Who will play Isko Moreno’s leading lady in Bonifacio biopic?

Published June 12, 2021, 10:42 PM

by Robert Requintina

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said on Saturday, June 12, that he is excited to be part of a film project that will tackle the heroism of Andres Bonifacio.

“It’s going to be challenging, but I hope I can give justice to the role of Bonifacio. I hope to live to the expectations of our moviegoers,” said Moreno during an interview at the Bonifacio Shrine in Manila.

Known as the Father of Philippine Revolution, Bonifacio led a movement which sought the independence of the Philippines from Spanish colonial rule. His crusade started the Philippine Revolution 123 years ago.

Moreno, 46, said that he and the revolutionary leader share similar characteristics.

Bonifacio and Moreno grew up in the slums of Tondo, Manila.

“He was a theater actor while I became an actor. He served the people and in my case, I have been in public service for 23 years now,” the city mayor said.

Asked about his shooting schedule, Moreno said: “When I said yes to Dondon Monteverde and Erik Matti, I told them that my constituents are my number one priority. So perhaps I can shoot at night.”

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

This is not the first time that Moreno would be part of a project that deals with Bonifacio.

In 2014, Moreno portrayed Padre Burgos in the movie “Burgos: Ang Unang Pangulo” played by Robin Padilla.

When asked about his leading lady in his comeback movie, Moreno said: “I have no idea. Who do you think should be my leading lady? I am not familiar with some stars these days because I was absent (at the movies) for a long time.”

Moreno said that the new movie will present Bonifacio from a different perspective.

The amiable city mayor also said that the people should learn from lessons of the past.

“We should learn our lesson to unite ourselves, to help one another, and fight against the common enemy. In this case, in our time, it’s COVID-19. That’s the real enemy. Makakamit din naitn ang kalayaan laban sa COVID-19,” Moreno said. (We will achieve freedom from COVID-19).

Moreno also thinks Bonifacio is a man of swift action.

“Action ng action. Kung wala siyang ginawang action, wala sanang naganap (na rebolusyon). Bonifacio had his share of failure and success, but he never stopped. He kept going. He thinks, he acts, he delivers,” he said. (Bonifacio is a man of instant action. If not for this, nothing ever happened).

On the issue of talent fee, Monteverde said: “Mayor Isko will have a talent fee. But knowing the mayor, he will just donate it to charity.”

Monteverde said that shooting for the movie with the working title “Maypagasa” will begin anytime this month. However, the production has not set a deadline to finish the film.

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 2019.

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.”