On 12 June, at Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite, Philippine independence was proclaimed and The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence was read. The act had been prepared and written in Spanish by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, who also read its proclamation.

El Presidente vividly recaptured Philippine Revolution on the big screen inspired by the memoirs of Emilio Aguinaldo

 

On 12 June, at Aguinaldo's ancestral home in Cavite, Philippine independence was proclaimed and The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence was read. The act had been prepared and written in Spanish by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, who also read its proclamation.
On 12 June, at Aguinaldo’s ancestral home in Cavite, Philippine independence was proclaimed and The Act of Declaration of Philippine Independence was read. The act had been prepared and written in Spanish by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista, who also read its proclamation.

To begin with, El Presidente, official entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival – also awarded 2nd Best Picture, is a good film that touches the turbulent periods in Philippine history. Every scene is carefully directed, no dragging moments, fast-paced, minimal suspense, and a take to replicate what really had happened during those period years. El Presidente vividly recaptured Philippine Revolution on the big screen inspired by the memoirs of Emilio Aguinaldo and was well directed by Mark Meiley giving importance from the littlest details (make-up, soundtrack) to the most noticeable aspects (cinematography, special effects, acting) on the big screen. All the actors did well their jobs – from Baron Geisler’s role as the bad-ass Spanish general (that perfectly fits to his off-screen controversial character) and John Regala as the frantic friar; Cesar Montano and Christopher de Leon’s role as Andres Bonifacio and Gen. Antonio Luna, respectively; and the rest of the supporting casts that made the film worth interesting to watch. We just couldn’t set our mind to Bayani Agbayani‘s serious role that every time he appears on screen it is as if we still regard him as a good comedian, nevertheless, Bayani passed his role. One thing though, we’re quite intrigue on E.R. Ejercito‘s dazed-look, like facing a blank wall take on Emilio Aguinaldo’s face. Was the former country’s president always look like that? Never mind that, E.R. also did very well in reviving ‘Miyong‘ on screen.

That should be our comments on El Presidente. It’s good and we can recommend it to everybody. But…

Memoirs written by Emilio Aguinaldo
The movie was inspired by the memoirs written by Emilio Aguinaldo. So what do we expect to see on that film? The film portrays Emilio as a brave and heroic person in the history of our country. Nearly hitting it right but there were accounts in the film that if you will go by the books, will put shades of questions on what really transpired in our history. Was the loss of Andres Bonifacio in the election in a friar estate house in Tejeros on 22 March 1897 due to a clean and honest voting? What happened to Gregoria de Jesus, Bonifacio’s wife, before they were captured and brought to a “kangaroo court” by jury entirely composed of Aguinaldo’s men? What’s the real score and motive to Gen. Antonio Luna’s death?

Perhaps these and more questions were answered and clarified by Aguinaldo himself, in aid to vindicate himself from the controversies that haunts the leader from Cavite all through his life. Was this a show to explain his side and proclaim innocence to the death of two great men of our history?

The movie’s great but it failed to show the true accounts during the Philippines’ revolution against Spain, and the subsequent Philippine-American War or War of Philippine Independence that resisted American occupation.

The word ‘traitor‘ was said a number of times in the film. But upon seeing it, will the younger generation knew who (are) the real traitor in our Philippine Revolution? Will the younger generation fully understand history without doubt after watching the film?

Hindi hilaw ang mangarap na maging malaya” (Time is not raw to dream for freedom) – this is one line that we really liked in the film that was mustered by Aguinaldo of his eagerness for the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule.

We liked the film, it’s a good movie. It could have been the Best Picture of the festival, but it will just remain as it is. Open and read your history books, kids. It is then and there that you will only understand what the Philippine Revolution and Philippine Independence is really all about.

Ratings: ★★★★ out of 5 stars.




for more interesting updates!

MMFF 2012 El Presidente Awards:
Best Float
Youth Choice Award
Best Sound: Albert Michael Idioma
Best Musical Score: Jessie Lasaten
Best Theme Song: apl.de.ap and Jamir Garcia of Slapshock
Best Make-up: Warren Munar and Co.
Best Supporting Actor: Cesar Montano
2nd Best Picture

On high note, we also like the insertion of depicting a (old and young) woman who gave him his prophecy as ‘Inang Bayan‘.

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Juan Manila Express is a magazine-themed blog of different niche from daily grind to headline news, to entertainment updates and social media related topics. Email us at [email protected] for your suggestions and comments. Thank you for visiting!

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Juan Manila Express is a magazine-themed blog of different niche from daily grind to headline news, to entertainment updates and social media related topics. Email us at [email protected] for your suggestions and comments. Thank you for visiting!

4 thoughts on “El Presidente vividly recaptured Philippine Revolution on the big screen inspired by the memoirs of Emilio Aguinaldo

  1. No doubt, the film is a good movie..It can be highly recommended if its just a fictional movie.. But… its very dangerous to recommend it to the young generation coz it will create a conflict at maguguluhan lang sila.. Bonifacio is not an ordinary man, he is our National Hero… in fact, after watching the movie, i felt bad and troubled and hardly able to sleep…

     
    1. Thanks Lisa. Very well said.

      Kids these days have their own choices to see it or not. Baka nga maguluhan sila kapag napanood nila ang pelikula but just the same, they will learn to weigh-in what’s fiction and what’s not. A good example on how to write fiction film.

      Seriously, maige din na malaman nila kung ano ang nilalaman ng memoir ni Aguinaldo lalo na sa mga law students. If they know Aguinaldo’s side, they’ll know how to make profound arguments. :)

       
  2. you have a point! 😀 And its a good thing also that we hear what they have to say after watching it.. Baka naman ok.. There was just one comment on twitter that bothered me yesterday.. One kid said “ang sama pala ni Andres Bonifacio ang dami kong natutunan sa El Presidente!” something like that… its not good..

     
    1. That’s the problem when true story turns into fiction. However, yung pagiging mainitin ng ulo nila Andres at Antonio may pinaghugutan yun kung iintindihin din nila yung takbo ng istroya at kung mababasa nila kung ano ang tunay na nakasulat sa libro. I hope these kids can also see through the story how weak Aguinaldo is as a leader and without Bonifacio and Luna, revolution wont be the same without them.

       

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