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An Open Letter from the Producer of HENERAL LUNA (2015)

Heneral Luna (2015)

I am sharing this letter HENERAL LUNA‘s (2015) Executive Producer Fernando Ortigas and Screenwriter-Producer Eduardo A. Rocha, because I feel the need to make it known that there is still hope in our own cinema and in our lives. HENERAL LUNA is a film worth watching.

You can take my word for it.

This film is one reasons why I travel to Laguna once every week to teach Film. This is the reason why we try to make sense of the art that we see moving on the silver screen. This is the reason why we take time to dig and discover hidden treasures in stories and even in forgotten pasts.

In an era where movies are mostly made of romantic-sexual-mistress-filled plotlines, we are becoming a nation of filmgoers eager to see how  an Anne Curtis would throw lines that are as absurd as we are. But HENERAL LUNA brings back the hope of sensibility, of utter wonderment, the magic of cinema and the art of story telling.

Love yourself and catch this film. I dare you to be the Filipino that you are, and celebrate, not just our heroes, but also the magic that our own filmmakers can bring.

Embrace our art and our history. Learn, and then fight!

Mabuhay si Heneral Antonio Luna!
Mabuhay ang mga Manonood na Pilipino!
Mabuhay ang Pelikulang Pilipino!

***
Dear All,

This is simply to take this occasion, this profound moment in time, to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your patronage, for your support, especially to those who’ve been relentlessly plugging away on Facebook or via social media, or by text, or even in person to spread the word and promote our film to others.
We are very, very touched.

For all of us—the entire cast and crew and team behind HENERAL LUNA—this has been one of the most extraordinary experiences of our lives. To be honest, it is life changing. To constantly hear applause in different theaters at the end of the film, as the credits roll, is for us a reward that’s beyond our wildest dreams when we first ventured doing this film. Many of us ask ourselves, when was the last time we heard an audience applaud at the end of a film, Filipino or otherwise, in so many theaters? And to see your FB postings, Twitter and Instagram messages, collectively and individually (especially from those who’ve watched the film more than twice already in the first week alone) moves us so deeply, beyond any words can truly express. And there are those of us who suddenly heard from people we haven’t heard from in ages—long lost cousins, exes, former classmates or invisible FB friends who suddenly made themselves known and wanted to show their appreciation for our work, for this film. Indeed, the love that you’ve all shown us has made their way into our hearts, carving a mini-monument of sorts dedicated to the heroism of Heneral Luna and the heroes who’ve lived before us, and to those who continue to live in our midst today. This is something that will stay with us for as long as we live.

Which is perhaps why reality hurts even more. Earlier today, we’ve been advised that we will be losing more than half of our theaters—that from 101 screens, we will be down to somewhere close to 40. We know, on one hand, we should be lucky to even have those, thanks to our distributor, (and for that we’re truly grateful to all of you), but on the other hand, we’re saddened that this movie has to go away before many more of you can see it, before its full audience potential can be realized. Believe us please, when we say, that while it’s important for us that this movie recoups its investment and more, it is ultimately not about box-office, not about money.

When this movie’s initial draft was first written, it was not written at all with the thought of writing a commercial blockbuster. And when we cast the film, we merely wanted to cast the most brilliant actors who were perfect for their roles. It was not based on who’s the biggest box-office draw. And creative decisions that were made (by our genius director Jerrold Tarog) while making the film were not based on “kilig,” not on what would please the audience most, but based on what would be best for the film, artistically and narrative-wise.

Of course, the beautiful irony of it all is that, now, through some magic, we’ve been rewarded with a film that is pleasing its audiences to no end—with a film that’s entertaining, enlightening, and educational. While theaters may have pulled this movie out, we strongly believe that that this movie now has a life of its own. Yes, YOU all have given this film a life of its own. And while we may have made this movie about a slice of Philippine history, YOU now are all a part of history–our history.

So, as we say thank you once again, please keep the fires burning, please keep the spirit alive. If the film is no longer in your city, go directly to your local cinemas and ask the manager to bring it back or bring it to your movie house for the first time. Be the hero for your school, for your barangay, for your friends and family by being the one who called them or texted them and let it be known to them that this movie must play in your cinema because there are plenty of people who want to see it and must see it.

But we must not stop here. The bravado and vigilance that we all show must continue onwards in our daily lives, especially in time for next year’s election. If for nothing else, HENERAL LUNA has made you or any one person to stop and think and reflect on our nationhood’s future, then this movie would have already done its job, regardless of its final box-office gross. As one noted historian put it, “History is not meant to be memorized, but to be reflected and acted upon.”

