Goyo: The Boy General (Filipino: Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral), also known simply as Goyo, is a 2018 Philippine historical epic film starring Paulo Avelino as the titular “Boy General”, Gregorio del Pilar, who died during the historic Battle of Tirad Pass in the Philippine-American War.
It was written, directed, edited, and scored by Jerrold Tarog, and is a sequel to the 2015 film Heneral Luna, which chronicled Antonio Luna’s life. Additional members of the ensemble cast include Carlo Aquino, Mon Confiado, Epy Quizon, Gwen Zamora, Empress Schuck, Alvin Anson, and Rafa Siguion-Reyna.
It was released on 05 September 2018.
Following the assassination of General Antonio Luna, the task of purging Luna’s loyalists in the Philippine Army falls on General Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar, a young, brash general and a favourite of President Emilio Aguinaldo. During a five-month break from combat, del Pilar and his unit, including his older brother Julian and his best friend Vicente Enriquez, capture Angel Bernal, the younger brother of Luna’s former aides-de-camp, Manuel and José. They soon locate Manuel hiding with merchant Don Mariano Nable José and torture him into joining del Pilar’s military personnel. When Manuel refuses, they kill him. Meanwhile, Joven Hernando, who now works for his uncle, is assigned to be del Pilar’s photographer.
While the Philippine Army relaxes and the American forces prepare for a second attack, General José Alejandrino, a Luna ally spared from the purge, meets with Apolinario Mabini, who has since resigned from Aguinaldo’s cabinet after the death of Luna. Mabini implores Alejandrino to find out the real cause of Luna’s death. Meanwhile, Aguinaldo joins del Pilar in Bulacan and promotes him to Major-General of Pangasinan, while del Pilar begins to court Remedios, the elusive daughter of Don Mariano. During this time, Aguinaldo meets Mabini and offers him the post of Chief Justice, to which Mabini reluctantly accepts.
Alejandrino travels to Manila to negotiate with General Elwell Otis and General Arthur MacArthur Jr., who reject his proposal. Soon after, hostilities resume and the Filipino side is caught off-guard. Aguinaldo orders the march of the Army to Pozorrubio to meet with General Manuel Tinio and organize a fighting force. However, Tinio’s defeat by the Americans, forces Aguinaldo to retreat further north. The arduous march escorting Aguinaldo and his family through the western mountainous terrain of the Cordilleras, daily American attacks and ongoing tensions between soldiers of Luna’s old unit take a toll on del Pilar, weakens their defences against American forces attacking their rearguard and captures Aguinaldo’s mother and son.
The group soon arrive at Mount Tirad, where Heneral Goyo devises a delaying strategy to buy Aguinaldo time to escape. Together with former Luna Sharpshooter Lieutenant García, fortified trenches were dug along the route of the mountain. The following day, the Americans quickly capture a town at the foot of the mountain but are initially unable to penetrate the defenses. But with the aid of their Tingguian igorot guide, the 500 or so Americans, mostly of the 33rd Volunteer Infantry Regiment under Major Peyton C. March, find the secret path leading to the top of the mountain, behind the trenches, and flank the Filipinos who are quickly overrun. Del Pilar, inspired by a vision induced by his PTSD, resolves to finish the fight, but is shot and killed by an American sniper. As a result, his army’s morale breaks and the defenders quickly surrender, while Aguinaldo fled. Joven and Kiko, Garcia’s son, also flee, but Joven falls off a cliff after an encounter with an American soldier. The Americans strip del Pilar of his uniform and belongings and crudely bury him at Mount Tirad.
Aguinaldo is captured by the Americans in Palanan, Isabela on March 23, 1901, effectively ending the war. Held as a prisoner of war in Malacañang Palace, he is visited by his former aide-de-camp Manuel Quezon. Quezon surrenders to the Americans upon orders of his superior, General Tomás Mascardo, and visits Aguinaldo to verify his capture and consults whether Mascardo should surrender. Aguinaldo tells Quezon that the decision for Mascardo to surrender is up to Mascardo himself.
Mabini is captured by the Americans and exiled to Guam where he pens his own narrative of the war entitled La Revolución Filipina (The Philippine Revolution). His writings point to Aguinaldo’s failure as an ineffective leader of the Philippines. General Alejandrino’s position is also overrun. Remedios receives a letter from del Pilar.
In a series of mid-credit scenes, Joven is rescued by Kiko and Eduardo Rusca, Luna’s former aide; Aguinaldo in 1935 and his running mate, Raymundo Melliza, watch as his presidential campaign posters are replaced by those of Quezon.
