In a recent press event, actor and TV host Enchong Dee found himself revisiting a viral issue from April of the previous year. The discussion centered around the MaJoHa incident that trended on social media during his time as the host of Pinoy Big Brother (PBB) Teens.
The MaJoHa issue gained attention during the April 9, 2022 episode of PBB Teens, where housemates Gabb Skribikin and Kai Espenido were asked a historical question. Tasked with identifying the portmanteau or collective name for Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, collectively known as GomBurZa, Kai remained silent, prompting Gabb to suggest the term “MaJoHa.”
Sharing his thoughts on the situation, Enchong remarked, “It’s somewhat full circle for me because I was a host for that particular season when that came out. And it’s a bit disheartening that it originated from them, especially considering that they are educated individuals. The lack of awareness about something as fundamental as GomBurZa is quite saddening.”
While acknowledging the contestants’ limited knowledge about GomBurZa, Enchong also admitted his own gaps in understanding the historical figures. He confessed, “Even I, myself, don’t know much about the story of GomBurZa. So I don’t blame them. I think there are aspects we can enhance.”
Stressing the significance of education, particularly historical education, Enchong highlighted the need for improvements in the educational system. He emphasized, “I’m not an expert in this discussion, but our educational system could be improved to better understand the current state of the Philippines and the reasons for the Filipino fight for freedom.”
Enchong is one of the stars of GomBurZa – an official entry to the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival – Dante Rivero and Cedrick Juan as the titular priests.
The story revolves around the time when Padre Pedro Peláez (played by Piolo Pascual) began and led the secularization movement. Through this movement, the priests inspired the educated middle class as well as the liberal intellectuals and students, including the brother of Jose Rizal, Paciano Mercado (portrayed by Elijah Canlas). The advocacy for the Filipinization of the Church continued despite the execution of Gomes, Burgos, and Zamora as their death never silenced the enlightened.
The GomBurZa execution in 1872 was the inspiration of Jose Rizal in writing his novel El Filibusterismo, and also sparked the Philippine Revolution that was led by Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan. National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquín even said, “If there is a date we can designate as the beginning of a nationalist consciousness, it is February 17, 1872.
This historical drama, aside from three lead actors, brings together a powerhouse cast with outstanding actors including Khalil Ramos, Ketchup Eusebio, Epy Quizon, Jaime Fabregas, Tommy Alejandrino, Neil Sese, Arnold Reyes, Nanding Josef, Paolo O’Hara, Sue Prado, Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, Sheenly Gener, and Elora Españo.
Produced by JesCom Films and MQuest Ventures, the film is the second collaboration of director Pepe Diokno with multi-awarded cinematographer Carlo Canlas Mendoza.