It’s a “hugot” line that Heneral Luna himself might have been proud to say.

With our heartfelt thanks,

Fernando M. Ortigas, Executive Producer & E. A. Rocha, Screenwriter- Producer

SOURCE: Heneral Luna (2015) Facebook Page

 

Tags : filmheneral lunaheneral luna 2015
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

21 Comments

  1. Salamat sa ginawa ninyong pelikula tungkol sa isang yugto ng buhay ni Heneral Antonio Luna. Nakakapukaw po ng damdamin na kailangan ng ating kabataan. Nag iwan din po ng katanungan kung bakit tinatawag na bayani si Emilio Aguinaldo.
    Ang husay po ng lahat. Magaling po ang lumikha sa pagkwento, ang pagsasalarawan ng mga aktor ay napakahusay, pati po ang pagkuha ng pelikula, disenyo ng mga damit at musika!
    Marami po tayong mga bayani na hindi man lang nababanggit sa paaralan tulad ni Ola ng Bicol at Gat Uban ng Quezon.
    Sa huli at sa una, maraming salamat po talaga.

  2. Salamat po sa pelikulang ito!!!!! Kahanga hanga!!!! Naramdaman ko ang pagiging Pilipino ko at pagkamuhi sa mga Pilipinong hindi marunong magmahal sa kapwa PILIPINO!!!! ngunit ang ay obrang ito ay isang pinto upang mabuksan ang kaisipan nating mga PILIPINO na tayo ay dapat mag kaisa sa isang layunin na makapagpapaangat sa dangal ng ating pagka-PILIPINO!!!!

  3. Ako’y lubos na nalungkot sa kinahinatnan ni Heneral Luna. Subalit, ako’y mas lalong nahabag sa ating Inang Bayan, sapagkat lagi nating inuuna ang pansariling kapakanan at hindi ang kapakanan ng bayan. Walang pinagbago tayong mga Pilipino sa panahon ng ating ninuno at sa panahon ngayon. Ilang beses akong napaluha sa mga katagang binitawan ni Heneral Luna. Nawa’y mamulat tayo sa mga aral na nais ipabahagi ng munting pagsasadula sa buhay ng Heneral.

    Isa pa, labis akong napapailing dahil sadyang mas pinipili nating makinig sa sabi-sabi ng iba, kaysa alamin ang katotohanan mula sa mga taong pinagbibintangan.

  4. Thank you for bringing history to present reality. It’s a pity that commercialism brings down the real essence of why movie exists and what art and theatre are all about…it is not just to entertain but to express the truth and to educate. When we produced Mulanay, (John Arcilla was also one of the actors protraying a Doctor to the Barrio ), it won 16 awards but since it did not earn money, after a week it was removed from all theaters in Manila. Congratulation and please continue to produce a film that has a ‘life of its own’. John did an excellent job portraying Henetal Luna.

  5. Dahil sa pelikula na ginawa ninyo, muli kong naalala gaano kaganda ang Filipino cinema. Pero higit sa lahat, kay sarap malaman may mga bayaning tulad ninyo na may malasakit gisingin pa rin ang ating bayang napariwa na ng lubusan. Eto ang tunay na karangalang Pilipino. Salamat. Maraming salamat sa inyo.

  6. I have not seen the movie because I’m here in the USA.I would like to see it though!
    How about the treasure HENERAL LUNA gathered after the defeat of the spaniards,was this ever mentioned or shown in the film?Where did the treasure go?
    How about his romance with Ysidra Cojuangco,was this included?
    If these were not mentioned,then the film is lacking in the dessimination of truth.
    Just asking.

    1. Hi, Leo. Thank you for your comment. Ysidra Cojuanco’s character ‘may’ have been revised accordingly for the screen. I understand it though. Ysidra’s part in Antonio’s life is, even up until now, unofficial rumors even from known sources.

  7. The movie was spectacular…isang pelikulang malaman at hindi ginawa para lang kumita at magkapera. Isang pelikulang hihiyain ang mga gawa ng Star Magic at GMA films…dapat mahiya ang mga film makers natin sa pinas na ginagamit ang maling basehan ng kasikatan.

