Best Philippine Theater Productions Gather for the 7th Gawad Buhay Awards

The recently concluded 7th PHILSTAGE (Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group) Awards for the Performing Arts or the Gawad Buhay Awards Night went from poignant to hilarious. From meaty punchlines and long, emotional acceptance speeches to graceful dance numbers and two bigwigs who have shaped Philippine theater, that night was of most importance for the theater community because, similar to the Tonys in the US, the Gawad Buhay is an annual event that gathers and recognizes the Philippines’ best theatrical performances throughout the season.

Let this entry walk you through the highlights of the 7th Gawad Buhay:

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (19)
Topper Fabregas of Red Turnip Theater gives life to the 7th Gawad Buhay Awards Night as the host. Fabregas, who would later go on and on with his inside jokes, summoned powerhouse actors Joaquin Valdez, Kim Molina, and Red Concepcion to join him on stage.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (18)
What followed was an intense attempt to outshine one another in an all-out vocal showcase.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (20)
Red Concepcion representing Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Full House)
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (21)
Nikki Gil and Steven Silva (9Works Theatrical) were the first pair of presenters.

Female Featured Performance in Classical Dance
Celina Dofitas, “Cinderella” (BP)
Edana Mae Labitoria, “Cinderella” (BP)
KATHERINE TROFEO, “Cinderella” (BP)
Rita Winder, “Cinderella” (BP)

Male Lead Performance in Classical Dance
Richardson Yadao, “Cinderella” (BP)
EARL JOHN ARISOLA, “Cinderella” (BP)

Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance
DENISE PARUNGAO, “Cinderella” (BP)
Monica Gana, “Cinderella” (BP)
Dawna Mangahas, “Nutkraker” (BM)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (25)
PHILSTAGE welcomes its newest member: The Philippine Ballet Theater
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (24)
Philstage welcomes its newest member: The Philippine Ballet Theater
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (23)
Is it possible that Topper is the new Tolits?
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (70)
Margie Moran-Floriendo, President of Ballet Philippines, is the next presenter.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (26)
Liza Magtoto receives the award for Outstanding Original Libretto (Rak of Aegis, PETA). She dedicates the award to her dad who she describes as her “Original Tolits.”
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (60)
Tanghalang Pilipino

Outstanding Translation or Adaptation
Virgilio Almario and José Lacaba, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP)
ROLANDO TINIO, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (71)
Topper changes into Ebenezer Scrooge and jokes about how the costume hasn’t probably been washed since the show.

Female Featured Performance in a Play

Pinky Amador, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
LIESL BATUCAN, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Sheila Francisco, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
TAMI MONSOD, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Madeleine Nicolas, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP)

Male Featured Performance in a Play
Richard Cunanan, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Hans Eckstein, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
YUL SERVO, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Dido dela Paz, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Marco Viaña, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (72)
Bituin Escalante is 2014’s Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical.

Female Featured Performance in a Musical
BITUIN ESCALANTE, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Kalila Aguilos, “Rak of Aegis” (Peta)
Antoinette Taus, “Grease” (9WT)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (28)

Pepe Herrera who stars as Tolits in Rak of Aegis dedicates his award to his mother, who once told him to follow his heart.

Male Featured Performance in a Musical
PEPE HERRERA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Jerald Napoles, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Myke Salomon, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Juliene Mendoza, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Micko Laurente, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (31)
A scene from “Sinta” by Dulaang Sibol
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (32)
Onofre Pagsanghan receives the first of two Natatanging Gawad Buhay awards for his brainchild Dulaang Sibol. Photo shows Pagsi embracing Paul Dumol.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (33)
Onofre ‘Pagsi’ Pagsanghan
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (34)
Tanghalang Pilipino‘s Kleptomaniacs, with Nicco Manalo and the group.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (36)
Fabregas came out in what seemed like a loin cloth, from the nominated costume collection from the Ballet Philippines’ La Revolucion Filipina.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (39)
Carissa Adea of Ballet Philippines

