Some of the winners--or their representatives--in the first Gawad Buhay! Philstage Awards for the Performing Arts (from left, standing): Liesl Batucan, Susan Macuja, Dennis Marasigan, Jethro Joaquin, Bong Cabrera, Melvin Lee, Jose Mari Avellana, CB Garrucho, Max Luna III, Camille Ordinario Joson, Alan Hineline. (From left, seated) Floy Quintos, Vince De Jesus, Robert Sena, Shamaine Centenera Buencamino, Biag Gaongen. Congratulations! [Click on photo to enlarge.]
Complete list of winners to follow. Roster of nominees here.
UPDATE: Acceptance speeches of winners in the acting categories.
1. Bong Cabrera--Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Play (for Tanghalang Pilipino's Kudeta), the night's very first awardee. He set an example by keeping his speech short and buoyant, heartfelt without the goo.
Cris Villonco won Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Play (for Repertory Philippines' Hamlet where she played Ophelia). She wasn't around to get her trophy, so Rep's Jejie Esguerra accepted it on her behalf.
2. Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino--Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play (for Tanghalang Pilipino/Virgin Labfest 4's Ang Kalungkutan ng Mga Reyna): Acting royalty--poised and radiant as always, and fulsome in her praise for husband Nonie's unstinting support.
3. Jose Mari Avellana--Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play (for Repertory Philippines' Tuesdays With Morrie). The high point of the evening. Already a legend in Philippine theater, the rather frail but clearly elated Mr. Avellana took time to show up with a warm, classy speech in return for his much-deserved trophy. Bravo!
[UPDATE: Complete list of winners here.]