Twin victory for Barbara Miguel
Bot Glorioso (The Philippine Star) - September 27, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Kapuso child star Barbara Miguel is smiling from ear to ear these days. Reason: She was named Best Actress at the Harlem International Film Festival in New York which concluded with the awarding ceremonies last Sept. 15.

Barbara’s effective portrayal of Krista, a nine-year-old child impregnated by her own father, in the indie film Nuwebe won the nod of the international filmfest jury. Nuwebe, written and directed by Joseph Israel Laban, recently competed at the 10th Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival under the New Breed category. It is based on the real-life story of a nine-year-old girl believed to be the youngest mother in Philippine history.

Harlem International Film Festival, as stated in its official website, offers honest, thought-provoking portrayals of our world. It actively seeks and exhibits fresh and dynamic works that possess a universal appeal.

“It was direk Maryo (J. delos Reyes, her manager) who texted my mama and congratulated me for winning the Best Actress award in New York,” shared Barbara during the recent pocket interview held at the 17th floor of GMA Network building.

Her mom, Renerich, recalled that after reading the text message, she shared the good news right away with GMA and also with their relatives and friends in Davao. “My teacher and classmates were also happy for my acting award and asked me if I will go to New York,” Barbara added.

Unfortunately, Barbara wasn’t able to go to New York to personally accept the award.  But her mom said that they were notified that it will be sent right at their doorstep. “Probably, by next week we have already received it.”

The acting recognition is Barbara’s second after bagging the Best Child Actress trophy at the 61st Film Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards early this year for her impressive acting in the Joel Lamangan-directed indie project Migrante.  

Barbara revealed that more than a hundred auditioned for the Krista role. But it didn’t dampen her spirit a bit. “Ang una ko pong ginawa ay inaral ko maigi ang script, nung una di sinabi sa akin ni mama na rape victim ako dito pero naintindihan ko naman yung story at ginawan n’ya ko ng motivation.”

Her mom, who served as her daughter’s acting coach, said, “Pinaisip ko sa kanya na paano kung namatay ako at naiwan silang mag-kakapatid at naiyak agad s’ya.”

What came next was a display of emotion-filled performance from the day of the auditions to the actual take of the role. “Perfect ‘yung naging motivation n’ya kaya napansin yung acting n’ya ni direk Joseph,” Renerich added. “Magaling na talaga s’ya sa drama and I’m so happy for my daughter.”

And while Barbara’s child star friends express their admiration for what she has attained, telling her “Ikaw na! Barbara!” or “Level 1 pa lang kami, ikaw nasa  level 10,” Barbara remains humble.

The awards, she affirmed, will not definitely make her head become too big for a hat. According to her, any child actress — given the right project — can also achieve the same acting recognition.

“Kung kaya ko po magka-award ng dalawa, kaya din po ito ng ibang bata. Siguro po pag nagka-award ako ng lima siguro po masasabi ko na talagang magaling na ko,” Barbara said.

GMA, Barbara offered, has been instrumental in honing her acting talent by casting her in Kapuso drama series like Munting Heredera, Biritera and Aso ni San Roque. She recently guested in One Day, Isang Araw and played a role in Magpakailanman. Aside from indies, Barbara was also seen in Burgos topbilled by Lorna Tolentino.

“I wish to play a special child in the future,” noted Barbara.

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