  8. HENERAL LUNA IS TIMELESS…TIMELESS FOR REASON THAT IT REFLECTS THE TRUE CYCLIC CHARACTER AND THE OUTLOOK OF FILIPINOS IN THE BEST OF TIMES AND IN ANY UNCONTROLLABLE REALITIES. I NOW UNDERSTAND WHAT IS LIFE ALL ABOUT DURING THE LATE 1800’S AND EARLY 1900 WHEREIN OUR FOREFATHERS DO NOT KNOW OR FULLY UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF TRANSITION IN GOVERNING A NATION, WHAT THEY EXPERIENCED IS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ON WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING NOW BUT I TRULY APPRECIATE THAT THEY LEFT A MARK IN HISTORY ON WHAT TO FOLLOW AND ON WHAT TO BE SET ASIDE.

    LASTLY, I SALUTE THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS GREAT FILM. I AM PRIVILEGED AND HONORED THAT DURING MY LIFETIME I RE-TRACED MY HISTORY AND MY HERITAGE AS A FILIPINO.

    TO THE DETRACTORS OR TO THE PERSONS WHO WANT THIS FILM BE ON LIMITED VENUES I AM NOW ASKING YOU ….”BAYAN” O “SARILI”…MAKE YOUR CHOICE.

  9. My friends and relatives abroad express their desire to watch Heneral Luna….I hope you could come up with international screening ….. or at least release DVD copies of the film. I promise to patronize ONLY original DVDs!!! I feel like I am part of this film venture already. Thank you guys for coming up with this brilliant film project.

  10. Heneral Luna reminds me of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. A famous broadsheet columnist said that we are like the Scots where different clans in scotland were feuding until one leader unified them against the English.

    I admire the director n cinematographer for the tableau presented on d big screen wherein two soldiers were dragging the dead bodies of Gen Luna n his aide with a crying lady sitting on the right end. Suddenly Juan Luna’s Spoliarium seem to appear on d screen!

  11. Thank you for bringing back our appreciation for the Philippine cinema. The artistic rendering of battle scenes and creative anglings of an otherwise boring narrative speak much of arduous script writing, directing, cinematography, and editing. Rest assured that we will continue to promote Heneral Luna. We look forward to the showing of Gregorio del Pilar and whatever new projects you intend to show in the future. Mabuhay kayo at ng lahat ng inyong kasamahan sa produksyon! Nawa’y mabuhay din ang ala-ala at mga adhikaing isinulong ng ating magiting na Heneral Antonio Luna!

  12. In big screen my sons and I have not watched a single tagalog movie, my eldest son is now 23 turning 24. We read the Heneral Luna previews and watch the you tube trailer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_T1ykhy3Fg.

    We knew we have to get to the theater while still showing. We did. A very beautiful film. The beauty was not just about how the movie was done – it captures and delivered it well, who we are as Filipinos. Then and Now most those in power still the same. The post credit scene of the movie let us get a view that those Heneral Luna left behind, his loyal followers, those who have believed on his fight – it is just a thought – maybe there would be a next movie similar to Heneral Luna that will come our way to our theaters soon. For the movie makers, the Balangiga Massacre happened during Heneral Luna’s time. I wished it was included in the story or will be in the next –

    http://opmanong.ssc.hawaii.edu/filipino/balangiga.html (My brother Ingming Aberia also has a written book about the Balangiga Massacre).

    Thank you to all the people behind Heneral Luna.

  13. I salute the team. 🙂 SALAMAT po sa pelikulang ginawa niyo. 🙂 patuloy pa po nawa kayong gumawa ng mga ganitong pelikula. Di po ako magsasawang gumastos at panuorin ang gawa niyo 🙂

  14. Ito ang isa sa napakajusay na pelikula.hindi kagaya nang mga pelikula na ginagawa nag mga sikat na film company na puro kalandian at kabaklaan!! Kung Hindi mistress eh baklang sundalo!! Kaya ang sibol ng kabataan Ganun din.dahil sa empluwinsya ng napapanood nila. Ang heneral Luna ay isang napapanahong pelikula Kung saan ang sambayanan at kabataan ay nakakalimot sa tunay na kahulugan ng kalayaan! Kung saan ang mga tunay na traidor sa bayan ang siyang nag haharing uri.!! Ang mga politikong magnanakaw na handang ipagkanulo ang bayan para sa pansariling kapakinabangan!!!!ito ang uri ng pelikulang na papanahon para sa pag pili natin ng susunod na mamumuno sa bayan!!!MABUHAY ANG LAHAT NG BUMUO NG PELIKULANG ITO!!!!

  15. Everytime i pass by Cabanatuan Catholic church i would exit at the left gate where the death marker of Hen. LUNA was laid by the National Historical Commission,then i would re-read the inscription saying this was the place where Hen. LUNA and Col. Paco ROMAN were assassinated. Afterwards i would curse Aguinaldo for this treachery.

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