Female Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Dawna Mangahas, “Shutter” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Monica Gana, “Duet” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Kris-Belle Paclibar-Mamangun, “Salome” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
CARISSA ADEA, “Songs of the Wayfarer” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Jessa Balote, “Sari’t Bahag” from “Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika: An OPM Festival” (BM)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (40)
Richardson Yadao, Ballet Philippines

Male Lead Performance in Modern Dance
Elpidio Magat, “Shutter” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Earl John Arisola, “Duet” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Rudy de Dios, “Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Jean Marc Cordero, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
RICHARDSON YADAO, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production
BAM DAMIAN, “Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
Denisa Reyes, “Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
Bam Damian, “After Whom” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Alice Reyes, “Bungkos Suite” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
Agnes Locsin, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (41)
The cast of Gantimpala Theater Foundation‘s Kanser@35: The Musical features members of Viva Voce.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (42)
The cast of Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s Kanser@35: The Musical features members of Viva Voce.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (43)
The cast of Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s Kanser@35: The Musical features members of Viva Voce.

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (44)
Topper in Full Gallop! The production’s costumes were designed by Rajo Laurel.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (45)
Philippine Opera Company’s Karla Gutierrez belts out You’ll Never Walk Alone as accompaniment to the “In Memoriam” segment.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (46)
The PR gurus of Theater: Toots Tolentino and Leloi Arcete.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (47)
Winning Outstanding Sound Design are PETA’s Happy Constantino and Myke Salomon

Outstanding Sound Design
Jethro Joaquin, “Noises Off” (Rep)
Jethro Joaquin, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
MYKE SALOMON and HAPPY CONSTANTINO, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Ryan Cayabyab (remastered by David Theo), “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Outstanding Lighting Design
John Batalla, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Katsch Catoy, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Martin Esteva, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
KATSCH CATOY, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (48)
Ballet Philippines perform a dance excerpt from “After Whom.”
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (49)
Topper’s next costume represents Full House’s Priscilla, Queen of the Desert!
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (50)
Presenters Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and partner Robie Zialcita.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (56)
Red Concepcion probably had the most costume change that night. Apart from winning Male Lead Performance in a Musical, he also appears in excerpts from Priscilla Queen of the Desert and, in this photo, alongside Team Kayumanggilas in Kung Paano Ka Naging Leading Lady!

Male Lead Performance in a Musical
RED CONCEPCION, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Joaquin Valdes, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Nicco Manalo, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)
Michael Williams, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (16)
Kim Molina wins Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical!

Female Lead Performance in a Musical
Aicelle Santos, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Joan Bugcat, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
KIM MOLINA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Nikki Gil, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Tippy Dos Santos, “Grease” (9WT)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (51)
Director Maribel Legarda for PETA.

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Musical
MARIBEL LEGARDA, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Jaime del Mundo, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Robbie Guevara, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (53)
Mio Infante, the man behind the infamous flooded set of Villa Venizia.

Outstanding Set Design

MIO INFANTE, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Miguel Faustmann, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Miguel Faustmann, “Noises Off” (Rep)
Mio Infante, “The Last 5 Years” (9WT)
Mio Infante, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (54)
Carlo Pagunaling (PETA)

Outstanding Costume Design
CARLO PAGUNALING, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Edgar San Diego, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (PETA)
Rajo Laurel, “Full Gallop” (My Own Mann Productions/AAI and The Necessary Theatre)
Victor Ursabia, “La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)
Valeen Vicente, “Scrooge” (Rep)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (59)
Fuersa Filipinas and Team Kayumanggilas showcase an exciting, must-see excerpt from Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (65)
Teatrong Mulat in a puppetry number.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (58)
Second Natatanging Gawad Buhay recipient was founder of Teatro Mulat, Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio. Joined by her former students Bibeth Orteza and Dennis Marasigan.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (69)
Joaquin Valdes and Nikki Gil deliver a moving excerpt from The Last Five Years.

