A Heneral Luna Afterthought
by Allen Francis Pascual
First and foremost, this movie was one of the 3 Filipino movies I watched in the cinemas (the other two would be Pedro Penduko and Shake Rattle and Roll out of boredom). I like watching movies in the cinemas, but I only usually watch foreign films, so this means this movie is definitely one of the few decent movies that the Philippine Film Industry was able to produce this decade.
It comes off with some kind of charisma, thanks to John Arcilla. He nails the character even before you watch the movie: the posters already make an enticing description of the movie. Though you know the history, you're still curious as how will the movie portray the General.
But I'm not here to discuss the movie itself. In my head lies the thoughts of Antonio Luna. The discrepancies that lay in our "government" onset of the Fil-Am War. The incapacity of the Filipino to take criticism, orders or discipline. How people will do anything to preserve their own interests. That this movie is a mirror of the past and the present, how similar those two come together.
The story that repeats itself.
Today, we are plagued by Buencaminos and Paternos. People who don't want to sacrifice their own interest for the sake of the country. Business as usual, per se. They care not for the country, for as long as their own self-interest is unaffected and remains profitable.
Today, we are plagued by Mascardos. People who don't want to follow leaders due to ego, pride or self-interest. They insist on their own rules without regard as to who or what will be affected by their actions. People who don't want to cooperate because of their own selfish reasons.
Today, we are plagued by Aguinaldos. People who have the power of change within their hands, yet chooses to be influenced by people of no vision around them and do no action. They may not be on the side of evil, but let me tell you this: The only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing. Or at the same time, people who will remove the good people for their own interests. You saw the repertoire of Aguinaldo, to both Bonifacio and Luna.
In the light of this, I hope that those who watch this film will have some of their patriotism instigated in them. This film comes at a most curious time in our country, wherein the people are divided into multiple factions of their own interests. Wherein we come under threat of invasion from the Northwest. Wherein we come under seduction of the west.
With the upcoming elections, I urge the people to choose wisely, for the future of our country. Do not let the sacrifices of our heroes be in vain. Andres Bonifacio died for our freedom. So did Jose Rizal, and Antonio Luna. The media will try to fool you, but use your own discernment and judgment. Politicians are already making false promises, but already have a shitty track record, yet I'm still afraid that people will vote them.
(Virgins who believed in a love coming from a Prostitute)
Allen Francis Pascual is a student from De La Salle - College of St. Benilde in Manila