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Hearthrob Aljur Abrenica is on cloud nine these days after he received positive reviews for his performance in the historical drama “Ang Hapis at Hinagpis ni Hermano Puli” (The Agony and the Fury of Hermano Puli) which will be shown in local cinemas nationwide on September 21.
“Hindi ko na talaga inexpect na may magandang feedback kasi ang focus ko ay sa buhay ni Hermano Puli. Nung nalaman ko ’yung buhay nya, I just wanted to give justice to the role. After this movie, I hope mabigyan sya ng proper
acknowledgment at makilala sya sa ating bansa. Sana malaman ng mga estudyante ang naging buhay nya,” said Abrenica, during an interview with members of the entertainment press at Limbaga 77 Restaurant in Morato, Quezon City recently.
Abrenica said that he researched thoroughly on “Puli,” pet name of Apolinario dela Cruz who founded the Cofradia de San Jose, a religious brotherhood in Tayabas (now Quezon) in 1831. He was pronounced a heretic and sentenced to death by the Spanish colonial government because of his quest for religious freedom.
“Pumunta ako sa bayan nya and I even talked to the people there. Sad to say hindi rin sakto ang mga sinasabi nila kahit na tagaruon sila,” the actor said.
“Ginawa namin ang pelikula kasi hindi kilala si Puli sa labas ng Quezon at parang nakalimutan na siya sa kasaysayan.
Kaya nakakataba ng puso na maraming excited na makilala si Hermano Puli at mangahas na umibig sa Diyos at sa bayan na katulad ng ginawa nya,” Abrenica added.
The 26-year-old actor said that he did not have a hard time shooting the movie because they were given five months to prepare before they resumed.
“Five months ang preparation namin dito so we had all the time to prepare. So nung nag resume na kami, para na kaming naglalaro,” Abrenica said.
The most difficult part of the journey was getting a producer, he said. “Hindi ako nahirapan sa movie, nahirapan lang talaga ako kumuha ng sponsor para magbigay ng budget at matapos ang pelikula.”
Even Gil Portes, who directed the film, could attest to the fact that “Puli” made Abrenica an important actor.
“You should see the ending of the movie. Ang galing nya dun! I won’t tell, you have to watch it,” said Portes. The movie is written by Enrique Ramos and produced by T-Rex Productions.
Many may not know it but Abrenica is also an artist. In fact, he just turned a big portion of his home in Quezon City into an artists’ haven.
“I have a place where artists can gather. May mga bisita tayo but I made it for artists. The place is very friendly sa mga artists,” he said.
“Kaya ko sya ginawang ganun kasi as an artist, I wanna grow and you have to surround yourself and be with artists.
Matatalino ang mga yun at maraming magagaling. We exchange knowledge and wisdom,” Abrenica added. “Even musicians are welcome.”
Abrenica rose to fame when he became the Ultimate Hunk on the 4th Season of the reality show “Starstruck: The Next Level” on GMA 7 in 2006. Since then, he has appeared on teleseryes and movies. The actor also sings and dances.
Asked if he was already looking for a wife, Abrenica said: “Matagal pa yun.” Recently, Abrenica was spotted dating fellow Kapuso actress Kris Bernal.