Gawad Dekada "...The Gawad Dekada will also name the top actors and actresses of the '90s. In the running are the Gawad Urian best acting winners in lead and supporting roles. They include Vilma Santos ("Ipagpatawad Mo," "Dahil Mahal Kita: The Dolzura Cortez Story," and "Bata, Batra")...Expect the Nora Aunor-Vilma Santos rivalry to heat up to the Gawad Dekada. It is without question the two dominated the '90s as far as the Gawad Urian was concerned, with each winning three best actress plums that decade. It is notable, however, that on two of those three occassions, Nora had to share the trophy with another actress - in 1993 with Helen Gamboa, who essayed Flor Contemplacion in Tikoy Aguiluz's "Bagong Bayarni" (quite an irony sice Nora won her trophy for playing the same role in Joel Lamangan's "The Flor Contemplacion Story), and in 1996 with Sharon Cuneta, who won for Madrasta (Nora won for "Bakit May Kahapon Pa?"). In contrast, Vilma did not share her trophies with anyone. But as one critic of the critics said, those were the rare times when the Manunuri made up their minds. In most instances, they couldn't. That's why the Gawad Urian has become noted for its surprising ties, which aren't surprising anymore..." - Marinel R. Cruiz, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 18, 2001 (READ MORE)
Freedom of Expression - While the country's film critics protested the current clampdown on freedom of expression, movie stars, led by the inimitable Rosanna Roces, had a ball poking fun at the system during the recent Urian awards night. Osang, the evening's lone female host, brimmed with naughty retorts and double entendres on and off the air while hosting the five-hour show with filmdoms's leading heartthrobs led by Richard Gomez. Goma also expressed his indignation by wearing a black armband like the rest of the members of Manunuri. Other hosts in the stellar lineup were Diether Ocampo, Rustom Padilla and Dingdong Dantes. "Do you want me to stage a live show, Diet (Ocampo)? Osang, clad a revealing white gown by Maxi Cinco, asked in Filipino. "Please, no," said Diether, feigning alarm. "Let's just introduce our next set of nominees who are good at cutting films. And they're not from MTRCB, Osang." Diether was acturally referring to contenders in the best editing category. Speaking of cuts outrageously high to reveal her ample waist and thighs. A thin rhinestone-studded belt held the dress together. Photographers scrambled for the best positions as Osang emerged in Cinco's creations. She earlier wore a more decent red gown by Rajo Laurel that covered her vital statistics. But trust Osang not to let the ngiht past without ruffling the feathers of "moral terrorists," as former MTRCB chair and Manunuri member Nicanor Tiongson described his detractors. Osang tried to appear nonchalant at first, but seeing the swarm of photographers pointing their cameras her way during a commercial break, she gamely tilted her body to one side to reveal her flawless gams. "O, sige na nga," she giggled, before a burst of flashbulbs greeted her. "This is waht you call freedom of expression," she winked, as she leaned again to reveal her other side. Richard, who was beside her, could only smile and shake his head.
Five-minute break - Members of the Manunuri deemed it wise to give themselves and their guest a five-minute break halfway into the nearly five-hour show. It was the first time in our long years of covering such marathon events that both fans and celebrities received such courtesy. All of them, of course, show a deep respect for Filipiniana and the performing arts. This was literally reflected in a stage featuring a Filipino-Spanish inspired home, garden and trellis covered with real and artificial greens. Gardeners later took advantage of a lull in the show to sprinkle the plants. A number of the Manunuri members reportedly protested the producer's choice of Ruffa Gutierrez, who annotated the Gawad Dekada in taped snippets during certain portions of the show. Principled souls were said to have deemed Ruffa, who was embroiled in theinfamous Manila Film Festival scam seven years ago, unacceptable. Lorna Tolentino, also a taped annotator like Ruffa, was said to have declined the job soon after learning that she wasn't in the best circle. Friends and supporters reportedly prevailed upon her to put her tampo aside.
Noranians vs Vilmanians - As usual, die-hard Noranians and Vilmanians managed to sneak in despite the presence of ushers and usherettes. Their admiration for their respective idols again degenerated into a shouting match. Both Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos were recipients of the Gawad Dekada for winning the highest number of best actress awards during the past decade - three each. Vilma caused a pandemonium as her eager fans cheered her arrival. Vilmanians positioned themselves on the left side of the theater, while Noranians, wearing identical aqua T-shirts, later occupied the other side. Richard egged them on. "Don't worry, the other camp (Nora) is expected to arrive, too," he said in Taglish. Rustome further fanned the rivalry by asking each of them to make their presence felt as he pointed from one group to another. Ofcourse, they lost no time shouting at the top of their lungs. Talent manager Douglas Quijano was rudely interrupted when Nora, wearing a black suit, marched into theater followed by her rowdy band of loyalists. They shouted and waved aqua banners at the mere mention of Nora's name. A big placard held by one of the Superstar's supporters screamed, "We love you, Ate Guy!!! - GANAP." "Nora! Nora! Nora! they chanted like a mantra as she went up the stage to recieve her Gawad Dekada. Vilmanians didn't take things sitting down. They also carried a set of similar posters that formed their idol's name and a tagline, "D Real Queen." Several diehards even held aloft campaign posters of senatorial wannabe Ralp Recto, Vilma's better half. Noranians were stilled as Vilma, in a semi-beaded aqua gown that ironically matched the T-shirts worn by her archrival's admirers, went onstage. It was the Star for all Season's fans' turn to chant her name: "Vilma! Vilma! Vilma!" For a few moments, members of the Manunuri dropped their clenched fists as people inside the theater became too enthralled by the spectacle. Not even Osang's glib tongue and outrageous outfit could probably match that. - Alex Y. Vergara, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 02, 2003 (READ MORE)