Dr. Jose P. Rizal is an important figure in our history, he's The National Hero after all, and he's got the mythologized life and the tragic death that goes along with it. So what better way to celebrate our Independence Day than to breathe new life to dear old Pepe?
Just take a moment to imagine it: a period movie about Jose Rizal. It could be about his revolutionary efforts, or about his teenage years, or the time he spent abroad, or it could be about the many, many, many times he fell in love. Which actor do you see playing him?
1. Is it Daniel Padilla?
Daniel is a strong contender with his quick humor, his boyishly handsome face, and Alpha presence. He's got the gravitas of Rizal, and he's also quite outspoken about his love for our country, a nationalistic strain that he undoubtedly inherited from his uncle, actor and activist Robin Padilla.
2. Is it Enrique Gil?
Enrique in Spanish-era clothes? We could almost see it, this dream we're dreaming. He could totally give Rizal his own "modern man" twist, and just think about it: if Enrique flashed Leonor Rivera his gorgeous smile, it's game over. Henry Charles Kipping, who?
3. Is it Coco Martin?
Coco already portrayed the iconic Flavio in "Panday's" 2017 reboot, so he's got experience playing iconic, well-loved characters. Rizal, of course, would be a huge departure from Coco's "tara bakbakan" role in "FPJ's Ang Probinsyano" but wouldn't you love to see Coco talk passionately about Spanish independence while drinking Absinthe? We would.
4. Is it Piolo Pascual?
Oh, wouldn't Papa P be just the perfect Rizal? The Ultimate Heartthrob is all class; he's dignified, and he's got the confidence of a man who would die for his country. We haven't seen Piolo slip into the shoes of a man who challenged the government in a while, not since "Dekada '70," and he was so flawless in that film, that to see him play the National Hero would be such a treat.
5. Is it Zanjoe Marudo?
Zanjoe is a chameleon: he can do funny, serious, afraid. He can do anything, he can slip into a role and disappear in it. And something about him is just...heroic, don't you think? With his kind eyes, gentle voice and "ipagtatanggol ko ang Pilipinas sa lahat ng kaaway niya", he'd be a totally perfect Rizal.
6. Is it Carlo Aquino?
We're here for Carlo's perfect mix of hunky and nerdy because it's incredibly similar to the vibe that Rizal radiates. Aside from being a powerful actor, he's easy on the eyes, and he's easy to love and admire. He's just a hero waiting for his hero moment. Let's give it to him.
7. Is it McCoy de Leon?
Sensitive but with eyes so warm it can melt even the hardest of hearts, McCoy is a strong contender for the role of young Rizal. We can just imagine how well his deeply profound yet slightly naive vibe would work when, as Rizal, he loses his slippers during a boat ride and then throws the other one overboard in the off-chance someone in need finds the pair. Don't tell us that won't make you cry, because we all know it will.
8. Is it Joshua Garcia?
Joshua is a fantastic actor, that we can never deny. He's got the sensitivity and the "lalim" of somebody born to be in front of the camera. Imagine him in a tuxedo, talking about the plight of the colonized Philippines with his fellow Illustrados, and just try and tell us that you won't stand behind him as he calls for freedom. You know you'll follow him wherever he'll take you.
9. Is it Edward Barber?
Another strong option for the role of young Rizal, Edward might be a newcomer but he's proven his salt in the two movies — "Loving in Tandem" and "DOTGA: Da One That Ghost Away" — he's starred in. He's got the charm and the intelligence of a boy who would grow up and be a Filipino hero. And we're here for that.
10. Is it JM de Guzman?
For the last (but definitely not the least) leading man on this list, we have the amazing JM. Being a hero is not all good vibes and warm European countries, sometimes being a hero means hard choices and a firing squad execution. And we all know that JM can do dark, and he's so compelling that he'll make you sympathize and care 'til the very end.
So now that you have your choices, tell us which Kapamilya leading man floats your boat as the new Jose Rizal in this (hypothetical) upcoming movie. And you never know, maybe in the future, you'll realize that every vote counts. *wink wink*
Which Kapamilya leading man is your new Jose Rizal?
You can also give us your suggestions in the comments section below!
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