Joanna Ampil on her MMFF Best Actress award for 'Ang Larawan'

MANILA, Philippines – She may have earned a lot of recognition on stage for her various roles on London West End, but winning the Best Actress award for Ang Larawan was a sweet one for Joanna Ampil.

In her acceptance speech during the Metro Mania Film Festival Awards Night on Wednesday, December 27, Joanna said that the only gift her parents wanted from her was to bring home an award for the movie. She won for her role as Candida, the eldest of the two sisters in the film.

"My dad said bring home the trophy. I got it! " she said as the audience clapped and cheered.

She also thanked the MMFF committee for the recognition as well as the cast of the movie and director of the movie, Loy Arcenas. Joanna also gave a shout out to her co-stars Rachel Alejandro and Jake Macapagal for helping her through the movie's process, as well as musical director Ryan Cayabyab.

Having been away from the Philippines, Joanna said: " Now I can say that because I've been working abroad so much, I can probably say that finally, I'm contributing something very important to the arts in the Philippines."

 Part of @joannaampil 's speech from last night's #MMFF2017AwardsNight pic.twitter.com/d122FP2vz7 — alexa villano (@alexavillano) December 28, 2017

In an interview with reporters after the awards night, Joanna, who flew in from London, said that she was very emotional because her parents also came from Los Angeles just to support and watch the movie.

"They flew in from LA to catch the movie and they wanted me to win this so badly. It was putting so much pressure on me, but I got it. Thank God," she said.

WORTH IT. Joanna joins Rachel Alejandro, Dulce, Celeste Legaspi, and Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo in a short song after winning Best Picture for the movie

WORTH IT.

Joanna joins Rachel Alejandro, Dulce, Celeste Legaspi, and Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo in a short song after winning Best Picture for the movie

She also said that the awards the movie won was a bonus as cinemas are now putting back the film in theaters after it was removed due to low ticket sales.

"So now that we won, I hope that it will remain there for a long time."

All worth it

Unknown to many, Joanna almost missed her flight back to Manila and the awards night. Earlier this year, she said in interviews she almost quit doing the movie.

"It means a lot to me," she said of the award. "I had a lot of ups and downs with Ang Larawan, and its paid off - all the hardwork and all the pain we've suffered. So this is really such a bonus. It's an answer to my prayers."

Aside from Best Actress, Ang Larawan also scored awards for Best Picture, the Gatpuno J Antonio Villegas Cultural Award, and Best Musical Score. 

The festival will run until January 7.– Rappler.com