PHILSTAGE Honors Legitimate Stage Artists in the 8th Gawad Buhay! Awards

By Trixie Dauz

PHILSTAGE is an acronym for The Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group. Founded in 1997, part of its mission (according to its webpage) is to “unite the professional Philippine performing arts industry.”

Ballet Philippines founder Alice Reyes, one of the recipients of the Natatanging Gawad Buhay for Lifetime Achievement, talked about the emergence of different performing companies in her speech. “It is really exciting, because back in 1969…1970…when I first stepped on the stage of CCP, you could count the number of performing companies on one hand. You could almost count the same number of theater venues that we could perform on. And today, there’s an amazing proliferation which is just so incredibly wonderful,” she said.

Some of the awardees are veterans of the stage, while others like Jef Flores and James Reyes earned the nods of the jury for their outstanding work despite being involved in theater for less than three years. The awarding ceremony was held last April 28 at Onstage Greenbelt 1 in Makati. The event was hosted by Topper Fabregas and Kakai Bautista, who eye-catchingly started the show by being a horse from The Horse and His Boy, the musical produced by Trumpets towards the end of last year.

“I thank the seven people who shared the stage with me…for being as committed as they were,” said Actor’s Actors, Inc. founder and artistic director Bart Guingona as he accepted his trophy for directing The Normal Heart, which will have a rerun at the PETA Theater Center on June 3-5, 2016.

“Maraming salamat sa parangal na ito dahil…ahm…nagsimula ako sa teatro noong 17 ako. Nagsulat ako ng una kong dula tas gumawa ako ng pelikula. Naging ageless ako tapos ngayon bumalik ako sa teatro at bingyan ako ng parangal. Maraming salamat! Ang utang na loob ko ay sa aking nanay na kinuwentuhan ako tungkol sa katutubong ugat niya sa Palawan. Salamat Tanghalang Pilipino at naniwala kayo sa dula ko. Salamat, Chris Millado. Tinuruan mo kami sa Philippine Science ng teatro kaya hindi ako naging scientist,” said Kanakan Balintagos (aka Auraeus Solito) as he received his award for Outstanding Original Script for his full-length play titled Mga Buhay na Apoy staged by Tanghalang Pilipino last year. It was first performed as a one-act staged reading at the Virgin Labfest 10. Kanakan will be part again of The Virgin Labfest in its 12th installment this coming June 29-July 17 with his one-act play Loyalist to be directed by fellow stage and screen director Lawrence Fajardo.

Below is the complete list of the winners:

Outstanding Original Script

Kanakan Balintagos, “Mga Buhay na Apoy” (TP)

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