GomBurZa cast and crew celebrate with Thanksgiving Mass and Dinner



In the spirit of camaraderie and fellowship, the cast and crew of GomBurZa gathered together for a thanksgiving dinner held at the Loyola School of Theology’s Jaime Cardinal Sin Center on 13 May 2023.

After months of filming across several locations including Taal, Tayabas, Baras, and Intramuros, GomBurZa’s director, producers, cast, and production team—all brought together in one place for the very first time—relished the opportunity to celebrate the fruits of their hard work.

Beginning with the celebration of the Holy Mass at the Oratory of St. Ignatius at the Loyola House of Studies, presided by Jesuit Provincial Fr. Primitivo Viray, Jr., SJ, the cast and crew of Jesuit Communications’ second major motion picture then convened at the Jaime Cardinal Sin Center to break bread and share stories of their recent accomplishment.

“Honestly, I am really, really happy with the outcome of the movie so far. As we edit, it really filled my heart and I was moved by the film. I am very proud of it and you guys also should be proud of it. Thank you to all of you for pouring your heart and soul into this film,” acknowledged Director Pepe Diokno of the team’s standout dedication.

For Cedrick Juan, who plays the role of Padre José Burgos, being part of the historical film presents a great privilege to shed light on the heroism of the iconic trio of Filipino priests.

“It really is a great honor to be part of GomBurZa as one of its lead cast. This is not just a film that aims to give entertainment, but really is relevant as it gives importance to our country’s history.”

Castmate Enchong Dee, who plays Padre Jacinto Zamora, sees GomBurZa as a “legacy work” that “shines a light on our national heroes, who may have some misinterpretations about them or who aren’t widely recognized yet.”

Meanwhile, Dante Rivero, who completes the trio as Padre Mariano Gomez, challenged GomBurZa’s crew and other actors to “make the film as beautiful as possible” so that “viewers will understand what really transpired and how the Philippine revolution all began.”

Originally intended as a milestone project and gift to the Philippine Church in celebration of the 500th year of Christianity in the country, GomBurZa was temporarily shelved due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet for JesCom Executive Director Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ, the trying times only solidified the need to reignite Filipino nationalism and love for the country. As restrictions gradually opened up, the best and brightest talents in Philippine cinema were all eager to showcase their brilliance once again as GomBurZa’s production began.

“This is a really important project, not just for JesCom, but for the Church and our country. The story of GomBurZa is a story that shows the beauty, depth, and the nobility of the Catholic faith. It also proves, as historians say, that the Catholic Church was truly part of the emergence of the Filipino nation,” underscored JesCom Executive Director, Fr.Nono Alfonso, SJ via video while on tertianship in Australia. 

“I remember during one of the shoots in Taal, I saw Ericson, our production designer, busy recreating the UST hall for the graduation scene of Padre Burgos. I noticed the flowers in the set were real. Every detail was carefully prepared,” also shared JesCom Associate Director and GomBurZa co-Executive Producer Fr. Ro Atilano, SJ in his message.

“So I asked him why? He said: Father, this is the biggest movie since the pandemic lockdown in 2020, where our creativity was suppressed. That’s why we brought out all of our creativity in this project,” he added.

As the evening’s festivities drew to a close, Fr. Atilano offered his heartfelt gratitude to his fellow Jesuits and to all the guests in attendance.

“Tonight is a celebration of thanksgiving. On behalf of Father Nono, maraming maraming salamat. Direk Pepe Diokno, thank you for being very patient and cool in the set, and to our GomBurZa– Tito Dante, Cedrick, and Enchong- we prayed for you. God gave you to us. This movie is made for you,” he expressed.

“And to all the cast and crew, thank you for being part of this miracle. God bless you all.”