‘Asiong’s’ sweetest revenge
The film that was disowned by its director has ended up a big winner. “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story” bagged the best picture trophy, plus five other honors, at the 30th Luna Awards of the Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP) on Sunday night.
Laguna Gov. Jeorge “ER” Estregan Jr., who portrayed notorious gang leader Nicasio “Asiong” Salonga, and John Regala, as the hoodlum’s nemesis Totoy Golem, received the best actor and best supporting actor trophies, respectively, during the awards ceremony held at the Quezon Ballroom of the Quezon City Sports Complex.
The film, a coproduction of Viva Films and Scenema Concept International, courted controversy when it debuted at the annual Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2011. Its director, Tikoy Aguiluz, earlier protested the inclusion of his name in the film’s credits and promotional materials. He said “Asiong” had been reshot, reedited and rescored without his knowledge—and thus it should not be attributed to him.
“Asiong” also won best production design (Fritz and Mona Silorio); best editing (Jason Cahapay and Ryan Orduna); and best sound (Albert Michael Idioma).
FAP director general Leo Martinez said he was glad that Estregan, Scenema producer Maylyn Villalon and some members of the cast were present to accept the awards.
Best director and best actress awards went to Paul Soriano and Maja Salvador, respectively, for their work on the inspirational family drama “Thelma”—about a girl from Ilocos who discovers her unusual skill as a runner and uses it to free her family from poverty.
The film also won best screenplay (Soriano and Froilan Medina) and best cinematography (Odyssey Flores).
Lovi Poe was declared best supporting actress for her performance as the conflicted wife in the Jun Lana drama, “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
The Ruel Bayani romantic drama, “No Other Woman,” won for Raul Mitra the best musical score award.
A number of special awards were given during the ceremony hosted by Rez Cortez and Katya Santos. The Golden Reel Award was posthumously given to the late comedy king Dolphy.
Director Augusto Salvador was recipient of the FPJ Lifetime Achievement Award. The Manuel de Leon Award for Exemplary Achievement was handed to director-actor Manuel “Jun” Urbano, popularly known as Mr. Shooli in the (late 1980s) TV series “Mongolian Barbecue.”
The Lamberto Avellana Memorial Award was shared posthumously by directors Ben Feleo, Don Escudero and Jose Batac.
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