Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to play Andres Bonifacio in new movie

Published June 12, 2021, 12:05 AM

by Robert Requintina

From left: Producer Dondon Monteverde, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and director Erik Matti

Film director Erik Matti, producer Dondon Monteverde, and Susan Meyer, the great-granddaughter of Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio, have one thing in common — they all believe that Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is the perfect choice for the role of Andres Bonifacio in the legacy film project that reveals new discoveries on the life of the fallen revolutionary under Regal Entertainment.

Matti and Monteverde underscored the outstanding parallels in the lives of Mayor Isko and Bonifacio which led to their decision to offer the role to the young mayor.

“Aside from their physical resemblance, both were theater actors who hailed from Tondo, Manila. And just like Moreno, the hero’s father, Santiago Bonifacio, was a former Manila mayor,” Monteverde said.

It is interesting to note that two years ago, even before Monteverde and Matti thought of producing the new movie on Bonifacio’s life, Mayor Isko’s first order of business in the first month of his tenure as the local chief executive of Manila was to clean up and restore the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall.

A decision that was hailed by the surviving descendants of Bonifacio, specifically his great-granddaughter Susan Meyer, who personally thanked Mayor Isko for cleaning up the monument in July of 2019.

Mayor Isko Moreno and Susan Meyer

She said in a recent text message, “Nagpasalamat talaga ako kay Yorme kasi inuna niyang linisin ang Bonifacio shrine noong umupo siya. Nakakalungkot kasi ang nangyari, puro basura at tinayuan ng perya. Parang nababoy ito. Pero napaganda ni Yorme ulit. Nakaka-touch talaga.”

Meyer said she hopes that the Bonifacio shrine in Maragondon, Cavite, site of the hero’s martyrdom, will also be preserved by the local government there.

She feels Mayor Isko will be the one to give justice to the role of her grandfather in the much-talked about epic movie. “Alam kong maka-Bonifacio si Yorme at nadarama din niya ang mga ipinaglaban ni Lolo Andres noon. Sa tingin ko magaling din siya umarte. Hindi ko lang alam kung magaling siya sa action,” she quipped.

Matti, who will be directing the much-anticipated film legacy project, said, “When we heard the details in Bonifacio’s life that we only heard for the first time, Dondon and I got interested.

Andres Bonifacio (left) and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (Image by Esquire Philippines)

“We’re interested in bringing to light new and fascinating details about a national hero that have not been depicted in the past hoping that we could understand Bonifacio better than before. “

“We want to be able to tell a story about Bonifacio that hasn’t been taught in schools and has never been seen in the many Bonifacio movies made in the past. And we want to make this particular Bonifacio movie relevant to the year 2021.”

This will be Matti’s first historical period movie. He promised, “I am excited to start imagining the world that was and recreate the lives lived then. I am ready to create a place beyond what is imagined and a world that will ground all historical facts and bring out the kind of life led during that time. We are ready to work hard and make a piece of cinema that’s worth experiencing without the feeling of being lectured upon.”

Filming for the movie with the working title “Maypagasa” will start very soon.