May mas malaki tayong kalaban sa mga Amerikano– ang ating sarili.
This line is just one of the quotable quotes delivered by John Arcilla in his hard-hitting movie “Heneral Luna.”
Arcilla portrayed the character of General Antonio Luna who showed how he was willing to risk his own life, while leaving his family behind and forsaking his love interest, Isabel (Mylene Dizon) for a higher purpose which is to fight for the independence of Philippines from the Americans.
While President Emilio Aguinaldo (Mon Confiado) and other authorities under his rule, Felipe Buencamino (Nonie Buencamino) and Pedro Paterno (Leo Martinez) believed that the country could still be independent under the Americans, Heneral Luna stood for his own principle, which was to defeat the Americans.
Buencamino and Paterno talked against Luna and told Aguinaldo that Luna wanted to replace him as the country’s president and be a dictator. In the movie, there was a scene wherein Luna received a letter from Aguinaldo, telling him to go Cabanatuan to meet him. However, when he arrived, Aguinaldo was not there. Instead, it was Buencamino who met Luna amd said that Aguinaldo left early.
The movie depicted how Filipinos could go against his own people and be divided. The Filipinos’ worst enemy at that time was their own countrymen themselves, as each one had his own agenda, and could not be at peace with one another. Luna was killed by Filipinos themselves, though it was not really made clear if it was Aguinaldo or Buencamino who ordered his death.
“Heneral Luna” is an eye-opener, and its lessons are still applicable until now. Our greatest enemy is ourselves, as a cliche may say, but it is actually the theme of the movie, and really speaks of a truth. The country needs a hero like Heneral Luna who did not put his own interest ahead of the others. He looked at the welfare of his own people, and fought hard just to grant freedom to the Filipinos, but sadly, those above him did not agree with what he wanted, as they strive hard to be a friend of the colonizers– the Americans.
Luna was not portrayed as a kind man but a hard general indeed, who made it a point to enforce that no one is above the law, not even the President. He seemed to be an impulsive man when it comes to his decisions, like in the scene when the Americans went against his troop, and some of his people left the war zone, fearing for their own lives. Luna rode a horse, and shot the American soldiers, only to encourage those who stayed with him to fight against the Americans. If the general can do that, why can’t his people? He showed how a leader should act, that he should not only be commanding, but can also execute his own commands.
“Heneral Luna” is a movie worth watching as it inspires collaborative effort to Filipinos who want the best for their country.