Source: Heneral Rizal’s photo still from Cinemalaya website

Unlike his brother Jose Rizal who is the National Hero, Paciano Rizal has remained a relatively obscure revolutionary figure until today.

Rarely discussed in Sibika at Kultura books, Paciano is more than just Jose Rizal’s big brother. He was one of the first leaders to heed Emilio Aguinaldo’s call, fighting for the cause of the revolution until he was captured in 1900 in the Filipino-American war. 

In contrast to his brother’s array of photos and fully documented life, Paciano has only two known photos available. He went into retirement after the revolution. 

In this year’s Cinemalaya Film Festival, director Chuck Gutierrez unveiled Paciano’s heroism in the film titled, “Heneral Rizal,” featuring the acting prowess of Tanghalang Pilipino artistic director Fernando “Nanding” Josef. 


Gutierrez is also known for creating the “Tinig ng Bayan: #SONAgkaisa” protest video featuring the Filipino translation of Les Miserables’ signature anthem, “Do You Hear the People Sing.” 

Written by anthropologist and Philippine studies expert Floro Quibuyen, Heneral Rizal is a part of the virtual exhibit “Cinemalaya 16: Stream Consciousness” and is under the Cinemalaya Retro-Shorts category. 

The film was produced by Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) in cooperation with Voyage Studios. According to Cinemalaya’s website, the film will be a part of the full-length stage production of TP in 2021. 

The 16th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival is open from Aug. 7 to 16. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the festival is being streamed online via Vimeo for bundles costing as low as P75. Jayziel Khim Budino