After the box-office success of the indie film Heneral Luna comes another epic tale about one of our venerated heroes during the Filipino-American war–General Gregorio del Pilar, entitled Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.
Gregorio del Pilar already became a prominent figure during the revolution against the Spaniards even before the battle in Tirad Pass (vs. the Americans). After the Philippines got liberated from the Spanish rule, Emilio Aguinaldo promoted Goyo as general at the age of 23 because of his sacrifice and determination. Despite his tender age and unripe experience, he was able to strategize a plan and lead a group of 60 soldiers to fight against the Americans. Hence, the Americans hailed him as the Batang Heneral, or kid general.
In Goyo, TBA films and director Jerrold Tarog focused on existential themes–about who Goyo really is and who he was fighting for. Historians have noted that he might be fighting either for one person (Aguinaldo, as he was a very loyal friend to him) or the Philippines. In the film, they also associated Goyo’s love affairs as they also had an impact on his choices and heroism.
I got to ask Goyo himself–Paulo Avelino a few questions on how he took on the role and what we can look forward to in the film.
Electricmoi: What will the audience be thinking and feeling after watching the film?
Paulo: More than anything, I think it goes with our tagline, “Kilala mo ba kung sino ka?” With that question alone comes with a whole lot of other questions and it’s really important to know yourself, to know where you’re coming from, so you could also know where you’re going; your path. Another thing the audience can expect is, “What does it take to be a hero”?
Electricmoi: How do you think your upbringing has influenced your role as a whole?
Paulo: My mom worked in the government and my dad was self-employed, but my upbringing helped a lot because it gave me two different perspectives for not just our government, but for our country and having two perspectives, one coming from the government, and one from the private sector. It gives a whole lot and molds you to come up with your own and unbiased ideals about not just the conflict, not just yourself, but also for the country.
Electricmoi: Does this film have some commentaries about the current government?
Paulo: This was filmed in 2015 and 2016, way before the current administration took power, so it doesn’t really go against it. Last year, this short film Angelito...
Electricmoi: Yes, I saw that and I derived some commentary from that short film.
Paulo: Yeah so it says a lot about our country as a whole, but it doesn’t direct to a particular admin. It was made for the whole country and heroism, in general.
I beg to differ from Paulo’s last statement about the short film Angelito. As to whether a commentary was intentional or not, the short film does hit a nerve, especially in this divisive nation and its paramount of fake news and blind followers.
AngelitoI’m Drunk, I Love You in cinemas Goyo