Outstanding Stage Direction for a Play
CHRIS MILLADO, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
Miguel Faustmann, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Bart Guingona, “Full Gallop” (My Own Mann/AAI)
Chris Millado, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
Bart Guingona, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (66)
Gio Gahol (PETA) wins Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical.

Outstanding Choreography for a Play or Musical
Nancy Crowe, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Gio Gahol, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Nestee Mamaril Gamilla, “Kleptomaniacs” (TP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (67)
Myke Salomon receives another win for PETA.

Outstanding Musical Direction
MYKE SALOMON, “Rak of Aegis” (PETA)
Inday Echevarria, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (Full House)
Joseph Tolentino, “The Last Five Years” (9WT)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (63)
Jon Santos, Michael Williams and Red Concepcion sing “True Colors.”

Jon Santos, Michael Williams and Red Concepcion sing Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (62)
Sandino Martin, Regina de Vera, and Bart Guingona
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (1)
Representing Cherie Gil, who won Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play

Female Lead Performance in a Play
Baby Barredo, “August: Osage County” (Rep)
CHERIE GIL, “Full Gallop”
Liesl Batucan, “Wait Until Dark” (Rep)
Jennifer Blair-Bianco, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
Gina Pareño, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)

Male Lead Performance in a Play
Spanky Manikan, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP)
ROBERT AREVALO, “Mga Ama, Mga Anak” (TP)
Jonathan Tadioan, “Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
David Bianco, “Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (3)
Champions Kim Molina and Pepe Herrera sing Mahal na Mahal Kita.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (2)
Aicelle Santos and Jerald Napoles
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (4)
Kalila Aguilos of Rak of Aegis.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (5)
Lorenz Martinez of Rak of Aegis.



Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (7)
Antoinette Taus and Guji Lorenzana

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for Modern Dance

“ARAMICA” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
“Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
“After Whom” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
“Bungkos Suite” from “The Blue Moon Series” (BP)
“La Revolucion Filipina” (BP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (8)
The ensemble of August Osage County, composed of Pinky Amador, Sheila Francisco, Richard Cunanan, director Chris Millado, Tami Monsod.

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Play
“AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY” (Rep)
“Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)
“Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (9)
The winning ensemble of RAK OF AEGIS jumps for joy!

Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical
“RAK OF AEGIS” (PETA)
“The Last 5 Years” (9WT)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (10)
Chris Millado and Audie Gemora thank the audience.
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (11)
Bibeth Orteza, Rafa Siguion Reyna and…
Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (12)
Jon Santos as Armida Siguion-Reyna

Outstanding Modern Dance Production
“Aramica” from “Heart2Heart: Ballet & Ballads” (BM)
“Muybridge Frames” from “Art of Dance” (BP)
“LA REVOLUCION FILIPINA” (BP)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Play
“AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY” (Rep)
“Full Gallop” (My Own Mann/AAI)
“Pahimakas sa Isang Ahente” (TP)
“Venus in Fur” (AAI/The Necessary Theatre)

Gawad Buhay 2014 x Reverb Manila (63)

Outstanding Production of Existing Material for a Musical
“PRISCILLA, QUEEN OF THE DESERT” (Full House)
“The Last 5 Years” (9WT)

Outstanding Original Musical
“RAK OF AEGIS” (PETA)

Congratulations to all the winners! ‘Til the next Gawad Buhay!

Philstage is an organization of professional performing arts companies in the Philippines, namely: Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit, PETA, Repertory Philippines, Tanghalang Pilipino, Trumpets, Actor’s Actors, 9 Works Theatrical and Philippine Opera Company. New among the roster of members are: Resorts World Manila’s Full House Theater Productions, Red Turnip Theater, and Philippine Ballet Theater.

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