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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.

Nov 28, 2023




ENCHONG DEE is proud and honored to play one of the three martyred priests whose heroism is given the importance it deserves in the historical film, “Gomburza”, an official entry in the Metro Manila Filmfest that opens in theaters on Christmas Day.

“This is a film that all Filipinos should watch for them to realize how rich our history is,” he says. 

“The three Filipino priests here, sina Fr. Mariano Gomez, Fr. Jose Burgos and Fr. Jacinto Zamora, ibinuwis nila ang mga buhay nila para sa paglaya ng bayan natin mula sa mga conquistador na Kastila. 

"I play Fr. Zamora and it’s great working with Dante Rivero as Fr. Gomez and Cedrick Juan as Fr. Burgos. We all got to understand our history better because of our involvement in this film.”

The three priests fought for the secularization of the Catholic Church in our country which was in the hands of the Spaniards. 

They were executed in 1872 for allegedly inciting Filipino revolutionaries to participate in the Cavite Mutiny. 

"When they were killed by garrote in Bagumbuyan, it so happened that Jose Rizal as a 10-year old boy witnessed it with his older brother, Paciano (played by Elijah Canlas), who was a student of Fr. Burgos. 

Their death helped in inspiring Jose Rizal to write his novel “El Filibusterismo” and layer on also helped inm sparking the Philippine Revolution led by Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan. 

It’s common knowledge that a lot of young people today do not know what Gomburza stands for.

 Enchong himself can attest to this as he was a host in PBB last year when the young housemates were asked about the three priests and they have no idea who the martyrs are. 

“At yun nga ang layunin ng movie, ang ipakilala sila sa today’s generation of young people,” adds Enchong. 

“Kasi ako mismo, I’ve heard of Gomburza but I don’t know their full story, so I’m sure after watching our film, more young people will love our country more as they’d realize the sacrifices our heroes did for our freedom.”

Doing “Gomburza” is personally fulfilling for him. 

“This film really helps in motivating me to do more historical movies that will inspire our countrymen to learn more about their rich heritage so they will love our country more. 

"I feel so satisfied to be part of ‘Gomburza’ kasi nagkasama rito yung love ko for our country and my love for making good films.”

This year is a productive one for Enchong. In April, he played a lead role in the comedy, “Here Comes the Groom”, and got a best actor nomination. 

He has completed two other movies: “Topak” with Arjo Atayde and “The Fisher” with Mon Confiado.

Next year, he is slated to do a film with Director Brillante Mendoza where he will co-star with some Hollywood actors.

“I haven’t done TV for a while and this year, I really focused on doing films,” he says. 

“There’s a conscious effort on my part to do significant films na kahit tumanda ako sa industriya, puede kong balik-balikan, yung may matutunan talaga ang viewers.

"And it seems like the Lord really listened to my prayers. Nagkasunod-sunod talaga ang paggawa ko ng movies that I can be truly proud of.”