Brillante Mendoza, Gina Lopez, 1st Gawad Apolinario Mabini awardees

Posted at 09/24/2010 1:17 PM | Updated as of 09/24/2010 1:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - By espousing the care of our environment and promoting arts and culture in the country, socio-civic leader Gina Lopez and internationally acclaimed Filipino filmmaker Brillante Mendoza were presented, respectively, to the public and student body of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines Wednesday afternoon as two of the most distinguished persons to be awarded the 1st Gawad Apolinario Mabini.

Lopez was cited for her efforts to clean the surroundings not only in Metro Manila but in the suburbs as well, and to revive the cleanliness of the Pasig River through a rehabilitation program. Among her programs is the Run for Pasig River fun run on October 10, 2010. Lopez was recognized as a pivotal forerunner in saving our environment from the clutches of doomsday.

Mendoza on his part was cited as a local filmmaker who was able to conquer world cinema by presenting the current state of human condition in the country. Mendoza won the 2009 Palm d’Or Best Director award at the Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France for the gloomy and dark film “Kinatay (The Execution of P).”

According to Mendoza, he feels honored to have been presented the 1st Gawad Mabini for Arts and Culture. “Ang sabi nila sa akin, ‘yong mga organizer, nakaabot daw ako sa criteria kaya ibibigay nila sa akin ‘yong award sa culture and the arts which would include film and media.

“Wala namang ibang taga-showbiz na nai-present. Maraming mga awardees pero mula sila sa iba’t ibang fields of endeavor. But Gina Lopez was one of the recipients and I am also happy for her,” said Mendoza, also known as Dante Mendoza.

Prior to the presentation, movie scribe and ardent Vilma Santos fan Willie Fernandez was asking about the results of the 1st Gawad Mabini.

He was particularly interested in discovering the identities of the people behind the awards body.

“Ang narinig ko, si Pit Maliksi ang isa sa mga organizers niyan. Naku, si Orang na naman ang mananalo diyan,” said Fernandez in his text message.

Maliksi is a known Nora Aunor fanatic and Fernandez surmised the actress would win a plum from the award group.

We asked Mendoza if Aunor and Santos were named recipients of the award, and he matter-of-factly said, “wala namang binanggit na Nora Aunor at Vilma Santos.”

The 1st Gawad Mabini will be awarded at the Manila Hotel on October 11, 2010.