where everyone can find World P's.
When Philippine History lessons are taught to students, a lot of emphasis is given to memorizing dates and names of people, but not much on what happened to them. Sometimes “facts” get twisted into indirect or half-truths, such as “Lapu-Lapu Killed Magellan”, or how the Philippine-American war was sparked by an incident involving some drunken sentries. All these “heroes” are also given a glorified reputation, that some forget that they’re just people serving the country to the best of their interpretation of what serving the country really is.
There will always be personal biases, and lots of politics involved. The Magdiwang and Magdalo factions of the Katipunan proved just that. The promising revolutionary army crumbled and failed because of infighting and political rivalry involving Caviteños and other Tagalogs. This was also very evident in the film “Heneral Luna”, where the soldiers explicitly stated that they would only take orders from the president (Emilio Aguinaldo, a Caviteño) or other Caviteño officers, but not from General Antonio Luna, who was the commander of the Philippine Revolutionary Army.
The movie is a work of fiction based on facts, as the dramatically honest introduction says. That in order to paint the truth about what happened, we must combine the real and imaginary. As to which parts of the movie are fact, and which ones are made up, there is a gradient of grey. However, a number of online resources (Filipiknow.net, for one) provide us a glimpse into the personal side of our “heroic leaders” enough to make educated guesses about which to believe.
But then again, this movie is not about choosing sides, but showing that it is what caused the failure of the revolution in the first place. The one person who tried to see past personal preference for the sake of a united resistance was General Luna. It was this mindset that ultimately led to his demise, as he stepped on a lot of toes through his unpopular actions. The movie actually paints a very human picture of the passionate general, a side of him that is only talked about in Philippine History classes in college, depending on which professor taught the subject.
I think among all the period films of the revolution so far, (about Aguinaldo, Bonifacio, Antonio Luna), this was the most real. This could, again, be personal bias talking, but when I was watching the movie, I did not feel like a mere spectator. I felt a common struggle with the General. Aside from also having a volatile temper (though time has helped me take this down a bit), I also make unpopular decisions based on principle. From those choices, I get flak from friends and family, who claim “Everyone’s doing it, anyway”, or “Di ka naman nakikisama (Can’t you just play along?)”.
Aside from relating to the protagonist, a number of elements of the film actually got me to applaud (literally, at the rolling of the credits), which I found weird because nobody was physically there to applaud, but what they hey, right? Let me list some of the reasons:
Photo Credits: http://www.movienews.me/2015/02/watch-teaser-trailer-for-jerrold-tarogs.html
What P word would you wanna talk about? Let’s hear it