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Enchong Dee to play Padre Zamora in upcoming 'GomBurZa' film | Philstar.com
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Arts and Culture

Enchong Dee to play Padre Zamora in upcoming 'GomBurZa' film

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Enchong Dee to play Padre Zamora in upcoming 'GomBurZa' film
Actor Enchong Dee
ABS-CBN / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino Catholic martyr priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora’s life story will now officially have its own movie, Jesuit Communications (JesCom) announced on the 151st death anniversary of the three priests.

Following an extensive search that included an open call and a series of auditions, JesCom announced that the stars of “GomBurZa” are actors Dante Rivero as Padre Gomez, theater thespian Cedrick Juan as Padre Burgos, and Kapamilya actor Enchong Dee as Padre Zamora.

The film is based on the story of Catholic priests Gomez, Burgos and Zamora who were executed in 1872 on charges of subversion.

Joining them are an equally impressive list of actors that include Epi Quizon, Jaime Fabregas, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Khalil Ramos, Elijah Canlas, Neil Ryan Sese, Paolo O’Hara, Tommy Alejandrino, Gerry Kaimo, Dylan Tay Talon, Jomari Angeles, Bon Lentejas, and many more.

Piolo Pascual will play the very special role of Padre Pédro Pelaéz, the Filipino clergy leader who was a mentor of Padre José Burgos.

Executive producer and JesCom associate director Fr. Ro Atilano, SJ, describes the cast as "God's answer to our prayers. There were other options before but this ensemble came at the right time.”

“I love my role as Padre Gomez!” Rivero said.

“Pinag-aaralan ko na sa bahay. I want to engage the audience. I want to make it memorable for them. This is going to be epic!” he added. 

For theater-trained Juan, who appeared in independent features such as “Kalel,” “15,” “Big Night!,” and “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,” giving life to Padre Burgos will be the biggest break of his 10-year acting career. 

“I said ‘yes’ right away when I got the offer; it was a no brainer!” he enthused. The 32-year-old Bulakeño reveals being part of a major production is an “overwhelming” but he is going the extra mile in preparation. “Kailangan todohan ng effort, time and puso,” he said.

For his part, Dee said he wants to portray Padre Zamora as someone who is very human. 

“Yes, he is a hero but you can’t take away the human part of him: the temptation, the weaknesses but those are the things that will bring him closer to the audience,” he said.

A few weeks before the team begins filming, Dee admitted to feeling a bit nervous: “There’s a certain level of pressure and inspiration. But I have faith in the people who are behind the camera. So it’s only right and just for me to give the same level of professionalism toward my character.”

Venice International Film Festival Orrizonti Prize winner Pepe Diokno is directing “GomBurZa” from a screenplay by writer Rody Vera. JesCom, the media arm of the Society of Jesus in the Philippines and the company behind the 2016 action-drama biopic Ignacio de Loyola, is the producer.

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ENCHONG DEE

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