- Paulo Avelino as General Gregorio del Pilar.
- Carlo Aquino as Colonel Vicente Enríquez.
- Arron Villaflor as Joven Hernándo.
- Cris Villanueva as the older Joven Hernándo (1935).
- Mon Confiado as President Emilio Aguinaldo.
- Epy Quizon as Apolinario Mabini.
- Alvin Anson as General José Alejandrino.
- Gwen Zamora as Remedios Nable José.
- Empress Schuck as Felicidad Aguinaldo.
- Che Ramos-Cosio as Hilaria Aguinaldo.
- Rafa Siguion-Reyna as Colonel Julián del Pilar.
- Art Acuña as Major Manuel Bernal.
- Tomas Santos as Angelito.
- Robert Seña as Don Mariano Nable José.
- Ronnie Lazaro as Lieutenant Pantaleon García.
- Jojit Lorenzo as Miguel Laureáno.
- Matt Evans as Lieutenant Telesforo Carrasco.
- Benjamin Alves as Lieutenant Manuel L. Quezon.
- TJ Trinidad as the older Manuel L. Quezon (1935).
- Roeder Camañag as Major Evaristo Ortíz.
- E. A. Rocha as General Elwell Otis.
- Miguel Faustmann as General Arthur MacArthur.
- Leo Martinez as Pedro Paterno.
- Nonie Buencamino as Felipe Buencamino Sr.
- Perla Bautista as Doña Trinidad Aguinaldo.
- Archie Alemania as Eduardo Rusca.
Other members of the ensemble cast include Christopher Aronson, RK Bagatsing, Carlo Cruz, Jason Dewey, Bret Jackson, Ethan Salvador, Lorenz Martinez, Karl Medina, Stephanie Sol, and Markki Stroem.
Plans for a sequel to Jerrold Tarog’s Heneral Luna went underway after its critical and commercial success. Tarog envisioned the sequel as being about Gregorio del Pilar, a young General who, like Heneral Luna’s titular protagonist Antonio Luna, was among the Filipino historical figures during the Philippine–American War. Accordingly, Paulo Avelino, who played Del Pilar in Luna, came aboard to reprise his role.
Tarog’s research for Goyo involved studying biographies authored by Teodoro Kalaw as well as crossing the Tirad Pass. Tarog again incorporated several prominent Filipino figures including the likes of Apolinario Mabini and Emilio Aguinaldo, aiming for a scope larger than what was present in Heneral Luna. Tarog co-wrote the film’s screenplay with Rody Vera, who has said he had thoroughly studied Luna “to understand the flow of the conversations and other details unique to each character”.
Goyo entered pre-production in January 2017. To prepare his scenes, Avelino underwent horseback riding lessons in March 2017. Tarog projected a 50-day film shoot, which began in May 2017. The complete ensemble cast was also revealed in a photo taken during the May shoot, including the likes of Mon Confiado as Emilio Aguinaldo, Epy Quizon as Apolinario Mabini, Benjamin Alves as Manuel L. Quezon, Leo Martinez as Pedro Paterno, and Alvin Anson as José Alejandrino, reprising their roles from Heneral Luna. Filming was completed on 27 November 2017, lasting 60 days. The production cost for the film is said to be triple the budget of Luna.
On 15 February 2017, a 20-minute short film entitled Angelito was exclusively released during the theatrical premiere of I’m Drunk, I Love You to serve as a prelude to Goyo and to intertwine both the sequel and Heneral Luna. The film’s teaser trailer was released on 09 September 2017. In May 2018, it was announced that the film would be released on 05 September 2018.
The film was made available on DVD on 16 December 2018. It also began streaming on Netflix starting 26 January 2019.
It was reported that the sequel to Goyo would be about President Manuel L. Quezon, with Benjamin Alves set to reprise his role as Quezon. However, director Jerrold Tarog’s work on the sequel was postponed after Star Cinema hired him in 2018 to direct Darna. Tarog has said he would proceed with writing the script for the Quezon film by the time filming for Darna is completed.
Production & Filming Details
- Director(s): Jerrold Tarog.
- Producer(s): Joe Alandy and Daphne O. Chiu.
- Writer(s): Jerrold Tarog and Rody Vera.
- Music: Jerrold Tarog.
- Cinematography: Pong Ignacio.
- Editor(s): Jerrold Tarog.
- Production: TBA Studios, Arikulo Uno Productions, and Globe Solutions.
- Release Date: 05 September 2018.
- Running Time: 118 minutes.
- Rating: R.
- Country: Philippines.
- Language: Filipino.