#TheaterPH - The 8th Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards - Winners and event coverage! #GawadBuhay8

Now on its 8th year, Gawad Buhay is the first ever industry awards exclusively for the performing arts.

Topper Fabregas and Kakai Bautista hosted the event.

It's juried by an independently panel of critics, scholars, artists and theater enthusiasts. From the quarterly citations, the jury selects the final nominees qualified to win the awards by the end of the performance season, and votes on the winners be secret balloting.

Tanghalang Pilipino's Mabining Mandirigma, a musical production about life and legacy of Apolinario Mabini with libretto by Nicanor Tiongson, music by Joed Balsamo and direction by Chris Millado - was the most honored production of the evening with 12 awards.

Stage for the night.

In dance, Ballet Philippines' Peter Pan led the pack with five awards, including Outstanding Choreography for a Dance Production by Edna-Vida Froilan and Outstanding Classical Dance Production. Ballet Manila's Bloom was recognized as the Outstanding Modern Dance Production. Gerardo Francisco, Ballet Manila dancer, won 2 awards in one night for his performance in Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin: Tatlong Kwento Ni Lola Basyang as Outstanding Lead Male Performance in Modern Dance and Romeo and Juliet as Outstanding Male Featured Performance in Classical Dance.

Philstage also gave The Natatanging Gawad Buhay Awards for lifetime achievement this year to two legends of the Philippine performing arts - actress Celia Diaz-Laurel and former Ballet Philippines Artistic Director Alice Reyes.

Here are my tweets during my live covarage for the event:

Philstage is the only alliance of professional performing arts organizations in the Philippines. Its members include 9 Works Theatrical, Actor's Actors Inc., Ballet Manila, Ballet Philippines, Full House (Resorts World Manila), Gantimpala Theater Foundation, PETA, Philippine Ballet Theater, Philippine Opera Company, Repertory Philippines, Red Turnip Theater, Stages, Tanghalang Pilipino and Trumpets.

It has been a great year for performing arts this season and looking forward to more creative and colorful productions in the coming season.

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