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Paulo Avelino: Next Del Pilar?

Paulo AvelinoWHAT’S NEXT?— After the record-breaking “Heneral Luna,” the next historical epic is said to be the filmbio of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar. Tapped to play the title role of the youngest general ever—only his mid-20s—is Paulo Avelino.

Paulo is seen as the young general in “Heneral Luna,” played by John Arcilla. Paulo’s a fine actor, Urian awardee for “Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa,” but is reported to be difficult to deal with. In which case, he can always be replaced with another young actor by the producers, who are also behind “Heneral Luna.”

The producers in reference are Don Fernando Ortigas and Ed Rocha, with Ting Nebrida handling the promo and marketing. Ting is a pro like no other, having worked for years in New York-based movie companies.

As of this writing, “Heneral Luna” has grossed nearly P300 million.

Director is Jerrold Tarrog, who’s also megging the Del Pilar filmbio.

PADILLA AND SARMENTA—Actually, two Del Pilar films have been done.

First is “Hen. Gregorio del Pilar” (1949, LVN), directed by Gregorio Fernandez, with Jose Padilla Jr. and Tessie Quintana as leading lady.

Then in 1996, Golden Lions produced “Tirad Pass: The Last Stand of Gregorio del Pilar,” directed by Carlo J. Caparas and top-billed by Romnick Sarmenta.

One of the dream projects of the late National Artist Ismael Bernal was the Del Pilar filmbio with Christopher de Leon, then only in his 20s. Well, not meant to be.

LADIES’ MAN—Aside from his youth, brilliance and bravery, another interesting facet of Del Pilar life was his being a ladies’ man.

It was said that he had a sweetheart in every town in Bulacan he visited… and where he fought Spaniards and Americans.

When he died a valiant death at Tirad Pass, many a tear fell, including those of heartbroken ladies.

Del Pilar was the trusted aide of President Emilio Aguinaldo, whose safety and escape from American authorities he assured by protecting Tirad Pass… at the expense of his own life.