Sugarfree’s music had always been associated
with my high school and early college years. I dunno why. Maybe because those
were the years when Filipino pop rock and alternative bands enjoyed their heydays—they
dominated the airwaves and topped local music channels’ hit charts. Along with
Hale, Bamboo, Imago, Moonstar 88 and even Spongecola, my friends and I began to
find their music weaved with our adolescence, our dreams and all the other
things in between those teenage years. By the time they began to compete with
newer acts for stage presence and airtime and recently the band’s break up a few
years ago, Tulog Na was slowly fading at the back of my mind.
And then I saw over the internet that Sugarfree’s
songs will be featured in a new rock musical entitled Sa Wakas. I said wow. I
was looking for somebody who might want to join me watch the musical at PETA
Phinma Theater when Ate Anna gushed about the play during one of our office
breaks. Ok then. We caught the 8PM show last Sunday when it should have been
tomorrow night. No worries, except that Kuya Paulie wasn’t available so RJ used
Sa Wakas was a love story—the end of one and
the beginning of another. There’s Topper (Victor Robinson III), professional
photographer who falls in and out of love with two women, Lexi (Laura
Cabochan), an ambitious neurosurgeon vying for residency and Gabbi (Justine
Pena), a budding writer.
The play has two acts and the story is told
through a series of flashbacks and several flashforwards. The plot, for me, was
quite typical: Lexi tries to balance love and career, Topper felt he was on the
backseat; both try their best to make up for lost time and missed opportunities
but eventually Topper kind of give up. He meets Gabbi, sleeps with her, Lexi
learns of it and the two end their five-year relationship. Time gives the
characters a bit of relief and from there, new beginnings form for everyone.
The whole soundtrack courtesy of Sugarfree’s
powerful songs and Ebe’s stirring vocals gives the play a fresh spin. I hope more
Filipino songs get this kind of treatment—there’s APO’s, which got featured in
Chris Martinez’s film, I DooBiDooBiDoo. A play with an Eheads libretto might
also be good. But what will thrill me most is when playwrights decide to use
Aegis’ heart wrenching songs as their soundtrack. I’d pay to see that one.
I like Act Two better than Act One. The first
half was just a bit messy for me. I tried to weave the whole thing through the
flashbacks but the scenes came in too fast. Plus, I felt Topper was just such a
douchebag. He can’t make up his mind and his indecision hurts much more. He
could have just ended the relationship. But of course, it wasn’t easy.
The second half was much better and was more
coherent. I liked the scene where Gabbi and Topper were on top of a building
just swapping stories and then Kwentuhan plays. But of course, the last scene
was both romantic and hurting—Lexi and Topper just moved in together and they
were chatting happily of how they met, the future plans that they have for each
other and the promise to stay together in the end. They dance and sing “Parang
atin ang gabi, para bang wala tayong katabi, at tayo’y sumayaw na parang di na
tayo bibitaw..” and then, the lights fade to black.
It can be both true and not in real life. I
wouldn’t really know because I haven’t been in any relationship at all. But I
guess, with the stories I heard, the movies I saw and the experiences I’ve seen
from friends and other people pretty much gives me general picture of how
relationships tend to get not-so-happy endings. I get sad for them in a way,
but well, that’s how some things end.
Labels: 2013, 22, feeling profound, feelings, music, playdate, playlist, sa wakas, sugarfree