Philippine Daily Inquirer - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Marinel R. Cruz


Aga Muh­lach said he did not know he was nom­i­nated for best ac­tor at the re­cent 36th Luna Awards. “Imag­ine my sur­prise when I found out that I won some­thing. Peo­ple were sud­denly con­grat­u­lat­ing me,” the ac­tor re­called. “I was just sit­ting at home chat­ting with my wife (Charlene Gon­za­lez) and friends when I got the good news.”

“It’s def­i­nitely a huge ego boost, but I make sure suc­cess doesn’t go to my head,” Aga told the In­quirer af­ter be­ing named best ac­tor award at Sat­ur­day’s Luna Awards cer­e­mony held at The Plaza of Re­sorts World Manila in Pasay City.

This is Aga’s fourth award for his per­for­mance in the Cathy Gar­cia-Molina drama, “Seven Sun­days.” The film also won the best screen­play and edit­ing honors.

“Ang Larawan,” a mu­si­cal based on the Nick Joaquin play “A Por­trait of the Artist as Filipino,” bagged the most num­ber of awards, in­clud­ing best pic­ture and direc­tor for Loy Arce­nas, best sound, mu­sic, cin­e­matog­ra­phy and pro­duc­tion de­sign.

The film, which takes place in Manila in 1941 just be­fore World War II, also won for Joanna Ampil, who plays Can­dida Marasi­gan, the best ac­tress tro­phy.

“It’s al­ways won­der­ful to be rec­og­nized,” said Joanna who is now in China for the last leg of the mu­si­cal, “Cats.” “Ev­ery sin­gle award is im­por­tant to me be­cause of the thor­ough process that the jury goes through. I have so much ap­pre­ci­a­tion for each of them.

“This Luna award in par­tic­u­lar comes from our peers and col­leagues from the in­dus­try. Be­ing a new­bie with my first movie and hav­ing their seal of ap­proval is some­thing sig­nif­i­cant in one’s ca­reer and can never be taken for granted,” she told the In­quirer.

This is her sixth best ac­tress tro­phy—the first be­ing at the 2018 Metro Manila Film Fes­ti­val (MMFF), fol­lowed by Star Awards, Guillermo Box Of­fice Awards, Pasado and Gawad Urian.

Joanna will come home next week for the re­hearsals of the stage mu­si­cal “The Wait­ress” and is ex­pected to stay here for a longer time.

John Ar­cilla copped the best sup­port­ing ac­tor award for his per­for­mance in Mikhail Red’s in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed drama “Bird­shot,” while the best sup­port­ing ac­tress tro­phy was given to Jas­mine Cur­tis-Smith for her work in Paul So­ri­ano’s MMFF en­try, “Siar­gao.”

The Fer­nando Poe Jr. Life­time Achieve­ment Award went to for­mer ABS-CBN pres­i­dent Charo San­tos-Con­cio; the Lam­berto Avel­lana Me­mo­rial Award to writer-direc­tor Au­gusto Bue­naven­tura; and the Manuel de Leon for Ex­em­plary Achieve­ment Award to ac­tress and phi­lan­thropist Rosa Rosal.

Ce­leste Le­gaspi, “Larawan” pro­ducer

Aga Muh­lach

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