Without any magic tricks or miracles, Himala (Miracle) starring Nora Aunor and directed by Ishmael Bernal was cited the Best Asia-Pacific Film of all time at the CNN Viewers Choice Awards.
The 1982 film, winner of the Bronze Hugo Award at the 19th Chicago Film Festival, and one of the Top 18 Asian films according to a CNN UK poll, led nine other films, including Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Mou Gaan Dou (Infernal Affairs) from Hong Kong, Chan-wook Park's Old Boy from South Korea, Hayao Miyazaki's animated film Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) from Japan, Satyajit Ray's Pather Panchali from India, Peter Weir's Gallipoli from Australia, Wong Kar Wai's Chung Hing Sam Lam (Chungking Express) from China, and Mohsen Makhmalbaf's Gabbeh from Iran.
According to CNN's website, critics, industry insiders, Asian film stars, and CNN viewers chose the movies that landed in the shortlist of ten films. The awarding ceremony, held in Australia, was a star-studded affair featuring celebrities from all over the world.
On Aunor's performance in Himala, the noted film critic Arnel Ramos said: "The pint-sized superstar delivered a miracle of a performance as Elsa, the false visionary.
"[Hers was] perhaps the finest performance by a Filipino actor ever recorded on celluloid. If the diminutive multimedia luminary ever decides to leave the movies for good, Himala is enough reason to guarantee her of immortality."
It's funny how the semi-retired pop culture icon is still making quite a splash lately. Word has it that she might just come back, after getting her US green card, to do a movie starring arch rival Vilma Santos, who is now more active in politics than in show business.
Hopefully this latest string of good news will have a positive impact on Aunor's comeback — she still has a few good movies left in her.
Karylle's moving forward
"Moving forward — that's more visual and more appropriate than moving on," Karylle told Showbiz Tsismis in an email after we asked her about her much talked-about break-up with actor Dingdong Dantes. The singer-actress, who will be singing the Philippine national anthem at the much hyped boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya in Las Vegas in December, has finally broken her silence about the long-rumoured break-up.
Practically everyone knew that Karylle and Dingdong had called it quits, but eagerly awaited the confirmation (while they got the dirt from colleague Ricky). A few days later, Karylle reservedly agreed to answer a few of our questions.
On Dingdong's alleged affair with his screen partner Marian Rivera, Karylle said, "He told me he never cheated on me, and I believe him. Although what I heard from other people says otherwise, I believed him when he said there was nothing between him and Marian, let us just leave it at that."
Karylle admitted her split up with Dingdong was ten times more painful than her last break up, but going to a retreat helped her a lot. Now, she's eager to move forward to take on new challenges in her career.
Yul does it twice over
Aside from Nora Aunor, another Pinoy artist, Yul Servo, just did the country proud… again.
This time he did it twice over when he won two best actor awards at the 35th Brussels International Independent Film Festival.
Servo was cited for his performances in two films — for Viva Films' Torotot, directed by Maryo J. de los Reyes and for Brutus, directed by Tara Illenberger.
Brutus was an entry submitted by Manila's Cinemalaya Film Festival Committee, and won the Best Asian Film Award.
This is not the first time that Servo has won an award in Brussels. He was also an awardee years back, as best supporting actor for Naglalayag opposite superstar Aunor, and for Batang West Side.
He is currently seen on TV in the top-rating La Lola, but another controversial indie film is in the pipeline, entitled Dose. No further details about the film are available, but our sources reveal it will tackle child prostitution and pornography.
Kim and Gerald back to normal?
It would seem everything's back on track for Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, whose on- and off-screen tandem almost came close to an end after rumours circulated that the actor was secretly pursuing another actress.
It seemed like the two were the perfect couple, being sweet both on- and off-screen. So it came as a shock to their many fans that Anderson was being linked to a different girl. Anderson was quick to dispel the rumours, though, saying (rather vaguely), "My only focus right now is work; and the apple of my eyes remains the same."
To appease their fans, the two are back together again on a TV series entitled Tayong Dalawa. Will their closeness shine through or will the tension between them become apparent? That's for their fans to see in the upcoming show.