The cast of new historical film ‘GomBurZa’ has finally been revealed. Watch out for Dante Rivero as Padre Gomez, Cedrick Juan as Burgos, and Enchong Dee as Zamora. In a very special role, Piolo Pascual will play the role of Padre Pelaez. Find out the details below.
Following an extensive search that included an open call and a series of auditions, Jesuit Communications (JesCom) is happy to announce the stars of GomBurZa — a film based on the story of Catholic priests Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora who were executed in 1872 on charges of subversion.
Playing the leads are the following: award-winning Dante Rivero as Padre Mariano Gomez, theater and movie thespian Cedrick Juan as Padre José Burgos, and matinee idol Enchong Dee as Padre Jacinto Zamora. Joining them are an equally impressive list of actors that includes Epi Quizon, Jaime Fabregas, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Khalil Ramos, Elijah Canlas, Neil Ryan Sese, Paolo O’Hara, Tommy Alejandrino, Gerry Kaimo, Dylan Tay Talon, Jomari Angeles, Bon Lentejas, and many more.
Film and TV heartthrob Piolo Pascual will play the very special role of Padre Pédro Pelaéz, the Filipino clergy leader who was a mentor of Padre José Burgos.
Executive producer and JesCom associate director Fr. Ro Atilano, SJ, describes the cast as “God’s answer to our prayers. There were other options before but this ensemble came at the right time,” Fr. Ro elaborates.
“I love my role as Padre Gomez!” declares Dante Rivero, a veteran of over 244 TV shows and motion pictures, among which was On The Job 2: The Missing 8 for which he won an Urian Best Supporting Actor award. Dante says that once he dons his priestly costume, he will be totally in character. “Pinag-aaralan ko na sa bahay. I want to engage the audience. I want to make it memorable for them. This is going to be epic!”
For theater-trained Cedrick Juan, who appeared in independent features such as Kalel, 15, Big Night!, and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, giving life to Padre Burgos will be the biggest break of his 10-year acting career. “I said ‘yes’ right away when I got the offer; it was a no brainer!” he enthuses. The 32-year-old Bulakeño reveals being part of a major production is an “overwhelming” but he is going the extra mile in preparation. “Kailangan todohan ng effort, time and puso,” he says.
After doing rom-coms and teleseryes, fans and admirers of Enchong Dee will see yet another side of the multifaceted actor in GomBurZa. He wants to portray Padre Jacinto Zamora as someone who is very human. “Yes, he is a hero but you can’t take away the human part of him: the temptation, the weaknesses but those are the things that will bring him closer to the audience,” Enchong says of his character.
A few weeks before the team begins filming, Enchong admits to feeling a bit nervous as he reveals, “There’s a certain level of pressure and inspiration. But I have faith in the people who are behind the camera. So it’s only right and just for me to give the same level of professionalism towards my character.”
Venice International Film Festival Orrizonti Prize winner Pepe Diokno is directing GomBurZa from a screenplay by celebrated writer Rody Vera. Jesuit Communications (JesCom), the media arm of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines and the company behind the 2016 action-drama biopic Ignacio de Loyola, is the producer.
On February 16—on the eve of the 151st death anniversary of the three priests—the production team and cast gathered for a mass and send-off event held at the Manila Cathedral and Pope Francis Hall, respectively, as filming begins soon.
“Everything is now falling in its right place,” says Fr. Ro. “This project is very timely. This will inspire and ignite once more our Filipino identity and our deep love for our country. This is what our nation needs right now.”
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