THE CROWD at the Meralco Theater Thursday night last week cheered, clapped and stomped their feet when Nora Aunor was named best actress at the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) awards ceremony.
It was the result of the excitement triggered by former President Joseph Estrada presenting the award. Estrada jested that he was having a hard time reading the name of the winner, then pretended to put his cue card on the floor. Aunor’s supporters started chanting, “Nora! Nora! Nora!”
Estrada and Aunor had a rift in 2001 when the latter called for the then-beleaguered President’s ouster, and even accused him of beating her in the past.
Aunor told Inquirer after the awards show that all was well between her and Estrada. The superstar, dressed in white coat and slacks by Avel Bacudio, appeared self-conscious when she met the entertainment press.
She won the award for her role as a Badjao midwife in the Brillante Ma. Mendoza drama “Thy Womb.” Mendoza won for direction and production design.
The rites started after the 6 p.m. call time. Security was strict—people were allowed entry only after their invitations were stamped.
ID cards for the press were distributed at the building entrance. The 1,000-seat theater was filled to capacity. There were no reserved seats for media men, so many had to sit on the carpeted floor.
Best supporting actor nominee Baron Geisler (for “El Presidente”) was heard talking and laughing loudly during the show, prompting a woman seated nearby to ask, “Has he been drinking again?”
Geisler repeatedly stepped out to look for his date, who arrived 30 minutes into the program.
Spotted on the red carpet earlier was “The Strangers” lead actor JM de Guzman, who told reporters that his heart was “big, healthy, full of love.”
De Guzman reportedly developed an attitude problem while working on the second season of the ABS-CBN drama series “Angelito: Batang Ama”—which led producers to cut short its airing time.
Bianca King, who recently admitted she had broken up with Dennis Trillo, said she was open to meeting other men. “Love is a gift,” the “Sosy Problem” star told the Inquirer. “But I will not run after the first guy I will see.”
Photos by Arnold Almacen