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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Nov 26, 2015

Aljur Abrenica Hopes The Film 'Hermano Puli' Will Give Apolinario De La Cruz The Recognition He Deserves As One Of Our Heroes

ALJUR ABRENICA admits he felt so frustrated when his Metro-Manila filmfest project, “Hermano Puli”, backed out from the annual festival. He was banking on it to help give his career a big boost after it dimmed when he had a falling out with GMA-7. But now, there’s hope as the movie has found a new financier in businessman Rex Tiri and shooting starts on December 8.

“I fell in love with the material after Direk Gil Portes told me about it then I did my personal research on Apolinario de la Cruz or Hermano Puli in his hometown, Lucban, Quezon,” he says. “He led a major revolt against Spain pero hindi siya gaanong nabibigyan ng importancia in our history books. Maski yung guide ko sa Lucban, iba pa yung date na sinabi sa’kin when he died, compared doon sa actual marker where Hermano Puli fought a major battle. Gusto niyang magpari pero hindi siya pinayagan dahil Indio siya. May girl na gustong-gusto siya, but he wanted to remain pure at mas gusto niya maglingkod sa Diyos kaya itinatag niya ang Cofradia de San Jose or Confraternity of St. Joseph na puro Indios ang members, fostering the practice of Christian virtues. Lumawak masyado ang samahan nila kaya natakot ang Spanish authorities and accused them of heresy. He fought for religious freedom and was executed in 1841 at the age of only 27. His life inspired the secular priests, the Gomburza, who were executed in 1872 while fighting for racial equality among the clergy.”

Aljur believes so much in Director Gil Portes. “I’ve seen his best works noong bata pa ako, like ‘Mga Munting Tinig’, ‘Saranggola’ and ‘Markova’, all award-winners, pero hindi pa ako aware noon na siya pala ang director ng movies na yun. So I feel blessed na makatrabaho siya ngayon in this big historical project. I’m so glad hindi siya sumuko sa project na ito kahit umurong yung dating producers. I hope this movie will give Hermano Puli the recognition that he deserves in our history. Happy rin ako kasi for the first time, makakasama ko rito my two younger brothers, Vin and Allen, who both play important roles in the movie.”

Aljur is slowly getting back into the limelight. He’s now seen regularly in “Dangwa” as one of Janine Gutierrez’ leading men. He is also in two other movies, “Mabalasik” of Ato Bautista and “Walang EDSA” of Alvin Yapan.