Heneral Luna has been making waves when it premiered on September 9–and when it extended its run to more than two weeks (here’s to hoping for more). Now, the spotlight’s on the movie more than ever, as it has been announced that the film is our official entry to the 2016 Oscars, under the foreign-language category. How awesome is that?
The historical biopic revolves around the fiercely passionate General Antonio Luna and his quest for Philippine independence, when nasty politicking was rife and the Americans were taking over the country. It has received much acclaim from audiences all over the country, prompting theaters to extend its initial limited run.
More than just putting the spotlight on Gen. Luna himself, the film confronts us with hard-hitting questions about what it means to be a Filipino. The movie is abundant with hugot lines that make us reflect on who we are as a nation, and here are some of them:
1. Luna: “Negosyo o kalayaan?”
2. Luna: “Bayan o sarili, pumili ka!”
3. Joven: “Ganyan naman po ang mga Pilipino, palaging inuuna ang pamilya.”
Luna: “At ‘yan din ang sakit natin. Kaya nating magbuwis ng buhay para sa pamilya, pero para sa isang prinsipyong makabayan?”
4. Luna: “May mas malaki tayong kalaban sa mga Amerikano–ang ating sarili.”
5. Luna: “Malaking trabaho ang ipagkaisa ang bansang watak-watak, Joven.”
6. Luna: “Kalaban ang kalaban. Kalaban ang kakampi, nakakapagod.”
7. Luna: “Mas madali pang pagkasunduin ang langit at lupa kaysa dalawang Pilipino tungkol
sa kahit na anong bagay.”
8. Paco: “Handang magtapon ng dugo ang totoong makabayan. Hindi pagdurusa ang pagdaan sa napakatinding pasakit. Para kang tumanggap ng basbas, parang pag-ibig.”
9. Luna: “Ang taong may damdamin ay hindi alipin.”
10. Isabel: “Wala na tayong panahon sa mga bagay na hindi natin kayang panindigan.”
These hugot lines all hit close to home, especially since the political problems at that time are still apparent today. At the end, the film ultimately confronts our notion of nationalism: Who are we as a nation? Why do the same societal ills continue to plague us until now? What are we doing about it? It makes us ask the hard questions that we might be even afraid to answer. The good thing about it is that it has opened a venue to openly discuss these things and–and to eventually act on them.
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Myra is a writer and an editor. She has penned speeches, magazine articles, educational materials, and online content. She enjoys traveling, doodling, taking photos, and laughing to "Friends" reruns.