“Heneral Luna” actor says Filipino hero is one of the most misunderstood

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 5, 2015

JERSEY CITY, NJ — “Heneral Luna” is the true-to-life story of the Filipino General, known for his fiery temper, who led the Philippine revolutionary army to battle during the Philippine-American war in the 1800’s.

Award-winning actor John Arcilla said the “Heneral Antonio Luna” he portrayed is not a white-washed version of the unconventional hero’s life story.

Arcilla explained, the tobacco-smoking trigger-happy hero with a volcanic temper is one of the most misunderstood Filipino heroes. He said, “We have to be realistic. We are all humans. We all have our good and bad side. No one’s perfect,” Arcilla said.

Heneral luna’s biggest fight did not happen in the battlefield against the Americans. His unconventional ways made him a target of his own people. Arcilla said it was tough for Luna because he had a battle to fight against America, he was fighting with his colleagues, even his subordinates.

Arcilla said this century-old story still resonates with Filipinos today. He stated, “It makes you ask what you are actually doing for your country, for yourself.”

The New York Times described “Heneral Luna” as a patriotic biopic that aspires to epicness.  The movie review said Arcilla remained gallant and charming despite delivering too many expositions amid cheap-looking sets.

Heneral Luna is now screening in New York and New Jersey and is set to open in several more theaters across the US beginning November 6th.

For more information, you may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com.



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