By By Pablo A. Tariman
A ‘SURREAL’ CHRISTMAS
posted 23-Dec-2018  ·  
651 views  ·   0 comments  ·  
Pablo Tariman's first Aliw Award trophy for his contribution to the performing arts in the last 43 years.

I swear I have never been treated to this rock star treatment before.

It happened ten days before Christmas (Dec. 13) when I joined a distinguished array of Aliw awardees headed by Lea Salonga who won Entertainer of the Year.

I won my first Aliw trophy for my modest contribution to the performing arts as arts writer in the last 43 years. I guess this is the first time the Aliw awards committee chose a non-performer for an awardee.

At any rate, I didn’t know how to react.  I know awards come and go and next day after the awards night, everything will be back to normal.

But as I rewind that moment, I realize I have reasons to celebrate. In that distinguished audience composed mostly of co-awardees led by Lea Salonga and Dulce, I experienced my first rock star treatment.

When my name was called, I thought everything was just surreal. As I walked towards the stage, I could hear what sounded like endless cheering and shouting and prolonged applause. I thought this was all a dream. When I went down the stage, more cheering and the loudest one came from a table full of actors led by Raymond Francisco (M. Butterfly).

I tried to smile and look like an elated awardee but I suppose I can’t handle awards night with some degree of dignity. And of course, with that touch of theatrical finesse that eluded me throughout the evening.

I settled on my seat, got more congratulations and then I became restless.

I quietly left the Manila Hotel Ballroom with my trophy 15 minutes after I received the trophy. I went straight to my Pasig abode wondering if my grandson was home.

To be sure, it wasn’t my first award or my first trophy.

But to be cheered by a distinguished audience led by Lea Salonga and a galaxy of stage and film actors in the audience was something else.

I knew I have logged 43 years of writing about the arts.

But to be rewarded not just with a trophy but with a cheering audience was I thought something special.

Never had that in my life.

For that reason alone, Christmas 2018 was doubly memorable.

Happy holidays fellow islanders!


Ecstatic faces of Aliw awardees led by Lea Salonga at the Manila Hotel Ballroom last December 13. Columnist not in photo.
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