Jerrold Tarog on 'Goyo': 'Self-reflection, introspection' for Filipinos

'Kung si Luna apoy, si Goyo para siyang tubig. Ganun ang daloy ng kwento,' says Jerrold of the film

Precious Del Valle

5:1:27am September 5, 2018

5:1:27am September 5, 2018

QUIET FILM. Jerrold Tarog describes 'Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,' as the quiet film to 'Heneral Luna.' Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

QUIET FILM. Jerrold Tarog describes 'Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,' as the quiet film to 'Heneral Luna.' Photo by Precious del Valle/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, the second installment to Jerrold Tarog’s war trilogy, premiered Wednesday, September 5. By humanizing who many consider as one of the bravest heroes of the revolution – from his questionable loyalty to Emilio Aguinaldo to his womanizing ways  –Jerold hopes Goyo will encourage Filipinos to take a moment of self-reflection and introspection.

“The idea naman with Heneral Luna and Goyo is presenting a person na meron siyang mga flaws, marami siyang flaws, pero at the same time, meron din siyang mga bagay na ginagawa na you can agree with,” Jerrold explained during the press conference for Goyo last August 23.

(The idea with General Luna and Goyo is to present a person with flaws but at the same time, did things you can agree with.) 

Puwedeng tingnan ng kabataan ‘yung idea na natuto si Goyo na mag-sacrifice kasi, I don’t want to give away too many things sa tema, pero ‘yung idea na sacrifice. That is one important thing – 'yung idea ng pagkilala mo sa sarili mo is not really a kind of egotism kundi it really is more of learning to let go of your own ego para sa isang greater good.”

(The youth can look at it this way: Goyo learned to sacrifice – and I don't want to give away too many themes – but the idea of sacrifice is there. That is one important thing to know: that the idea of knowing yourself isn't really a kind of egotism but it's really about letting go of your own ego for the greater good.) 

While known for his bravery, Jerrold said that the young general, in several instances, appeared terrified when reminded of his mortality.

GOYO. Paulo Avelino is Gregorio del Pilar in 'Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.' Screenshot from YouTube/TBA

GOYO. Paulo Avelino is Gregorio del Pilar in 'Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.' Screenshot from YouTube/TBA

Nakita ng mga friends ni Goyo na takot na takot si Goyo dahil narealize niya na mamamatay siya. May mga ganung bagay na parang hindi mo usually nakikita sa isang pelikula na tungkol sa isang bayani. ‘Yun yung in-emphasize ko sa pelikula. ‘Yung idea na natakot siya dahil narealize niya na napaka-fragile pala ng buhay nya.”

(Goyo's friends saw how he was afraid because he realized he was going to die. These are things you don't usually see in a film that's about a hero. That's what the movie is emphasizing. The idea here is that he's afraid because he realized that life is fragile.) 

The director also admitted that some of the scenes were “enhanced” to give the movie a “dramatic” flair. Jerold said this wasn't really about romanticizing a character but taking a more “poetic” approach to entertain the audience.

“It’s part of my job. Sa pelikula kailangan mo talagang i-enhance ‘yung mga ibang bagay para maging dramatic kasi kung talagang paglalatag lang siya ng facts, medyo nakakatamad siya na pelikula. So parang I make these stories knowing na ‘yung audience, at least karamihan sa kanila, aware naman sila na medyo may parts dito na enhanced dahil pelikula siya.”

(In making a movie, you need to enhance things to be be dramatic because if you just present the facts, viewers won't find the film engaging. So I make these stories knowing the audience, or at least some of them, are aware that there are parts that were enhanced.)

For Paulo Avelino, who plays the titular character Goyo, the movie will resonate with majority of viewers.

AGUINALDO. Mon Confiado returns as President Emilio Aguinaldo. Screenshot from YouTube/TBA

AGUINALDO. Mon Confiado returns as President Emilio Aguinaldo. Screenshot from YouTube/TBA

Maraming makaka-relate dito (Many will be able to relate). Not just with the young people, but all generations,” he said.

“It’s not just because of our history but it’s also because of knowing and remembering who you are. Parang tag line lang namin, ‘Tandaan mo kung sino ka.’ Parang pagpapapaalala sa’yo kung sino ka.” (It's like our line from the movie 'remember who you are.' It's a reminder of who you are.)

After watching Goyo, Jerrold hopes it would encourage viewers to take a moment of self-reflection.

If Heneral Luna left them feeling rebellious, the director said that the follow-up film opted for a more subtle tone. “Kung si Luna apoy, si Goyo para siyang tubig. Ganun ang daloy ng kwento. Mas tahimik ‘yung pelikula,” he explained.

(If Luna was fire, Goyo is water. That's how the story goes. It's more of a quiet film.)

In a way, parang invitation siya sa audience para pag-isipan mabuti kung ano ‘yung mga nangyayari sa screen. Hindi lang siya ‘yung parang paglabas mo ng sinehan, ‘I stand with Luna! Galit na galit ako!’ This is more of ‘Saan ba tayo nagkamali?and ‘Ano ‘yung nangyari sa revolution natin? Bakit tayo naging katatawanan?’”

(In a way, it's an invitation to the audience to think about what's happening on-screen. It's not like you walk out of the cinema and think, 'I stand with Luna. I'm angry. This is more of: 'Where did we go wrong?' and 'What happened to our revolution? Why did we turn into a laughing stock?')  – Rappler.com