WATCH: After ‘Heneral Luna,’ a movie on Gregorio del Pilar is in the works, Paulo Avelino to star
WATCH: After ‘Heneral Luna,’ a movie on Gregorio del Pilar is in the works, Paulo Avelino to star
The news is announced at a thanksgiving party for the hit film 'Heneral Luna'

MANILA, Philippines –  After the success of Heneral Luna, a movie about the young soldier Gregorio del Pilar is on the way. This was announced by film producer EA Rocha at the thanksgiving party for Heneral Luna Thursday night, October 29. (READ: ‘Heneral Luna’ Review: Essential viewing)

Actor Paulo Avelino is set to star, while Jerrold Tarog, who helmed Luna, will direct. 

Paulo starred alongside John Arcilla in Heneral Luna as General Gregorio del Pilar, a young general during the Philippine-American war, known for leading, and later dying at, the Battle at Tirad Pass. Del Pilar led a troop of Filipinos against American soldiers, allowing then-president Emilio Aguinaldo to escape to safety.

Sana lang talaga suportahan, maging pareha, hindi man maging kapantayan ng suporta ng Heneral Luna, sana malagpasan pa,” said Paulo on the upcoming film.

(I just really hope people support it, that it matches, if not equal to the support for Heneral Luna, I hope it goes past that.)

DEL PILAR ON THE WAY. Producers Fernando Ortigas, EA Rocha with actors Paulo Avelino, John Arcilla. Photo by Vernise Tantuco/Rappler

According to director Jerrold, he’s still in the process of doing the research for the film. “[Filming] for Goyong? Hindi pa (not yet), research palang. I just started reading up on certain biographies, kay Tedoro Kalaw, and baka umakyat akong Tirad Pass, yun (I might go up Tirad Pass),” he said. Kalaw was the secretary of former president Manuel Quezon, while Tirad Pass is where del Pilar died, leading a battle against the Americans.

Throughout the interview at the party, the director referred to the del Pilar film as “Goyong,” del Pilar’s nickname. When asked if that is the title, he replied, “I think so.”

Jerrold also said that he plans to have at least two more films following Heneral Luna – this one, about Gregorio del Pilar, and another about Manuel Quezon. He’s also pitching a 4th film in the series about Teresa Magbanua. “Siya lang yung mga sa officers na babae na naglead ng troops sa gyera, yun. Ano din siya very badass din yung character niya.”

(She’s the only female officer that led troops in the battle. Her character is very badass too.)

Given the many Filipino historical figures he could choose from, reporters at the party asked why Jerrold chose del Pilar and Quezon in particular as the focus of his next films. “They’re as fascinating as Antonio Luna,” he answered. “Pareho silang – silang tatlo are very heroic na people, pero at the same time, meron din silang mga dumi sa pagkatao nila.

(They’re both – the 3 of them are very heroic people, but at the same time, their characters are flawed as well.)

He added that these characters are more interesting than the typical saint-like portrayal of our national heroes.

Rappler file photo

The party was also held to commemorate the 149th birthday of General Antonio Luna. 

Heneral Luna is about General Antonio Luna, known as one of the country’s best military men but also well known for his fierce temper and demeanor. The film was directed by Jerrold Tarog and starred John Arcilla as Antonio Luna. (READ: John Arcilla on bringing ‘Heneral Luna’ to life)

Heneral Luna was a hit among moviegoers when it was released on September 9, earning P200 million early in October, and earned raves from critics and audiences alike. 

The film is now the Philippines’ official entry to the 2016 Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film Category.

HENERAL LUNA. John Arcilla, who played General Antonio Luna in the film, poses in full costume at the 'Heneral Luna' thanksgiving party on October 29. Photo by Exxon Ruebe/

Upon hearing the news of being the country’s entry, Jerrold admitted that he wasn’t very opitimistic. “Medyo doubtful kasi nung ginawa ko yung Luna, I know very well kung sino ang audience ng Luna, which is the Filipino audience, so hindi ko alam kung paano magrereact yung Americans,” he said.

(I was a bit doubtful because when I made Luna, I knew very well who the audience of Luna would be, which is the Filipino audience, so I don’t know how Americans would react [to the film.])

“If they respond positively edi okay, kung hindi, it’s not something na parang mission ko ever since. Mission accomplished na sa akin na napanood siya ng maraming Filipinos, okay na ako,” he added.

(If they respond positively, then okay, if not, it’s not something that was my mission ever since. It’s already mission accomplished, for me, that may Filipino’s have watched it, I’m okay with that.)

Will you be seeing the del Pilar movie when it comes out? Tell us in the comments below! –

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