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El Presidente: The General Emilio Aguinaldo Story and the First Philippine Republic Review

Yesterday I managed to go to one of my favorite cinema houses and watch the Scenema Concept International and Viva Films' entry to the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival "El Presidente: The General Emilio Aguinaldo Story and the First Philippine Republic.

A Scene from The "El Presidente"

El Presidente tells the story of the Philippines' very first president Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the deliverance of the Philippines from the hands of its colonists and the establishment of our first republic. Jeorge "ER" Estregan plays the lead role with Cesar Montano as Andres Bonifacio. The entire movie did not disappoint me as it was able to deliver what I was expecting based on the theatrical trailer they released. I am no expert when it comes to the Philippine History but I have some

knowledge about our past so this film's plot is not that new to me but this movie still gave me some new things about this particular matter of which I do not know if those were really part of our history or just an additional "spice" to the film to make it a little bit entertaining and that maybe because what director Meily described the movie as "fiction film based on a historical figure" according Abs-cbnnews.com. For example if my memory serves me correctly, I never read nor heard during my school days that the katipuneros used bow and arrows. In the movie especially during the ambush scenes, they use this kind of weapon to attack their enemies. Another thing is where Aguinaldo cut a small portion of skin on his arm and use his blood as an ink to sign a paper confirming his membership to the katipunan, in history I was taught that their would make that small cut in their arm but near their wrist and not on the other side of their arm just like what was done in the movie. One las last thing I noticed I which also impressed me is that both Bonifacio and Aguinaldo, in this film, know how to do a hand combat. The hand combat scenes were shown in the trailers and it's nice to see them doing it not just fighting the Spaniards nor Americans their with swords, pistols and riffles. Performance of Jeorge Estregan as Aguinaldo is good but not great. He acted better in the Manila Kingpin than in this one. It was the performance of Cesar Montano as the Supremo that stole the scene, though those scenes of him is not that much, he was still able to portray the character of Bonifacio it's great and he deserved to get the Best Supporting Actor Award for this one. Christopher De Leon's portrayal of Gen. Antonio Luna is also a scene-stealer, I only knew Antonio Luna by name and nothing much of him until I saw this movie. While watching the movie, I thought they would not even mention Dr.

Jose Rizal who was in prison and about to get executed during the time in the film as it was almost half of the entire movie has been shown and still no mention of Rizal until there was a meeting and the leaders of the Katipunan decided to have an election to establish the democratic government. In this kind of film especially a Filipino movie I am always expecting to see a feast or a simple gatherings where the characters would join and find time to relax while the conflict is at hand and again I thought I would never see this happens in this movie. I liked the entire rendition of the film and this is a kind of history-based movie that I would introduce to next generations of Filipinos to see not just to entertain them but also to educate them. Now I start to wonder what the Scenema Concept International and Viva Films to offer us in the next Metro Manila Film Festival.