to be an actor over being an engineer.

Male Featured Performance in a Play
Marco ViaƱa, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Jonathan Tadioan, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Joshua Tayco, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Bodjie Pascua, “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)
Noel Comia Jr., “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)


Roselyn Perez


Female Lead Performance in a Play
Roselyn Perez, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Rep)
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Giannina Ocampo, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, “Blackbird” (TNT)
Blanche Buhia, “Lukot-lukot, Bilog-bilog” (TP)


Joshua Spafford

JV Ibesate

Male Lead Performance in a Play
Michael Williams, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Rep)
Joshua Spafford, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
JV Ibesate, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Bart Guingona, “Blackbird” (TNT)
Joel Lamangan, “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)

A tie! The two winners showed contrasting reactions to their wins. Spafford was so cool and collected, while Ibesate was emotional and tearful.


The winning ensemble of "Ang Pag-uusig"

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Rep)
“Agnes of God” (Rep)
“In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
“Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
“Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)

Topper and Meann called Tads back out onstage and ribbed him for having lost his 7th straight acting nomination, saying how Baron Geisler edged him already by winning on his very first play and nomination. Tads was a great sport about it.

A short dance excerpt from "Ibong Adarna" followed, the scene depicting the fight between the three brothers, when the two elder brothers betrayed their youngest.


Natatanging Gawad to Ms. CB Garrucho

Nanding Josef and Maribel Legarda presented the night's second Natatanging Gawad award to Ms. CB Garrucho of PETA. There was a short video clip of her eloquent speech which she gave last year, when PETA was given a Ramon Magsaysay award. Ms. CB came up the stage while being serenaded by PETA talents with the wedding song from one of her past shows, "Canuplin" (1980).



An energetic tap dance number excerpt from "Newsies" followed performed by its all-male (+ one lady) ensemble led by Jef Flores, to the delight of the audience. 


Vince De Jesus and Rony Fortich presented the Music awards.


Vince de Jesus and Rony Fortich

Outstanding Musical Direction
Daniel Bartolome, “Newsies” (9 Works Theatrical/9WT)
Diwa de Leon, “Ibong Adarna” (Ballet Manila/BM)
Ejay Yatco, “Hair” (Rep)
Rodel Colmenar, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)

Yatco could not receive his award in person because he was at work on the final re-staging of "Sa Wakas" last night.

Outstanding Original Musical Composition
Von de Guzman, “Maynila sa Mga Kuko ng Liwanag, The Musical” (Gantimpala Theater/GT)
Diwa de Leon, “Ibong Adarna” (BM)
Peta Music Pool (under Lutgardo Labad), “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)

This was Mr. de Leon's final work with Ballet Manila before he immigrated to the US. 

The In Memoriam segment was an instrumental piece played on piano and cello. The introduction was given by Joy Virata. The list of dearly departed talents this year included Bernardo Bernardo, Soxie Topacio, Mario O' Hara, Spanky Manikan and Richard Cunanan.

Jaime del Mundo and Roselyn Perez presented what could be the most exciting awards of the evening.


Dennis Marasigan

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play
Bart Guingona, “Agnes of God” (Rep)
Chris Millado, “In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
Dennis Marasigan, “Ang Pag-uusig” (TP)
Topper Fabregas, “Blackbird” (TNT)
Rody Vera, “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)


Jerry Respeto

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation
Guelan Luarca, “Eurydice” (TP)
Jerry Respeto, “Ang Pag-uusig” (Tanghalang Pilipino/TP)
Alan Glinoga, “Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)


This award was received by Joy Virata, and the three actresses who were made up the ensemble of this play: Pinky Amador, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Rebecca Coates.


Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play
“Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” (Rep)
“Agnes of God” (Rep)
“In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play” (Rep)
“Blackbird” (TNT)
“Ang Buhay ni Galileo” (Peta)

Michael Williams and Dennis Marasigan present the final awards of the evening. And this would prove to be a sweep  of four categories by a single production.

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical
“Newsies” (9WT)
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)


PJ Rebullida

Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical
PJ Rebullida, “Newsies” (9WT)
Nancy Crowe, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)


Robie Guevara

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical
Robbie Guevara, “Newsies” (9WT)
Jaime del Mundo, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)


 Joe Calida representing Globe Live,
who also sponsored the productions of tonight's awards show.


Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical
“Newsies” (9WT)
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Full House/RWM)

No nominations, and consequently, no awards were given for: Outstanding Musical—Original or Translation/Adaptation, Outstanding Production for Children, Outstanding Original Script, Female Lead Performance in Modern Dance and, most unusually, Female Lead Performance in a Musical.

The show closed with a song specially composed for the occasion by Vincent de Jesus as performed by singers from his shows "Himala" and "Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady".



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