On-air and online, GMA Network is still the top choice of the Isko and Iska as various Kapuso personalities and programs were recognized at the Gandingan 2021: The 15th UPLB Isko’t Iska’s Multimedia Awards held virtually on May 22.
Earning core awards were GMA News and Public Affairs personalities Atom Araullo and Kara David. Atom was conferred the Gandingan ng Edukasyon for “The Atom Araullo Specials” while Kara was honored with the Gandingan ng Kababaihan for “Brigada.” Meanwhile, GMA resident meteorologist Nathaniel “Mang Tani” Cruz received a Special Citation in Gandingan ng Agham at Tekhnoholiya for the Network’s flagship newscast “24 Oras.”
Winning another set of awards this year is the Kapuso Network’s regional arm GMA Regional TV (RTV). GMA RTV’s flagship unified newscast in Central and Eastern Visayas “GMA Regional TV Balitang Bisdak” won the Most Development-Oriented Feature Story on its two-part feature about an outpatient doctor who contracted the COVID-19 yet still opted to go back to work after recovering. At the same time, award-winning and top-rating unified weekday newscast in North Central Luzon “GMA Regional TV Balitang Amianan” took home the Most Development-Oriented Investigative Story award on Magat Dam in relation to its effects on the surrounding communities during Typhoon Ulysses.
Gandingan also honored several features and videos produced by GMA News Online. Winning the Most Development-Oriented Online Video award was “Bakit Mahirap Maging Mahirap sa Luzon Lockdown.” Meanwhile, Special Citations were given to “The Children Are All Grown Up Now” in the Most Development-Oriented Online News category; GMA News pillar Howie Severino’s “I Am Patient 2828” in the Most Development-Oriented Feature Article category; and “The People Who Need Philhealth The Most” by renowned documentary photographer Rick Rocamora in the Most Development-Oriented Photograph/Photo Story.
For the radio category, Mark Makalalad won as Best Field Reporter for his “DZBB Bantay COVID-19 Special Coverage” in Super Radyo DZBB 594 kHz. Further, Barangay Love Stories and Barangay LS 97.1 Forever! host Papa Dudut earned the Best FM Radio Program Host while Barangay Love Stories’ “Whitey” episode about an ordinary dog with an extraordinary story was named as the Most Development-Oriented Radio Drama. Still under radio, receiving Special Citations were Barangay LS 97.1 in the Most Development-Oriented FM Station category and Talk To Papa's “Rosie," a story on building a relationship with someone from miles away and the struggles that come along with it, won in the Most Development-Oriented FM Program category.
The Network’s “Signs & Symptoms of COVID-19” was recognized as the Most Development-Oriented TV Plug. The project was a partnership between GMA's Program Support Department and the Network's socio-civic arm, GMA Kapuso Foundation.
Meanwhile, GMA Network's award-winning drama anthology “Magpakailanman” earned a Special Citation as the Most Development-Oriented Drama Program for its timely episode entitled “Walang Iwanan: The Layug Family Story." The episode, which starred real-life couple Nonie and Sharmaine Buencamino with Rita Daniela, pays homage to all Filipino families and frontline workers all over the world.
Capping off the list of winners was the Network's all-original Filipino singing competition “The Clash”, which was awarded a Special Citation as the Most Development-Oriented Musical Segment/Program for its "Laban Kung Laban" episode during the second season.
With the theme “Midya: Kaagapay ng Bayan sa Pagharap sa Krisis sa Pampublikong Kalusugan,” this year’s awards recognized the efforts of media workers who strive to keep the public abreast of factual news and information amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.