10-85: 33-0
1-17: 65-31
33 years apart: I see you.
34 years apart: I’ll see you again soon.


Thoughts on Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral

photo grabbed from Google

Finally got to watch Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral today. I was upset how, despite the film opening just last September 5, there were only few cinemas and schedules left that were showing it. So, despite the bruise on my face that made me look like I just went through a fight, I had to go out and watch Goyo today, afraid that I’ll miss it. Right after the movie, my thoughts were all crowded and loud so I’m making some notes here on what I thought about the film.

Disclaimer: I’m not a film critic, just a regular moviegoer. 🙂

First rule: Watch Goyo without setting Heneral-Luna-expectations. Although this is a sequel, and it comes from the makers of Heneral Luna, Goyo is a film of its own, and it deserves to be seen with fresh and unbiased perspective.

While Heneral Luna‘s storytelling was theatrical, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is more artistic and cinematic. In Goyo, we are treated with grand displays of Philippine skies and mountains–mga bagay na hindi napapalitan. One scene that was most magical to me was a frame with the rising or setting sun as the background and with silhouettes of the army marching in line on top of the mountain as the foreground. That was beautiful! Goyo also ties in some magic—the agila in the sky, the moments with a sort of premonition—scenes that were not available in Heneral Luna.

When the title of a film is a name, we expect for the movie to demonstrate the greater qualities of the titular hero, the things that set him apart from everyone else. In Heneral Luna, we witnessed that, so that everyone immediately applauded and idolized Luna. In Goyo, it is not the same. While Heneral Luna (the film) was loud and aggressive, Goyo (the film) is quiet and a bit laid-back, further confirming the external struggles portrayed in Heneral Luna versus the internal struggles portrayed in Goyo. The beauty in Tarog’s Goyo lies in his representation of the internal struggles of identity, ideals, and loyalty of his charming young hero. All of these echoing the question that Luna left us: Bayan o Sarili?

Tarog’s Goyo does not sugarcoat or redefine the young general. Tarog does not deny what we have read about the young general in our history books. In fact, Tarog’s Goyo confirms it. Totoo pala ang tsismis.

We are provided images of how Goyo was as a womanizer, a natural flirt and charmer who leaves a string of women brokenhearted in every town he goes. (Side note: Paulo Avelino is effortless in delivering the charm.) Our own opinions about Goyo are also satisfied when we are shown how Goyo is a “minion” of Aguinaldo. Tarog allows his titular hero to be called a dog and taunted with howls by Manuel Bernal. “Bulag na nga, bingi pa. Tahol, Goyo, tahol!”

In Heneral Luna we were charmed by a hero who has the war for a wife, one whose principles have been shaped by his experiences and his identity. In Goyo, we are charmed by a hero with his good looks and charisma with women, but one whose principles are still incompletely formed.

At 23, Goyo has not yet formed his own identity. He is constantly reminded by his brother, Julian, of who he is. He is still trying to form himself, stringing together pieces of himself from Aguinaldo, his brother, his best friend, Vicente, in the women he’s charmed, and in the fans and fame he acquired. We see a boy who considers people’s opinions of him, hinting how his person is not yet solidified, unlike Luna. In Goyo, the struggles are internal, resounding Luna’s sentiments that the Filipino’s true enemy is himself. In the face of war, we see how most people are also at war with their own selves. Goyo, the general, is not an exception.

There are also other details that I liked about the film. The scene where Goyo leads Julian and Vicente to a late night swim. He was playful and free, reminding us all that this general is still a boy after all. The scene where the two women, Remedios and Felicidad, discuss ripe mangoes was funny enough. I wish I could recall that conversation. Looking back, it seemed like a metaphor about Goyo himself, unripe to be picked, and not just about his womanizing.

As for Goyo and his blind loyalty to Aguinaldo, I think Goyo represents the common Filipino. It was war, but does any one really know for what cause he stands by and fights for? Or, was everyone just picking sides, following that side’s principle, all too lazy and tired to form one’s own? All sheep but with choices of the shepherd to follow.

I, myself, have had strong opinions against Goyo when I learned of him from history classes, but I have this film to thank for a shift in perspective. It is because of the portrayal of Goyo in this film that I understood how we need to take a step back and put our feet in Goyo’s shoes before we can judge him.

Imagine this: At 23, you are an ambitious and conceited general, good in battle but with still so much to prove. Along comes somebody, the president no less, who trusts you and believes in you. Wouldn’t you be faithful and pledge full allegiance to this person? We are all drawn to the people who believe in us, that’s human nature. But without maturity, we lack the discernment between belief and manipulation. Goyo was not yet mature enough to know the difference.

