Actress Eva Darren’s son gives FAMAS suggestions after ‘unprofessional’ incident  

May 28, 2024 - 12:41 PM
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Fernando de la Pena_Eva Darren
Dentist Fernando de la Pena in this photo posted on his Facebook on Aug. 3, 2023; Actress Eva Darren in this photo posted on Fernando's Facebook on May 28, 2024 (fernando.delapena.7/Facebook)

Dentist Fernando de la Pena, the son of veteran actress Eva Darren, had some suggestions for the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences Awards following the “disrespectful” snub of his mother during awards night.

Fernando said that they appreciate “the overwhelming display of love and support” from Filipinos after airing his sentiments on social media, noting that their family “accepts the olive branch that FAMAS has extended.”

He also hoped “that future events would prove to be contrasting.”

“Once again the people have spoken and proved that the keyboard is mightier than the sword. Salamat, my kinakapatid Reb Belleza and Miss Maila Gumila, for spreading the word. My mom is one tough cookie, she is a battle-tested survivor of life’s arena. Ms. Eva Darren has found some comfort in the midst of a loving family which includes you all,” Fernando said.

He then explained that their education, made possible by their mother who “turned night into day to provide” for them as he grew up in a middle-class neighborhood, “instilled fundamental virtues and principles of Filipino culture that [necessitate] 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,” the dentist said.

“I remember one of my designated house chores as a child was to make sure mom’s FAMAS trophy from 1969 [stayed] constantly dust-less and polished. One of the very few treasured possessions we have. 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,” Fernando explained.

The actress’ son also said that he believed that what hurt his mother the most was “disappointing” her grandchildren “who tagged along in the hopes of seeing grandma on stage.”

“We also know that Mr. Tirso Cruz III (Veteran actor loved by all, donor of many camping tents when I was a Boy Scout in grade school) and the PR Officer of FAMAS, Mr. Renz Spangler (An incredible author and lover of classic cinema), have nothing to do with what happened and, just the same, were casualties of someone’s questionable backstage judgment,” Eva’s son said.

Fernando then gave suggestions for the award-giving body following the “disrespectful” treatment his mother had endured.

“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,” he concluded.

Fernando previously called out FAMAS for its “unethical” and “unprofessional” treatment of the veteran actress who was supposed to be an awards presenter.

The award-giving body later issued an apology and said it was “committed to make amends and rebuild her trust” by having the FAMAS Board personally visit her to “honor her stature, if she allows it.”

RELATED: Pinoys skeptic over FAMAS’ apology to actress Eva Darren after awards night ‘debacle’

FAMAS’ apology, however, was met with skepticism by some Pinoys who claimed that it would not issue such a statement if they were not called out.

Meanwhile, the boyfriend of singer-host Sheena Palad — the individual who replaced Eva in presenting the awards with Tirso — said that the singer was “informed on the spot to present” with the actor.

“I deeply empathize with Madam Eva Darren and the whole family. I’m sure I would have felt the same resentment had it happened on our end,” Johann Enriquez said in a Facebook post.

“But please, let’s stop the hate and keep supporting each other, countrymen! All for the Philippine movie and entertainment industry,” he added.

FAMAS is said to be the oldest existing award-giving body in the film industry in the Philippines and one of the oldest in Asia.

The FAMAS Awards is one of the highly distinguished film award bodies in the country, along with the Luna Awards (Film Academy of the Philippines), the Gawad Urian Awards (Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino) and the Star Awards for Movies and Television (Philippine Movie Press Club).