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Baler is a 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival entry of Viva Films.

Baler is a drama film that stars

Anne Cutis and Jericho Rosales’s love story, where Jericho was a Spanish soldier and Anne was a

Filipina Baler native. The film is based from a historical event during the Spanish era known as “The

Siege of baler”. The Siege of Baler was an event wherein 57 Spanish soldiers held fort at the town of

Baler during the final years of the Spanish occupation in the Phillipines, from October 1898 to June 1899.

Baler won 10 out of the 21 awards of the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival

The movie starts with showing the forbidden love affair of Feliza Reyes (Anne Curtis) and Celso

Ressurección (Jericho Rosales). The next scene then showed Feliza’s father, Daniel Reyes (Philip

Salvador) as one of the heads of the rebel groups in Baler, attacking the Spanish soldiers in Baler. The

rebels attacked during the night, taking the Spanish soldiers by supprise, giving the rebels the upper hand

in their battle. When the rebels corned the head lieutenant of the Spanish soldiers, Lt. José Mota (Andrew

Schimmer), Daniel asked him to surrender. Due to Lt. Mota not wanting to surrender to the rebels he

resulted in killing himself by shoting himself on the head. With the rebels killing one of the Spanish

soldiers, it became hard for Feliza and Celso to meet secretly.

Daniel, being one of the leader of the rebels, wants to teach his son, Gabriel Reyes (Carlo

Aquino) how to shoot a gun. But Gabriel does not show any interest in being part of the rebel group

because he wants to be a priest. Feliza tried to talk to his father about being too harsh on Gabriel, but

Feliza was just scolded by Daniel saying that she should pity Daniel when he is being tortured and

molested by the Spanish soldier so he needs to learn how to protect himself. Feliza even tried harder by

saying that not all soldiers are like that but Daniel just got madder because he himself felt the oppression

of the soldiers because his sister was raped in front of him and his uncle was killed by the soldiers. He is

angered more by the fact that Gabriel wanted to be a priest, because during Daniel’s time of need the

church failed to helped him and his family.


Celso and Feliza met when Feliza and her friend Luming (Nikki Bacolod) was almost harassed by

a drunk Spanish Soldier. Celso made stopped the Spanish soldier before anything bad will happen. He

then showed interest in Feliza by asking her name. He also introduced his friend Lope Balbuena (Mark

Bautista) showing interest on Luming.

Because of the rebels increasing in number, Celso and Feliza was faced with a problem because

the inhabitants of Baler needs to evacuate for the rumors of eventual war that will happen. Celso planned

on eloping with Feliza by asking Luming give the message to Feliza that they would elope and they

should meet at their regular meeting place. Since the day that Celso planned on eloping was also the day

that the whole town of Baler would evacuate, and the possibility that her parents will find out about her

and Celso’s love affair, Feliza did not show up leaving Celso devastated. Meanwhile, Gabriel decided that

he does not want to evacuate with the who town because he believes that his home is the church, so he

went back to the church of Baler leaving is father disappointed and angered.

Later that night the rebels, together with some Filipino soldiers attacked the Spanish soldiers even

with the agreement between the Filipino government and the Spanish government at that time to a

ceasefire. With the Spanish soldiers taken by surprised by the attack they seek refuge to the church

wherein Gabriel and the parish priest were staying. The Spanish soldiers were outnumbered by the

hundred Filipino soldiers and rebels, so they decided to stay in the church. Daniel was asking for his son

to be given back to him, but Gabriel does not want to because he considers the priest more of his father

than Daniel.

On the 88th day of siege when the parish priest suddenly dies while holding a mass, the head

Spanish soldier, Lt. Enrique Fossí de las Morenas (Baron Geisler), suggested that he does not have to stay

since his master already died. Since the start of the Spanish soldier’s stay inside the church, Lt. Morenas

did not hels Gabriel as hostage it was his decision to stay with the parish preist. Celso and Lope insisted

that Gabriel would go back to his family because their situation inside the church is getting worst every
day, with the limited food and the sickness brought by the decaying bodies. Before Gabriel goes back to

his family Celso asked him to send his letter and Lope’s letter to Feliza and Luming.

Upon Gabriel’s return Col. Calixto Villacorte (Leo Martinez), the head Filipino soldier, asked for

the Spanish soldier to surrender within 24 hours or else the Filipino soldiers and rebels will free fire

towards the church. Lt. Moreno answered saying that he would rather die than surrender to them, this

resulted with the Filipino attacking.

Another problem arose for Feliza and Celso because Feliza is carrying their baby. Celso then

wanted more to escape and be together with Feliza. When Celso together with Lope decided that they

woud escscape and surrender to the Filipino, Celso was caught before successfully trying to escape. The

new commander of the Spanish soldier, 2nd Lt. Saturnino Martín Cerezo (Ryan Eigenmann), eventually

believed that the Spain already surrendered to the Filipino government, and decided to surrender as well.

On the 338th day of siege the Spanish soldiers surrendered to the Filipino Army in Baler. Feliza was

happy with the great news of the Spanish surrendering, bringing their son to welcome Celso, but was

deeply devastated when she saw the dead body of Celso because of the torture he experienced for being

caught escaping.

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