Filipina actresses

‘Eyeglasses for all in charge’: Eva Darren’s family gives advice to FAMAS organizers

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‘Eyeglasses for all in charge’: Eva Darren’s family gives advice to FAMAS organizers

Fernando de la Pena's Facebook

Celebrities and netizens continue to rally behind the veteran actress following her 'incomprehensible' snub as a presenter at the 72nd FAMAS Awards

MANILA, Philippines – Actress Eva Darren and her family have accepted the apology of organizers of the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) 2024 Awards, but a family member also gave them advice so that no one else goes through her “incomprehensible, unexpected, unimaginable” experience at this year’s ceremony.

‘Eyeglasses for all in charge’: Eva Darren’s family gives advice to FAMAS organizers

On Tuesday, May 28, Fernando de la Pena took to Facebook to thank all of his mother’s supporters, and to give context to their outrage over what happened at the FAMAS awards night, as well as to their decision to accept the FAMAS organizers’ apology over Darren’s snubbing incident.

He said that Darren worked hard to provide for her family “including an education that instilled fundamental virtues and principles of Filipino culture that necessitates respect for the elderly.”

“It is far from our intention to ruffle feathers and in fact, our upbringing inclined towards avoiding trouble at all cost often at our emotional expense,” he said.

De la Pena said that their mother’s 1969 FAMAS trophy – for Best Supporting Actress in the film Ang Pulubi – was one of their “few treasured possessions.”

“We revered FAMAS and everything it stands for. This is why what happened to my mother, in the eyes of our family, was incomprehensible, unexpected, unimaginable,” he said, adding that Darren was particularly hurt that her grandchildren who were with her that night got disappointed as they did not get to see her on stage as a presenter.

De Leon also took a jab at the organizers’ explanation that they could not find the actress, emphasizing that his mother was seated in a table front and center adjacent to the stage. 

“For the reasons I stated above and on behalf of my mother, Ms. Eva Darren, our family accepts the olive branch that FAMAS has extended and only hope that future events would prove to be contrasting,” De la Pena said.

“I understand that we are but a small voice in the back row of a rowdy crowd, but if I may humbly, personally, recommend two things for the 73rd FAMAS Awards Night: Please stick to the script…and maybe a nice pair of eyeglasses for all in charge.”

The awarding ceremony held on Sunday, May 26, at the Manila Hotel, sparked controversy after De la Pena called out the FAMAS organizers for not calling the actress on stage despite being invited to be a presenter. She was supposed to present alongside Tirso Cruz III but the latter was paired with young singer Sheena Palad instead.

FAMAS issued a public apology, explaining that their production team failed to locate the actress during the live show. Admitting that it was a “negligence on [their] part,” they stressed that the incident, however, was “not intentional and purely a misjudgment.” 

They also expressed their commitment to making amends with the actress, including a visit by the FAMAS Board to honor Darren’s stature if she allows it.

Celebs rally for Darren as FAMAS continues to face backlash 

Despite their apology, FAMAS organizers continued to draw flak as several celebrities and netizens have pointed out that the mishap speaks a lot on the treatment of the country’s esteemed artists.

Actress Rita Avila shared the sentiments of other netizens regarding the treatment of the veteran acress.

Si Ms. Eva Darren ay pumunta definitely hindi para sa ningning pero dahil nirespeto niya ang imbitasyon. Nirespeto ba [siya]?” she said. 

(Ms. Eva Darren definitely didn’t go to the ceremony for fame but because she wanted to honor their invitation. But was she respected?) 

In the comments section, Avila also pointed out some discrepancies in the organizers’ reasoning. She raised that in the poster uploaded by FAMAS on Sunday, Darren wasn’t included in its list of presenters. The post on the poster has been deleted on FAMAS’ social media pages. 

Avila wondered aloud why the organizers even gave Darren a script to memorize when they did not include her in the official poster onthe presenters. She added that the organizers should have a dedicated area for the presenters and a team that would monitor them so it would be easier to keep track during the event proper. 

Actress Maila Gumila urged the staff working in award-giving bodies like FAMAS and the entertainment industry, in general, to do research on guests so that they can show proper respect towards veteran actors. 

Actor Cedrick Juan, who was one of the nominees for Best Actor, reposted De la Pena’s post and made a reference to the organizers’ excuse about the incident.  

Hayyy, hindi daw siya mahanap. Kaya nga may organizers ang bawat event. Lungkot (Sigh. [They said] they couldn’t find her. That’s why there are are organizers for each event. That’s sad).” he wrote. 

Interestingly, FAMAS has restricted commenting on their apology statement about the Darren incident. 

Only a comment from Facebook user Philippe Paje remained. It read: “Do more than this apology. Invite her next year to present Best Picture and cover all her expenses. Give her the best seat in the venue too. That’s the best way to make amends.” This comment has earned more than 9,000 reactions, as of writing. 

Meanwhile, the 2024 FAMAS winners include Kathryn Bernardo, Piolo Pascual, and horror film Mallari. –

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