I felt how lost Goyo was. I felt the weight that was put in his shoulders, the expectations, the leadership, the responsibilities, the decisions that he had to do, while on the side, he was also being questioned about his person. Thanks to Paulo Avelino’s portrayal, those emotions were captured raw and were unfailingly translated on-screen. Goyo was still starting to form himself, his own ideals and principles, his own fight and love for his country, but sadly, he did not live long enough to complete that journey.

Overall, I really love this film and I appreciate the shift in perspective that it has caused me. I have such high respect and admiration for Jerrold Tarog and his team. What compels a man to retell these forgotten tales of history to this generation who so badly need it? It must be a true and worthy cause. I’m excited to see more works like Heneral Luna and Goyo and will keep on supporting Philippine cinema.

Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral is still showing. Please go watch it and support Philippine cinema.


It is the simplest things that leave us undone with complexities.

Taste the Rain

Open your mouth to the rain.
Taste the acid.
Taste the salt.
Taste the water.
Taste the tears of your soul.

DIY Natural Cleaners

Problem: Trouble scrubbing soap and water stains off my toilet bowl’s body and my bathroom walls. My bathroom’s grout also had the same stains. These stains come in little brown to black spots on the toilet bowl’s body and the bathroom’s grout, and as little streaks on the bathroom walls and the shower curtain. They were not super gross but still, the sight of them really bothered me. My reliable cleaning buddies, Zonrox Plus and Zim All-Purpose Cleanser cannot take them off.

Because I’m now trying to move to a simpler, less waste, and more sustainable lifestyle, I want to get rid of my commercial cleaning products. Thus the desire to go green and make a cleaner using natural ingredients. When you search online, you’ll soon discover the three most powerful all natural cleaning ingredients: vinegar, baking soda, and water. I was so amazed at all the uses of vinegar and baking soda that of course, I was excited to try them and to get rid of my bathroom dilemma, too.

Vinegar cleaner

There are a lot of DIY vinegar cleaners out there and they all pretty much have the same ingredients, but vary with the amount of vinegar used in the cleaner. I figured I can try the recipes but experiment on my preferred ratio of vinegar in my cleaner.

Overall, my trials using vinegar were a success. All recipes come in liquid form so you would need a spray bottle to dispense the cleaner.

Trial 1: I used 3/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water. I used this cleaner to clean the bathroom and the kitchen sink. I also used it to clean the mirror. It was effective, but it still was not able to scrub the soap and water stains off the toilet bowl’s body and the bathroom’s grout. Also, even though I love vinegar, the odor of the cleaner was a bit strong for me, but still tolerable.

Trial 2: I used 1 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid. I used this cleaner to clean the bathroom again. It was effective. It was easier for me to scrub off the stains on the bathroom walls and on the bathroom floor. It still left a bit of stain on the toilet bowl’s body, grout, and bathroom walls, though. This vinegar cleaner, minus the water, was just too strong for me. I could not tolerate the odor.

Trial 3: My winning recipe! 🙂 I used 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and about 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. (I’ll try this again using tea tree oil next time.) I used this cleaner to clean the bathroom and the kitchen sink again. It was effective. I used it on the toilet bowl’s body, on the bathroom walls, on the grout, and on the shower curtain. This time, I left it on the surfaces for about 30 minutes before I scrubbed it off. On the kitchen sink, I left it only for about 15 minutes, then I wiped it off. Because of the essential oil, the odor was pleasing to me. I love vinegar, though so I still don’t know if you’d find the odor for this ratio tolerable.

Baking Soda cleaner

Vinegar alone was not able to solve my problem. I figured I needed another powerful ingredient: baking soda. I used Arm & Hammer because it was the brand that was available in our local grocery. I poured baking soda to a small bowl, added just a bit of water to it, and then stirred until it formed a paste.

I sprayed my vinegar cleaner on the toilet bowl’s body, on the grout, and on the bathroom walls first. I let it sit for about 30 minutes. Next, I dabbed my scrubber to the baking soda paste and then applied it to the areas to clean. Scrub away and prepare to be amazed.

To my delight, the soap and water stains on my toilet bowl’s body, on the grout, on the bathroom walls, and on the shower curtain were scrubbed off! I was so happy. They’re all so shiny and clean now, and pleasing to my eyes. Yay! 🙂

Room spray

I usually buy a room and linen spray to deodorize my room. I finished my last bottle, so I reused the empty bottle and made my own room spray instead.

Here’s how: Pour warm water on the spray bottle. I used about a cup only because it fit about half the spray bottle and was enough for my current use. I added drops of essential oils. I used peppermint and rosemary on this trial. Spritz away, sniff, and smile.

I love all these DIY natural cleaners! The ingredients are all cheap, available in the local grocery store, multipurpose, and of course, environment-friendly. Right now, I’m thinking of making my own dishwashing liquid. I’ll keep you posted on that one.


Sharing with you three blogs that I am following and am loving the content. I also found my cleaning recipes here. They all have social media accounts, so go ahead and visit their sites and subscribe or follow them.