Paulo Avelino on historical dramas and being Goyo

Alexa Villano
Paulo Avelino on historical dramas and being Goyo
Paulo stars as an immortal man in 'The Promise of Forever'

MANILA, Philippines – Paulo Avelino is one busy actor. Aside from promoting his new show, The Promise of Forever, he’s also shooting Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral and, to top an already hectic schedule, he will also start promoting the movie Ang Larawan starring Rachelle Alejandro and Joanna Ampil.

In an interview with Rappler after the press conference of The Promise of Forever in August, Paulo talks about the challenges of Goyo, which is now filming in different locations. The movie is based on the life of Gregorio del Pilar, one of the youngest generals in Philippine history. (WATCH: First trailer for ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’ is out

“I’ll be honest, it’s not easy shooting [the movie]. We are on our 3rd or 4th location now and we’re transferring locations next month. The weather is not making it easier for us, especially when there are locations that only 4×4 cars can [that can] go up the mountains or you have to trek [to the site],” he said. 

BOY GENERAL. Paolo Avelino plays Gregorio Del Pilar, a talented but still immature military man who comes of age in the film. Photo courtesy of TBA Studios

At the time of the interview, Paulo and the cast had just wrapped up shooting in Bataan. According to him, they shot a lot of important scenes based on the script given by Jerrold Tarog.

In the movie Heneral Luna starring John Arcilla, Paulo was a supporting role. Now that the second of the trilogy of Jerrold’s movies is about Goyo (the third being on Manuel L. Quezon, which has yet to be filmed), Paulo admitted that he started to feel the importance of the role after receiving the research materials that helped get him into character. 

“Well, I felt it when I started doing all the researching…and reading all the materials. And when the script arrived…It’s a beautiful script. The hardest part is finding references, historical facts. You have to looks for facts – where it was based. That’s when I actually felt the importance of doing this film, not only this but also introducing another hero of our country that was too glamorized, and should be shown I think or should also be seen as a human being.”

Although Goyo is still in production, Paulo said that there’s so many lessons the film will impart to the audience when it comes out in 2018.

“I want people to see [that] Goyo was a human being . He was a young boy that’s handling a big burden. So imagine giving power, putting so much weight on a young boy’s shoulder – it goes both ways. Either the power eats you up or [you] self-destruct or you can use it. But more than that, it’s the journey. It’s really this journey of a young boy who was a general, who ended up sacrificing his life [despite the fact that] he didn’t know if it was right or wrong, but he did it for his country,” Paulo said.


Period roles

In the Promise of Forever, Paulo plays an immortal man named Lorenzo Espinosa. He meets Sophia (Ritz Azul), whom he rescued when she was a child. Their paths cross in a cruise and they soon fall in love with each other.

Paulo and Ritz in 'The Promise of Forever.' Screengrab from ABS-CBN Entertainment  

Aside from The Promise of Forever, Paulo also did Ang Larawan which is set to come out very soon. 

Photo courtesy of Ang Larawang the Movie Facebook page

Asked what he loves about doing these types of roles, Paulo said that he enjoyed living in the different eras.

“There’s something about these historical films – [what we] call period films. It’s when you know everything around you is set in a certain period that you actually try to believe it’s another era, it’s a part of the past and you’re reliving it. You see yourself in a different way, in a different trend or costume, you see a different surrounding, the environment. Siguro (I guess) that’s one. Trying to make-believe, you try to get experience living or being in era that you weren’t born or that you weren’t even aware of. That’s a nice thing.”

When asked which of the time periods he enjoyed shooting for The Promise of Forever, Paulo mentioned the 1800’s because for him it was very different not only the setting but also the use of words.

Also starring Ejay Falcon, The Promise of Forever is directed by Darnel Villaflor and Hannah Espia. –

Alexa Villano

Alexa is one of Rappler's Lifestyle and Entertainment reporters, covering local entertainment news to a wide range of topics from beauty pageants to reality shows.