21st FAP Awards: Was it all a dream?
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - April 1, 2003 - 12:00am
I woke up late Sunday morning in a daze, my mind shifting between dream and reality, with the thin line between them blurred like a mirage in an Arabian desert.

You see, late Saturday night I went home groggy from the office after closing two dozen pages and I drifted to slumber land as soon as I hit my bed.

And then, I had a dream. A bad one? Judge for yourself.

I dreamed that I rushed to the UP Theater in Diliman, Quezon City, to cover the 21st Film Academy Awards, supposedly the local version of the Oscars because industry people who are members of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) are the ones who pick the nominees and, eventually, the winners.

I was in my worn-out Barong Tagalog and I was expecting a show as entertaining as the Oscars 2003, presented just a week earlier, toned down all right in light of the US-led war in Iraq but entertaining just the same, with the list of winners getting the collective nod of movie fans around the world glued to their TV sets.

Two days before the FAP Awards night, I heard direk Gil Portes grumbling why his film, Munting Tinig (Small Voices), wasn’t even nominated for the Best Picture plum when it was the FAP that chose it as the country’s entry to the Oscars’ Best Foreign-Language Film competition (won by Germany’s Nowhere in Africa). I shrugged it off and sighed that maybe direk Gil didn’t have enough friends in the FAP’s Electoral College so his film, according to a FAP Directors Guild member, didn’t get a rating "high enough for it to land in the Top 15." Oh?

In showbiz circles, the FAP Awards is good-naturedly referred to as the Friendship Awards, so the more friends you have the better you are assured of votes. That’s what friends are for, aren’t they?

So there I was at the UP Theater, fighting off drowsiness in my wornout Barong Tagalog, unmindful of the musical numbers and dance numbers (did Diana Zubiri’s boobs accidentally fall out of place when she made a sharp turn during her acrobatics, er, dance number? I don’t even remember. All I was interested in was the names of the winners.)

Then, it happened – the announcement of the winners, one by one, a "revelation" as painful as if your skin was being peeled off layer by layer during a liposuction treatment.

I was dreaming, remember?

And the winner for Best Director is... William Mayo for Lapu-Lapu!

And the winner for Best Actor is... Lito Lapid for Lapu-Lapu!

And the winner for Best Picture is... Lapu-Lapu!

What a dream!

The same film that finished last in the box-office race and didn’t get a single trophy in last December’s Metro Filmfest was getting a lion’s share of the trophies at stake, beating such worthies as Rory Quintos. (Kailangan Kita), Chito Roño (Dekada ’70) Joel Lamangan (Mano Po), Ronwaldo Reyes/FPJ (Batas ng Lansangan) and Edgardo Vinarao (Diskarte) in the Best Picture/Best Director race; and such stalwarts as FPJ (Batas), Rudy Fernandez (Diskarte), Christopher de Leon (Dekada ’70) and the late Rico Yan (Got 2 Believe) in the Best Actor race.

I was still dreaming, remember?

I fidgeted on my seat when I noticed that not one of the major winners (see list on this page) was around to receive his/her trophy and to thank God first of all and scores of other people, thus bringing into focus the lack-luster affair obviously ignored (snubbed?) by industry people who should be pumping blood into it.

I knew that it was all a dream when I went to the gate, rubbing sleep off my eyes, and retrieved the day’s newspapers. And that’s when the news about the 21st FAP Awards startled me to wakefulness. I didn’t have to pinch myself to realize that everything was real after all. Or was it just a dream?

My first impulse was to go back to sleep (perchance to dream?) and wake up before the announcement of the winners and thereby rewrite this little chapter of showbiz history. Whose unseen hand waved the "magic wand" and made possible the impossible?

On second thought, I stayed awake, convinced that once again the local movie industry had played one of its jokes on me – on you!

In this time of war, what can you do but laugh, no matter how painfully, even at the corniest joke?

P.S. There’s a wild rumor that Magellan has risen from the grave and is spoiling for a confrontation with FAP members. I hope it’s just another joke.

Declared winners

• Best Picture –
Lapu-Lapu (Seed of Zion Films)

• Best Director –
William Mayo (Lapu-Lapu)

• Best Actor –
Lito Lapid (Lapu-Lapu)

• Best Actress –
Vilma Santos (Dekada ’70)

• Best Supporting Actor –
Piolo Pascual (Dekada ’70)

• Best Supporting Actress –
Cherrie Pie Picache (American Adobo)

• Best Screenplay –
Jerry Tirazona (Lapu-Lapu)

• Best Cinematography –
Shayne Clemente (Kailangan Kita)

• Best Production Design –
Manny Morfe (Dekada ’70)

• Best Editing –
Francis Vinarao (Diskarte)

• Best Story –
Lualhati Bautista (Dekada ’70)

• Best Musical Score –
Blitz Padua (Lapu-Lapu)

• Best Sound Engineering –
Danny Lorilla (Lapu-Lapu)

• Best Original Song –
Coritha (lone nominee, Lapu-Lapu)

BARONG TAGALOG BEST BEST ACTOR BEST DIRECTOR BEST PICTURE DEKADA DISKARTE FAP LAPU LAPU-LAPU
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