“GomBurZa” Screening Brings History and Hope to New Bilibid Prison Inmates



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Last March 22, history came alive within the walls of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City as inmates were treated to a special screening of “GomBurZa,” the compelling historical film produced by Jesuit Communications (JesCom) and MQuest Ventures of MediaQuest, in collaboration with CMB Film Services.

Transforming the New Bilibid Prison Quadrant 2 covered court and Quadrant 1 Our Lady of Lourdes Chapel inside the Maximum Security Compound into makeshift theaters for the evening, inmates had the opportunity to witness the enduring spirit and soulful resilience displayed by the heroic trio of martyred priests Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, who were unjustly executed in 1872 on charges of subversion.

Upon hearing the heartfelt desire of the inmates to view “GomBurZa,” Fr. Cosme Carlo Lacang SJ, Treasurer of the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service (PJPS), coordinated with Fr. Nono Alfonso SJ, JesCom Executive Director, to bring the film to the compound. Through the chaplaincy news bulletin, it was announced by Bucor Chief Chaplain CTSI, Fr. Dominic Librea that the Bureau of Corrections granted permission for the showing of the film to their six compounds.

“It is undeniable and heartbreaking that many of our kababayans who come from difficult, low-income backgrounds are often victims of historical revisionism and fake news,” remarked Fr. Nono on the relevance of the film showing. 

“That is why, through GomBurZa’s powerful story, we hope to bridge that gap by bringing to light the emergence of the Filipino nation and how the fight for justice and true freedom is never over.”

Expressing their immense gratitude on behalf of the Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL), the Philippine Jesuit Prison Service (PJPS) shared through a Facebook post their appreciation for the opportunity to share “GomBurZa’s” story with the inmates. The struggle of the Filipino martyr-priests upon being charged and sentenced by the Spanish Colonial Government deeply resonated with the inmates. Yet, as history unfolded before their eyes, their spirits were uplifted, and their hearts were moved, witnessing that hope can never be broken.

In its journey to becoming the 49th Metro Manila Film Festival’s (MMFF) most-awarded film, “GomBurZa” sparked a heartfelt public campaign to be screened in more theaters, leading to packed cinemas and multiple block screenings. This genuine desire to rediscover the captivating story of Filipino nationhood extended to numerous school screenings nationwide and theatrical releases in the USA and United Arab Emirates, with an upcoming worldwide debut on Netflix on April 9th, the commemoration of “Araw ng Kagitingan”.

Thus, the screening of “GomBurZa” for the inmates at New Bilibid Prison reflects that the film’s inspiring message of patriotism, faith, and courage resonates in every Filipino heart, regardless of their circumstances in society. It serves as a poignant reminder that history, when shared and understood, has the unifying power to bring hope and transformation to all.

For more news and updates on “GomBurZa”, follow the film’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GomBurZaFilm

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