It can be amazing how history can come full circle. In the early 20th Century, Taal Volcano underwent one of its stronger eruptions on record, beginning January of 1911. By the time it was over, some 1,100 people have been killed in the destruction of the barangays on Volcano Island, while 199 were injured. Historical notes from the period would have it that Miguel Malvar, the last Philippine Revolutionary general to surrender to American forces in their colonization period, had helped organize relief efforts during that historical calamity. Now, a biopic about the life of Malvar has its filming stymied by the latest Taal eruption.
The Manila Bulletin reports that the “Malvar” film about the eponymous last Filipino Revolutionary general has been put on hold, when its filming locations have been significantly affected by the ongoing eruption of Taal Volcano, which started back in January 12. According to Jose Malvar Villegas Jr., producer of “Malvar” under JMV Film Production, they needed to postpone principal photography of scenes set in Luzon, particularly in the provinces of Batangas and Cavite close to Taal, but also in Laguna and Rizal. For the moment, they would focus on shifting filming to the Visayas, where other scenes featuring Visayan revolutionary figures are to be done.
When first announced, there was some disagreement over the descendants of Miguel Malvar on the film project about their ancestor, especially since he, born in Manila, would be portrayed by prominent sports celebrity and politician, Sen. Manny Pacquiao. Atty. Villegas, a Malvar descendant himself, has tried to push the project forward despite protests from relatives who cried foul that he did not consult with all Malvar relatives before beginning work on the film, and criticize his choice of lead star.
“Malvar” stars Pacquiao, and the cast is under the supervision of Imelda Papin, Vice Governor of Camarines Sur. The film is expected to be put forward as an official entry to the next Metro Manila Film Festival this Holiday 2020. In imitation of the character in their movie, Atty. Villegas and JMV Film Production have pitched in on the relief efforts by distributing 20,000 surgical facemasks to residents and evacuees, to protect them from volcanic particles scattered in the air by the eruption that are harmful to the respiratory system.
Image courtesy of Bandera – Inquirer.net