Playing Hero


THERE are superhero movies armed with jaw-dropping visual effects and characters with fantastic superpowers. Then there are superhero movies that showcase the valiant travails of real-life heroes from the past, who have made a relevant impact on society just like the recent flick “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.”

Playing Kapitan Juan del Pilar, the lead character’s younger cousin in the movie, actor Carlo Cruz felt happy upon getting an offer a few years ago to be part of this “superhero” movie straight from the history books.

“I had auditioned for (the movie) ‘Luna’ back in 2013 but was not cast,” he shared. “It honestly broke my heart because I prepared for my audition and already read the script.” So it was no surprise when he immediately gave a big “yes” when offered the role in “Goyo.”

Carlo feels a close affinity to the character, evident in how he excellently portrayed “Juan” in the movie. “Juan is a very relatable character. He is unsure of himself on some points, strong and courageous on others. His beliefs and reasons for doing what he is doing slowly became clear to him and he begins to understand his responsibility more. I feel that in life, whether on a personal level or in the bigger picture, we all go through self-doubt, the realization of beliefs, and have conviction,” said the young actor, who also dabbled in print and television ads some years back.

He added: “While there is not much written history about Juan, I believe that what he represents in the film is extremely significant. Most of these soldiers who bravely fought for our country were thrown into battle not because they wanted to, but because they had to fight for what they believed in.”

He was in Cebu recently for the school tour to promote “Goyo” and was impressed with the students they met during their visit. The students, he said, have the desire to be aware and be involved in relevant issues that concern the nation today.

“They wanted to engage—discuss, share opinions and be open to other perspectives. I think this is how we can all impart the importance of history to young people today, by, first and foremost, being aware of the current situation, having an opinion, relating it to the past, and being willing to engage,” Carlo said.

Another thing he realized is that we all do heroic deeds no matter how small they are. Although it’s nothing grand, he said that continuously working to improve himself is a good start for him.

He said that small things like not being too hard on himself, learning from past mistakes, being sensitive and involved in important social issues and making an effort to be a good person will not only positively affect his personality but also others’.

Carlo highly encourages everyone to watch the movie (if they have not done so yet) because it does not only refresh the mind on the important episodes of the country’s history, but also shows the young general’s humanity and vulnerabilities, as well as his courage and loyalty.

After “Goyo,” Carlo is open to more opportunities in film and TV. He is excited about meeting new people to collaborate with and yes, like the heroic character that he played in “Goyo,” bravely take on new challenges in his young and dynamic career.


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