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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Aug 26, 2018

Paulo Avelino Plays His Most Demanding Role To Date As Gregorio Del Pilar In The Big-Budget Historical Epic, 'Goyo, Ang Batang Heneral', Opens On September 5

PAULO AVELINO is understandably excited as the playdate, September 5, of his new movie, “Goyo, Ang Batang Heneral”, nears. He himself is an executive producer of the film. “Goyo” follows the life story of Gregorio del Pilar, one of the youngest generals during the Philippine-American war. How did he interpret the title role of “Goyo”?

“It’s a tough assignment,” he says. “I tried my best to show his human side. He’s a young boy who’s given a big burden as one of Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo’s commanding generals. So imagine giving him power as a general, putting so much weight on this young boy’s shoulders which can go both ways. The power can either eat you up and you self-destruct, or you can use it for the greater good. But more than that, we want to show his journey. It’s really this personal journey of a young boy who became a general and ended up sacrificing his life for his country.”

We ask director Jerrold Tarog how different and how bigger this is compared to his 2015 historical epic on Antonio Luna, “Heneral Luna”, a surprise hit. “It’s very different,” he replies. “Luna is all fire, full of anger. Gregorio del Pilar is more like water, tubig na dumadaloy, more instrospective. The movie is an invitation to the audience to study what is happening on screen. This is also bigger. Luna has 31 shooting days only. This one, we shot for 60 days in various locations with different sets. In Luna, nanonood lang siya sa mga nangyayari. Si Goyo, may sarili siyang observations and conclusions about the leaders of our country. He wants to do something good for the country, to change it for the better.”

Will the screenplay he co-wrote with Rody Vera be a warts and all portrayal of Goyo? “The usual acts of Goyo always portray him as heroic. But in Nick Joaquin’s book, ‘A Question of Heroes’, he’s portrayed as the opposite. He has his own flaws. He has to learn how to let go of his own ego. We have scenes showing him na natatakot siyang mamatay after he realized how fragile life is. And yes, lumabas din dito ang pagiging playboy niya. His death scene has several versions. So we took artistic license in this and chose something na mas nababagay sa tema ng pelikula, based on the account of Lt. Carrasco who was with him. We made it poetic para maging relatable for the viewers and even the historians who’d watch it.”

The star-studded cast of “Goyo” includes Gwen Zamora as Goyo’s sweetheart, Remedios Nable Jose; Arron Villaflor as the narrator, Joven Hernando; Rafa Siguion Reyna as Goyo’s brother, Col. Julian; Carlo Aquino as Goyo’s best friend, Col. Enriquez; Mon Confiado as Aguinaldo, Epy Quizon as Apolinario Mabini, Alvin Anson as Gen. Jose Alejandrino, Empress Schuck as Felicidad Aguinaldo, Che Ramos as Hilaria Aguinaldo, RK Bagatsing as Dr. Simeon Villa, Matt Evans as Lt. Carrasco, Benjamin Alves as Manuel Quezon, and many more. The film runs for 2 hours and a half, produced by TBA Studios, Artikulo Uno and Globe Studios. Don’t miss it when it opens in theaters nationwide on September 5.
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