A new film about the Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, or GomBurZa, whose execution during the Spanish colonial era helped spark the Philippine Revolution, will soon be viewed in Philippine cinemas.
The full-length motion picture—with the lead roles played by Dante Rivero, Cedric Juan and Enchong Dee, respectively, supported by Piolo Pascual, Epi Quizon, Jaime Fabregas and Carlitos Siguion-Reyna—was directed by award-winning filmmaker Pepe Diokno.
“GomBurza” was produced by Jesuit Communications Foundation (JesCom) in partnership with copresenter MQuest Ventures Inc.
The historical drama tells the story of the three priests charged by Spanish colonial authorities with subversion due to their alleged involvement in the mutiny by indios (native Filipinos) at a naval arsenal in Cavite. The priests were publicly executed by garrote at Bagumbayan on Feb. 17, 1872.
Gomez, Burgos and Zamora had earlier angered Spanish officials for fighting for equal rights among priests. Their killing, said to have been witnessed by about 40,000 people, strengthened the growing nationalist movement among Filipinos, which eventually led to the Philippine Revolution of 1896.
Officials of JesCom, the media arm of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, expressed enthusiasm for the production and gratitude to its copresenter.
Said Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, Jescom executive director: “This is an important project, not just for JesCom but also for our country and the Church. ‘GomBurZa’ shows how our people came together as Filipinos, and that the Catholic Church was part of the emergence of the Filipino nation.”
Fr. Roseller Atilano Jr., SJ, JesCom associate director, said that through the film, “we honor the humble sacrifice made by the three heroic priests and bring their story to life for the current generation.”
MQuest Ventures, through its president and CEO Jane Basas, said it was proud to be part of the project. “’GomBurZa’ is our gift to the Filipino audience that will give them an insightful view of our history. This is the first of many important films that we will bring to the public this year. We have lots more in store.”
JesCom aims to educate the Filipino faithful and inspire audiences through its audiovisual programs, music and publications. Its first film, “Ignacio De Loyola,” won the Best Film award at the Mirabile Dictu Catholic Film Festival at the Vatican.
MQuest Ventures, a content and creatives hub, is a subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings along with TV5, Cignal TV, The Philippine Star, and Businessworld.