Team Sayaw Sweeps the 35th Gawad Urian Awards

One random night, I got an invite to attend the ceremony of the country’s most prestigious award-giving body, the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Gawad Urian. I was so privileged to have an invite coming from Sir Alemberg Ang, who is no other than the executive producer of the first movie I ever supported, Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa.

Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa was the first and only independent film I have watched (so far) and it definitely left me with a very good impression of how great independent films being produced are, especially those which are created for Cinemalaya Film Festival. I was right that Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa won’t go unnoticed by the award-giving bodies in the country.

Top right: With Sir Alemberg Ang, producer of Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa; Bottom right: Paulo Avelino and Direk Alvin Yapan on their seats while waiting for award winners.

With all the awards the film had already received locally and internationally, including Rocco Nacino’s awards from Philippine Movie Press Club (Best New Male Actor), Entertainment Press Society (Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actor) and Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Foundation Box-office Awards (Most Promising Male Star); it was certainly a different honor for the film to be recognized by the country’s most respected award-giving organization, contending against equally competitive films produced and shown in the country in 2011.

Alessandra De Rossi was nominated for Best Actress for "Ka Oryang"
2-time Urian Best Actor, Sid Lucero came as Alessandra's date.

Paulo Avelino, being interviewed on how it felt being nominated
Paulo Avelino never thought he'd leave AFP Theater with the Urian trophy.

Alwyn Uytingco was sent by Jean Garcia for Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa; JM De Guzman was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in Ang Babae sa Septic Tank.

The awarding ceremony was held on June 13, 2012 at the AFP Theater and was graced by a roster of celebrities who served as presenters during the night such as Nikki Valdez, Rica Peralejo, Kathryn Bernardo, Khalil Ramos, Arron Villaflor and Ketchup Eusebio among others.

Also in the event were nominees for Best Actors Kean Cipriano and JM De Guzman, and their close friend, Alwyn Uytingco, who attended the event as Jean Garcia’s representative.  Contenders for the Best Actress Award who were at the event were Maja Salvador and Alessandra De Rossi, who arrived with her date-for-the-night, 2-time Urian Best Actor, Sid Lucero.

The awarding ceremony was hosted by Angel Aquino, Venus Raj, Zoren Legazpi and Urian judge and member, Butch Francisco. A powerful medley of the famous love songs rendered by Frenchie Dy and Erik Santos opened the program. Bituin Escalante, together with her sister and a  female trio, also gave a touching rendition of the patriotic Filipino songs such as "Ako ay Pilipino" and "Pilipinas Kong Mahal" to name a few. Before the Best Picture winner was named, the winners were again presented through the traditional walk accompanied by a wonderful song number by Jed Madela.

Erik Santos and Frenchie Dy
Stunning hosts, Venus Raj and Angel Aquino
Zoren Legazpi and Venus Raj
Khalil Ramos, Kathryn Bernardo, Ping Medina and his brother, with Urian judges
Nikki Valdez, Rica Peralejo, Ketchup Eusebio and Best Actress nominee, Lilia Cuntapay
Sharmaine Buencamino and another Urian judge
Bituin Escalante and a talented trio.
Maja Salvador and Arron Villaflor
Alwyn Uytingco accepted Jean Garcia's award for Best Supporting Actress (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Alessandra De Rossi and Kean Cipriano

Director Alvin Yapan of "Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa" accepted Best Director and Best Screenplay here.
Yul Servo and Gawad Urian Head
Maja Salvador won this year's Best Actress trophy for her performance in "Thelma"

Paulo Avelino won as this year's Best Actor for "Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa"
Jed Madela rendered a song while the winners parade.
Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa executive producer, Alemberg Ang excitedly accepted the award for Best Picture
The winners

Team Sayaw
It was indeed another night to remember for me, experiencing the prestige and glamour of Urian for the first time. What made it even more memorable was that I was part of Team Sayaw (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa), the team who bagged the most number of awards during the night! The hours spent with the Sayaw team, cheering, praying and fingers-crossing were all worth it.

By the way, here’s the complete list of winners:

Natatanging Gawad Urian Award – Rody Lacap (4-time Urian Best Cinematographer)
Best Documentary – Tundong Magiliw by Jewel Maranan
Best Short Film – Sirip by Kim Camelo
Best Sound – Albert Michael Idioma and Addiss Tabong (Amok)
Best Music – Christine Muyco and Jema Pamintuan (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Editing – Lawrence Fajardo (Amok)
Best Production Design – Maulen Fadul (The Natural Phenomenon of Madness)
Best Cinematography – Arvin Viola (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Screenplay – Alvin Yapan (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Director – Alvin Yapan (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Supporting Actress – Jean Garcia (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Supporting Actor – Art Acuña (Niño)
Best Actress – Maja Salvador (Thelma)
Best Actor – Paulo Avelino (Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa)
Best Picture – Ang Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa

** Apologies for the poor quality of photos.
** Credits to Sir Alemberg Ang for sharing some of his photos.

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