Paulo Avelino Finds Himself a People's Hero for Our Times

Presenting our Esquire Man of the month: Paulo Avelino, star of 'Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral'.
IMAGE Koji Arboleda

Three years after Heneral Luna took Filipino cinema by storm and swept audiences off their feet with its spectacular set-piece action, director Jerrold Tarog is just about ready to release its follow-up. Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral hits theaters on September 5, and is the second film in a planned trilogy about heroic figures from Philippine history. It tells the story of Gregorio del Pilar, the Boy General and the hero of Tirad Pass, whom history has painted as a prodigy, a playboy, a hatchetman, and a green military commander charged with great responsibilties.

This complex character will be brought to life by Paulo Avelino—who himself is something of a prodigy, with a solid career in show business already behind him at age 30. Goyo will be Avelino's biggest film to date by most scales, and the latest in a streak of hits that he has led.

Just last year, Avelino starred in I'm Drunk I Love You with Maja Salvador, who played the quirky, free-spirited girl to his brooding, sensitive guy. Later in 2017, Avelino saw another hit in Ang Larawan, in which he played the lecherous and self-invested pianist Tony Javier. Then earlier in 2018, he starred in Kasal, a rom-com that had him face Derek Ramsay for the affections of Bea Alonzo. Avelino also currently stars in the ABS-CBN teleserye Asintado, in which he is the tip of a love triangle involving two sisters who were separated at birth.

Especially in his recent work, Avelino has come into his own, both as an actor and as his own brand of leading man. He's presented an alternative to the masculine tropes of local show business—not as bold and brash and typically macho as broad audiences are used to, but just as self-assured in his own soft, shy, sensitive way. He's brought this to his characters, and we can expect him to bring it to Goyo

Ahead of the film's release, we spoke to Avelino about del Pilar himself and what it took to play the character; but also about his favorite films, the music he listens to every day, taking his Norton cafe racer to Tanay, and eating vegan ramen in Scotland. Stay tuned.

Gregorio del Pilar will be the next action hero plucked from our history books and painted across the silver screen. Paulo Avelino is poised to play the role in Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral. IMAGE: Koji Arboleda

First image: Comme des Garcons cardigan and pants, One Rockwell; Robert Friedman shirt at Tryst, Power Plant Mall. Second image: Christian Dior jacket and Valentino pants at Homme et Femme, 8 Rockwell; Comme des Garcons shirt, One Rockwell.

Photos by Koji Arboleda; grooming by Joan Teotico of New Monarq Creativx using NARS Cosmetics; hairstyling by Jayjay Gallego of Creations by Lourd Ramos Salon.

Shot on location at ABKD x Ñ, Poblacion. Follow on Instagram.

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