Mario O’Hara’s Timely Honor

Mario O’Hara distinguished himself as screenwriter, actor and director. Here he receives the Cinema One Original Lifetime Achievement award last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Summarized and photographed

By Jude Bautista

from right: Another great screenwriter Ricky Lee presented the Cinema One Original award to Mario O’Hara. Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Cinema One Channel Head Ronald Arguelles, Mario O’Hara and Juror Dr. Nicanor Tiongson. Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

November of last year, Ronald Arguelles of Cinema One had the keen foresight, respect and love for Mario O’Hara’s work to honor him with a Lifetime Achievement award. When the standing ovation had died down Mario said that reviewing his past work was bittersweet seeing his many friends and colleagues who had passed away. It was very typical of him to honor Nora Aunor who was also a Cinema One Original awardee that night. She is his favorite actress having directed her in the now classic  “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos.” At a rare occasion when the spotlight was shone on him Mario could not help but give praise to someone else.

Nora Aunor is Mario O’Hara’s favorite actress and both were honored with the Cinema One Original Lifetime Achievement award. Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

from left: TV5’s Nora Aunor, Mario O’Hara and Juror Dr. Nicanor Tiongson. Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

After a long standing ovation, Mario in his speech said, “Maraming salamat, upo na kayo. Ngayon ko lang na ranasan ‘to ang isang buong introduction gaya nito. I find it very emotional, makita mo yung ginawa mo 30, 20, 10 years ago. Marami na kasing na matay. Kaya very emotional you remember so many talented people that you worked with at wala na sila. But then katulad ni Miss Nora Aunor na mga patuloy na kakasama sa hanap buhay na ito. Patuloy na ipinapakita ang kahusayan. Ito ang nagsisilbing inspirasyon sa akin para patuloy na gumawa ng mga magagandang mga produkto.

Mario O’Hara directed Nora Aunor in “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” in 1976 and were reunited as director and actress 35 years later in “Sa Ngalan Ng Ina” 2011 aired in TV5.

Mario O’Hara distinguished himself as screenwriter, actor and director. Here he receives the Cinema One Original Lifetime Achievement award last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

I would like to congratulate sa lahat ng involved dito sa Cinema One festival. Sana patuloy kayong maging matapang. At sana I’m sure marami sa inyo na ngangarap na pumasok sa commercial world. Sana patuloy pa rin kayong maging independent. Maraming salamat sa Cinema One.”

Ricky Lee accompanies La Aunor through a mob. Nora will also be in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” scheduled to be released in September here in Manila.

Lilia Cuntapay hugs Nora Aunor. Lilia can be seen in several Cinemalaya 8 projects this year Nora will be in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” to be released in September in Manila.

Nora Aunor and Mario O’Hara were once again reunited as actress and director for the TV5 mega event “Sa Ngalan Ng Ina.” Manny Pangilinan believed in O’Hara and Aunor so much that he Executive produced it himself. The past 2 years has seen a resurgence in O’hara’s work as director, having also competed in Cinemalaya with “Ang Pagllitis Ni Andres Bonifacio” in 2010. Alfred Vargas, Lance Raymundo, Danielle Castaño and Janvier Daly were among the principal cast.

Lilia Cuntapay hugs Nora Aunor. Lilia can be seen in several Cinemalaya 8 projects this year Nora will be in Brillante Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” to be released in September in Manila.

From left: Angeli Bayani (Ka Oryang), Dennis Marasigan (Anatomiya Ng Korupsyon), Mario O’Hara and Martha Comia (Mga Anino Sa Tanghaling Tapat). Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Mario’s Tatlong Maria cast mate Bong Cabrera won Best Actor that night for his role of Nono in “Sa Ilalim ng Tulay.” The film was directed by Mes De Guzman who has “Diablo” in the upcoming Cinemalaya 8 this July. Photo by Jude Bautista

In the video presentation that night, some of the great directors of today were asked to describe Mario’s contribution to Phil Cinema:

Joey Reyes: “Hindi niya ginawang trabaho ang pag direk, ginawa niya intong bahagi ng kanyang buhay. Hindi niya ginawa itong hanap buhay. Ang director ay may mensahe sa kanyang na piling sining. Kung walang mensahe ang director hindi siya matatwag na alagad ng sining. At si Mario O’Hara ang kanyang buhay ay kanyang mensahe.”

Joel Lamangan:Hindi hinog sa pilit ang pagiging socially relevant ni Mario O’Hara. Bahagi ng kanyang function bilang filmmaker ang bihagin itong ka isipan, yung klima at higit sa lahat yung social dynamics ng mga tao sa knayang mga pelikula.”

Mario O’ Hara won a GAWAD URIAN Best Director in the REGAL produced film “Fatima Buen Story” in 1994. Pic from video in Cinema One Awards Nov 13, 2012.

Mother Lily Monteverde: “Mario O’Hara is my best friend. I’m very close to him I learned from him. And I love him very much.”

Presenters from left: Angel Aquino of “Captive” and Manila Councilor Yul Servo. Photo was taken last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Noel Vera: “O’Hara’s love is seared in the character and when you get to know him you see it in him.”

The program that night encapsulated a storied career:

As an actor he is unforgettable Tubog sa Ginto’, ‘Stardoom’, ‘Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang’ and ‘Maynila Sa Kuko Ng Liwanag.’

His filmography as writer includes some of the most important films from Philippine Cinema’s Golden Age: ‘Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang’, ‘Condemned’, ‘Insiang’.

His achievements as writer director are indelible: ‘Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos’, ‘Ang Babae Sa Breakwater’, ‘Ang Paglilitis Ni Andres Bonifacio’

from left Direk Mario, Danielle Castaño, Lance Raymundo and Paolo O’Hara. Photo was taken at the premiere of “Ang Paglilitis Ni Andres Bonifacio” at Cinemalaya 2010 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mario O’Hara directed Nora Aunor in “Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos” in 1976 and were reunited as director and actress 35 years later in “Sa Ngalan Ng Ina” 2011 aired in TV5.

From the Cinema One Program:

In 1976 the film Insiang directed by Lino Brocka from a story and screenplay by Mario O’Hara, became the first Filipino film to screen at Cannes. In 2003, after an absence of two decades Filipino film returned to the Cannes Film festival. The movie was ‘Ang Babae sa Breakwater’ written and directed by Mario O’Hara. This low budget independent film was one of the pioneers leading the charge of Philippine cinema on the international festival circuit. Today Philippine movies are a fixture at Cannes, Venice and other festivals. This would not have been possible without the ground breaking work of the quiet self effacing Mario O’Hara.”

Nora Aunor and Mario O’Hara were both part of the Golden Age of Phil Cinema in the 70’s and early 80’s

One of the exceptions to Phil presence in Cannes was Raymond Red’s Palm D’Or win in 2000 for “Anino” but it was for the short film category. Mario’s work stands in the feature category later won by Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza and recently also participated by Aureus Solito. Paalam Mario O’Hara, isa kang tunay na alagad ng sining.

Mario O’Hara distinguished himself as screenwriter, actor and director. Here he receives the Cinema One Original Lifetime Achievement award last November 13, 2011 at the Carlos P Romulo Theater in Makati. Photo by Jude Bautista.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s