At the press lunch of Gil Portes’ “Ang Hapis at Himagsik ni Hermano Puli,” the director celebrated his 71st birthday and expressed his happiness over the fulfillment of a longtime dream on his bucket list.
Years ago, a kababayan from Quezon province gave Portes a copy of the life story of Hermano Puli, who’s also from Tayabas. Portes liked what he read and has since then been looking for investors for his project.
Even Aljur Abrenica, who portrays the title role, went out of his way to convince friends to help raise funds for it—but, there were no takers.
A producer agreed to finance the project with a male star specified for the role, but Portes eventually nixed the idea. Then, he met businessman T. Rex, who found Puli’s story inspiring.
The movie is a historical drama about Apolinario de la Cruz, who founded the Cofradia de San Jose, a religious brotherhood in Tayabas, in 1831. Because of Puli’s quest for religious freedom, he was declared a heretic and was sentenced to death by the colonial government.
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