Filipino Heroes’ In The Story Of Goyo: Summary And Reaction

In "Goyo: Summary And Reaction Paper" we will research more about the TBA trilogy, exactly a story about Goyo. In the second installment of the TBA trilogy in reimagining Filipino heroes’ lives and their acts of heroism, ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’ explores the parameters of leadership, morality and fame rather than the rage and fury from ‘Heneral Luna. ’ Taking place immediately after the death of General Antonio Luna, the ragtag revolutionary army was divided into troops still loyal to Luna, and those loyal to President Aguinaldo as he’s trying to sustain the country’s government as American forces begin to tighten their grip in the country. As the chess pieces of this intricate war are put into play, The Philippines take a brief moment of peace and silence. The war has seemingly come to its end, though the country is unaware of a bigger battle coming to head in five months. The "boy general" Gregorio del Pilar, otherwise known as Goyo, was fiercely loyal to Aguinaldo that he was conferred the rank of General; being the youngest of the revolutionary government at 24. Together, he and his trusted men sought to eliminate Aguinaldo's enemies such as the Bernal brothers. Portrayed as a celebrity, the talk of the town, and as the eye of every young maiden in town for his charming looks.

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’ is intriguing as the film’s plot runs in two parallel lines. Firstly, it plays off as a political war drama as the Americans and the Filipino revolutionary governments are preparing for an eventual battle with Aguinaldo. The second film within is about Goyo and his courtship of Remedios Jose, who is charmed by Goyo’s advances but is smart enough to want exclusivity and a renouncement of his frivolous playboy behavior, as she wants him to be the hero he is touted to be. It is this meditation on how we see our idols that makes ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’ so intriguing as a film. The film tears away at the concepts of blind patriotism and idolatry while serving some contentious characterizations of Aguinaldo and his cronyism. Based on the research of the filmmakers, they portrayed Aguinaldo as a man who valued loyalty over true value and worth. It makes pointed attacks at Aguinaldo’s choice to have Luna killed instead of finding a way to work with him and to promote Goyo because of his fealty.

The film is not afraid to build up the hype of its lead character and rip this hype apart by showing him not being worth this adulation. There are so many comparisons and contrasts between our present government’s cronyism and willingness to appoint positions of power to unworthy people just due to their loyalty. And by depicting Goyo as a modern day celebrity, it really calls out our present day’s penchant for blind idolatry.

The most surprising thing about ‘Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral’ is that it is a film about patriotism, but instead of inspiring, it serves as a warning. It is not an uplifting film. It is about disappointment and accepting the facts which is disappointing in all of us.


18 March 2020
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