How Hong Kong Won Them | Inquirer Entertainment

How Hong Kong Won Them

Two Pinay actresses, that is, before they won HK
/ 10:20 PM March 21, 2012

STARSTRUCK. Using her iPhone, Eugene Domingo takes a snapshot with co-winner Andy Lau. AFP

A few minutes before winning people’s choice favorite actress at the 6th Asian Film Awards (AFA), Filipino comedienne Eugene Domingo had gotten comfortable with the idea of losing.

“I was [quite content] with the hospitality extended by the organizers,” she told Inquirer in an e-mail.


Domingo (who won for Marlon Rivera’s “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank”) and fellow Filipinos, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino (best supporting actress winner for Loy Arcenas’ “Niño”) and Chris Martinez (best screenplay nominee for “Septic”), were treated like big stars at the event held in Hong Kong on Monday.


Her hotel suite was “super,” Domingo said. “They put me in the Upper House at the Pacific Place in Queensway. It was very modern, but it also had natural elements like wood and stone. My room was like a spa; the view was majestic!”

Very hospitable

“The organizers were very hospitable,” Buencamino added. “My husband (actor Nonie Buencamino) and I were billeted at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. We got free hair and makeup services for the awards night and press call.”

The actress recalled a touching story: “A Filipino based in Hong Kong offered me free lodging, after reading (in the previous Inquirer) about my reluctance to attend the awards show because I was unemployed.” The AFA took care of the couple’s plane tickets and hotel accommodations.

TEARFUL. Shamaine Buencamino dedicates award to her family, Cinemalaya and the country. AFP

It was her first time in Hong Kong, Buencamino said. Like any working mother, she isn’t keen on traveling abroad, “unless it’s for work.”

As Buencamino said in her tearful acceptance speech, her career took a back seat as she prioritized raising her four children— Delphine, 21; Gorio, 18; Jose, 15; Julia, 12.


It was a holiday for the Buencaminos, too. “We’d have wanted to explore some more, but we didn’t have enough time.” They flew back to Manila   Tuesday night.

Domingo, Martinez and Buencamino had several interviews with the press at the AFA, known as the Asian Oscars.

“The reporters asked what inspired me to write the film, and did I expect it to be this successful,” said Martinez.

On the red carpet, they got to live out the Oscars fantasy.

Buencamino wore an Eric Pineda gown. “I felt comfortable because I was with my husband.

We felt like stars,” she related. “Eric is also from UP. When he asked what I wanted to wear, I told him to just make me look proportioned.”

Domingo had two costume changes. “For the press call, I wore a dress by Maxie Cinco,” she said. “For the red carpet, I wore a gold gown by Rajo Laurel.”

She had a blast on the red carpet. “It was fun. I was with [“Septic” writer and fellow nominee] Chris.”

Domingo was a big hit among the fans who watched the ceremony at the Hong Kong Exhibition and Convention Center on Monday night, said Martinez.

According to Martinez, Domingo made the entire hall roar with laughter when she asked (and received) a kiss from people’s choice favorite actor winner Andy Lau, a huge star in the Chinese-speaking world.

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“Unbelievable,” Domingo described her Hong Kong experience. “One can never be ready for it.”

TAGS: Ang Babae sa Septic Tank, Asian Film Awards, Chris Martinez, cinema, Entertainment, Eugene Domingo, Film, Marlon Rivera, Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino

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