A Festival Of Filipino Talents In The 2000’s

I used to be a huge MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) fan. It gave birth to the best Filipino films of all time such as Andrea, Paano Ang Maging Isang Ina (1990), Magic Temple (1996), Nasaan Ang Puso (1997), Muro Ami (1999), Tanging Yaman (2000), Mano Po (2002), Crying Ladies (2003), and Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo (2006).

I have stopped patronizing the MMFF since the same movie producers keep doing the same old films over and over, the horror films bordering comedy, cheap action films, and the list goes on.

The last MMFF film I remember being excited about was Regal Films’ Blue Moon in 2005, directed by Joel Lamangan who I used to be a huge fan of. Blue Moon starred three generations of Best Actors, as I loved to call it, Eddie Garcia, Christopher de Leon, and Dennis Trillo (who won for his breakthrough role in Aishite Imasu 1941 a year earlier).

2006’s Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo by Star Cinema and director Joey Reyes was one of the most original creations I have seen become part of the featival since Monteverde’s Chinese-Filipino family drama Mano Po in 2002. KKK starred that year’s Best Actress winner Judy Ann Santos and real-life partner Ryan Agoncillo, with the support of then Supporting Actress winner Gina Pareño. What was frustrating about that year’s festival is that it lost the Best Picture title to M-Zet’s Enteng Kabisote 3 with the reason being the festival academy included the box office gross to the criteria for judging which should be that year’s Best Picture winner. Ironically, it was Joey Reyes that year who took home the award for Best Director.

In 2007, I didn’t pay attention to all the other entries except for the sequel to 2006’s KKK, which was Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo. I was rooting for Gina Pareño that year to make history by winning Best supporting Actress  for the second time in a row for THE SAME character, as Judy Ann Santos’s mother in the film. She lost the award to Eugene Domingo who played the assistant of that year’s Best Actress winner Maricel Soriano for Bahay Kubo. Eugene was very worthy of the title, and so was the Diamond Star. However, you would wish that the MMFF had given it the better ones. Last year, 2008, I gave all of the films a miss. Then I learned that Anne Curtis already won an unprecedented Best Actress for Baler. If she deserved it, I’m totally glad for her.

2009, the MMFF-P on its 35th year has re-ignited the flame in me, my love for mainstream Filipino films. This year, unlike the previous years, all of the seven films were clearly chosen to be released on December 25th itself, unlike some of the films in the earlier years, were moved to a January 1 release. The Monteverde dynasty had 2 entries again this year: Mano Po 6 (A Mother’s Love) and Shake, Rattle, and Roll XI. Vic Sotto retired from being a character actor and focused on total comedy playing alongside Starstruck-1 avenger Cristine Reyes. If you thought epic is absent this year due to Sotto’s horror-comedy, you’re wrong. Manny Pacquiao stars as a superhero in the film Wapakman which didn’t do well at the Box Office, it being the lowest-grossing film of the festival.

The 35th MMFF-P Gabi Ng Parangal was no less than being totally expected. Just when I thought that Gabby Concepcion could win Best Actor for I Love You, Goodbye, where Sharon Cuneta would win Best Actress for Mano Po 6, I got it all wrong. Concepcion lost to Revilla for Ang Panday, Sharon Cuneta, being the Mega Star that she is, won her FIRST MMFF Best Actress award. Heart Evangelista got her first recognition for a film by winning Best Supporting Actress playing Sharon’s distant daughter in the Regal classic. Philip Salvador won another Supporting Actor award, this year for Ang Panday, and last year, for Baler.

My only problem with the MMFF is that no matter how they try to conceal it, they are trying their hardest to distribute all the awards to each film so that no producer would go home empty-handed. This year, Regal Films’s Lily Monteverde took home the Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award, QC’s Gender-Sensitive Award for Mano Po 6. The same Regal film won the Best Director title, it being Lamangan’s 5th Mano Po project and his second win since Mano Po in 2002. The film also won the Actress and Supporting Actress awards and yet, it was not even part of the THREE Best Pictures this year.

The Third Best Picture award this year went to M-Zet’s Ang Darling Kong Aswang. The Second Best Picture went to Star Cinema’s I Love You, Goodbye. This year’s festival Best Picture was GMA Films’ Ang Panday.

I vividly remember how the MMFF awarding went in 2002 as Mano Po (the first) won 11 awards including Best Actor (Eddie Garcia), Best Actress (Ara Mina)- which was truly deserving- and Best Supporting Actress (Kris Aquino)- another very well-deserved triumph. That year left Star Cinema’s Dekada ’70 with only 3 awards including the start of the Piolo Pascual grandslam for Best Supporting Actor. The biggest surprise that year was Ara Mina winning over fellow cast Maricel Soriano and strong contender Vilma Santos for Dekada.


As we say goodbye to the first ten years of the 200’s, let us recognize the best of the best in the MMFF in this past decade. I shall now personally pick and rank the five Best of the Best from 2000-2009.


1. TANGING YAMAN (Star Cinema, 2000)

2. MANO PO (Regal Films, 2002)


4. BALER (Viva Films, 2008)

5. BLUE MOON (Regal Films, 2005)


1. JOHNNY DELGADO (Tanging Yaman, 2000)

2. EDDIE GARCIA (Mano Po, 2002)

3. CESAR MONTANO (Bagong Buwan, 2001)

4. CHRISTOPHER DE LEON (Magkaibigan, 2008)

5. CESAR MONTANO (Ligalig, 2006)


1. MARICEL SORIANO (Filipinas, 2003)

2. GLORIA ROMERO (Tanging Yaman, 2000)

3. ARA MINA (Mano Po, 2002)

4. ASSUNTA DE ROSSI (Hubog, 2001)

5. SHARON CUNETA (Mano Po 6: A Mother’s Love, 2009)


1. DENNIS TRILLO (Aishite Imasu: Mahal Kita 1941, 2004)

2. PIOLO PASCUAL (Dekada ’70, 2002)

3. JEFFREY QUIZON (Markova: Comfort Gays, 2000)

4. VICTOR NERI (Filipinas, 2003)

5. RONNIE LAZARO (Bagong Buwan, 2001)


1. GINA PARENO (Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo, 2006)

2. ALESSANDRA DE ROSSI (Hubog, 2001)

3. REBECCA LUSTERIO (Panaghoy Sa Suba, 2004)

4. HEART EVANGELISTA (Mano Po 6: A Mother’s Love, 2009)

5. CHERRY PIE PICACHE (Ako Legal Wife, 2005)


~ by ardenkhan on 30/12/2009.

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