The Black Eyed Peas’ apl.de.ap known for his advocacy on education, especially for poor but deserving Filipino youths, is playing Good Samaritan again.
apl, who recorded the theme of the Metro Manila Filmfest (MMFF) historical action drama “El Presidente” along with Slapshock vocalist Jamir Garcia, is donating the proceeds of the soundtrack album to the Apl.de.ap Foundation.
“Linigawan ko si apl para sa movie theme,” says producer Mylene Enriquez. “Ang maganda kay apl, he’s very nationalistic. One of the reasons he did the song is because the proceeds will be used to build schools in remote areas. apl is also helping the people through the song.”“El Presidente,” which stars Laguna governor ER Ejercito in the title role, tells the life story of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, the first Philippine president. Since it depicts an important part of history, accuracy is of prime importance.
“We started researching in 1998,” recalls ER. The Aguinaldo family’s great grand matriarch Ameurfina Herrera (former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) and Cesar Virata (former prime minister, also a descendant of Aguinaldo) endorsed the film.”
The script, ER adds, took 12 to 13 years to finish. One of the researchers, writer-director Jose Mari Avellana, has passed away.The Laguna governor adds that his film also has the blessings of Education Secretary Armin Luistro.“Nabigyan kami ng endorsement na i-promote ang pelikula in all school levels,” ER relates.
Longer than the rest
The big-budget film runs for two-and-a-hour hours, which is longer than other filmfest entries.“Kasing haba ito ng 'Skyfall' (the latest James Bond film),” reveals ER.
“Sasakupin ng pelikula lahat ng mga issues at intriga (about Aguinaldo) – ang panahon ng himagsikan para ipaglaban ang kasarinlan, and unang national elections kung saan natalo ni Aguinaldo si Supremo Andres Bonifacio,” ER explains.
“Hindi namin pwedeng i-sacrifice ang detalye para lang kumita ng pera,” says ER, who is planning to do three more true-to-life stories next year.
“El Presidente” also stars Nora Aunor as Maria Agoncillo, Aguinaldo’s second wife, Cesar Montano as Andres Bonifacio, Christopher de Leon as Gen. Antonio Luna and Cristine Reyes.