A boy meets a girl. They go through a series of dilemmas and may even be separated for period of time, but they would still eventually end up together. This has been the typical formula for cliché love stories — no matter if the film is foreign or Filipino.
But this is not the kind of love that we got in the critically acclaimed, homegrown musical “Sa Wakas.”
Co-written by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan and Mariane Abuan, with the music beautifully arranged by Ejay Yatco, Sa Wakas is a love story based on the songs of one of the country’s beloved alternative bands Sugarfree — making you realize how convoluted relationships can be and how they fall apart.
It tells the story of a freelance photographer named Topper (alternately played by Pepe Herrera and Vic Robinson), who was engaged to a neurosurgeon named Lexi (Caisa Borromeo and Cara Barredo), yet got romantically involved with a magazine editor named Gabbi (Justine Peña and Maronne Cruz).
This plot may seem all too familiar but with the musical’s backward narrative and how Sugarfree’s songs such as Burnout, Kwarto,Wag Ka Nang Umiyak, Telepono, Mariposa and Tulog Na were perfectly woven into the story as the cast gave these songs a newer and more painful spin, the audience’s hearts were wrenched and weren’t even healed even if the musical started with Topper and Lexi’s breakup and ended with their beginning.
Sa Wakas showed how hopeful Topper and Lexi were when they were still young; just when they’ve lived in together, got engaged and were just starting with their own careers.
But the musical also unraveled how their love changed through time — how Lexi ridiculed Topper’s passion for photography as she climbed through her own ladder of success in the field of medicine, how Topper let his infidelity win over his commitment with Lexi because he was more in sync with Gabbi who can understand his sentiments about passion and appreciation for one’s own craft.
The musical was even more appreciated because it is an ode of the ways and also the ups and downs of modern relationships.
Couples these days choose to live in together before getting married with an idea that they could figure out how to work things out with that situation. Relationships seems so easy from the start until different careers and priorities get in the way. Infidelity seems so easily forgiven as time passes in movies yet in real life, this shatters relationships permanently. Love seems enough in other fictional stories yet in Sa Wakas, they showed that without being firmly decisive in who to love and spend the rest of your life with, people settle with fear and convenience which ends up in a more poignant heartbreak.
The audience reacted with laughter, curses and tears during the show because in one way or another, Sa Wakas mirrors the ghosts of their own pain and even their failed relationships.
But no matter how painful it is to watch the musical, everyone is wishing for another re-run so others can also have an experience of this emotional rollercoaster ride. Here’s a video of the cast singing Mariposa for Rappler.com:
[Entry 202, The SubSelfie Blog]
About the Author:
Apple Gamboa was an interview and field producer for GMA News, particularly the newscasts Quick Response Team and News to Go. She is currently a producer for lifestyle TV shows and documentaries. Travelling and music is her passion and she takes risks as her personal reality medicine. Journalism 2010, UST. Read more of her articles here.