Sa Wakas, a musical play set to the popular songs of now disbanded Sugarfree, opened for its final run earlier this month.
Since its first run in 2013, it received praises and accolades for its relatable and heartbreaking narrative. As someone who experienced her first heartbreak some months back, I was thrilled to see a musical with the songs I had cried to, albeit it was also daunting to relive the pain.
Set in Makati, Sa Wakas is about three millennials—Topper, Lexi, and Gabbi, alternately played by Pepe Herrera and Vic Robinson, Cara Barredo and Kyla Rivera-Soong, and Justine Peña and Maronne Cruz respectively—who face the challenges that young Filipinos, at least in the middle to upper class, face daily. Following your dreams, losing passion for what you once loved, cheating, and the ever so relatable heartbreak and moving on. The ensemble also includes Abi Sulit, Moira Lozada, Laui Guico, and Hans Dimayuga.
As soon as the dimmed stage lights began to brighten, and Topper and Lexi started to sing “Kwarto”, tears were rolling down my face. I knew that from then on that I would be crying for the next two hours. You see, the opening scene will make you remember how it felt like to put your ex’s things in a box—reminiscing the happy moments of your relationship, crying, asking yourself where you went wrong, and how you’re going to find the courage to return the items that once held significance.
By the time the story unravels, I couldn’t choose which character to root for, or at least think is in the right.
Lexi, a demanding go-getter seems to have bruised Topper’s ego for his choice of career. Finding solace and acceptance from Gabbi, an idealistic writer, Topper begins to fall in love with his passion all over again. With Topper unable to break up and let go of Lexi, Gabbi is faced with a difficult decision to choose herself over the man she has fallen in love with despite all the pain.
Inspired by the American musical “The Last Five Years”, the story is presented in reverse allowing the audience to see why things turned out the way that it did. As the saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20 and it’s something that anyone who has ever experienced a heartache and successfully moved on can attest to. You see where you and your ex went wrong, what decisions you shouldn’t have made, and even what words you shouldn’t have said. It’s easier to dissect these things after a significant time has passed because the rose-tinted glasses are off and now you can see clearer.
It’s definitely a must-see whether or not you were able to catch the first run in 2013 and the second one in 2017.
“Forty percent of the show was changed just because four years is a lot of time for the creators to grow as artists, as writers, and as people,” Creator and Producer Cha Pammit said. “We took out old scenes and added new ones just to make it more understandable and relatable to people.”
While the song list remains the same, how the music now is different from five years ago. Musical Director Ejay Yatco notes that the actors and musicians that have come and gone contributed to the changes in each performance.
“It’s this whole culmination of the past five years we’ve been doing this,” he said.
After Sa Wakas’ final run, Pammit is gearing up for another musical called Muli, inspired by Ebe Dancel’s song of the same title about second chances.
“We sort of want to move on from Sa Wakas, kind of like an ex,” Pammit laughed. “It’s time to put it to bed and give audiences something new to relate to.”
While exiting the Power Mac Spotlight Theater, Cha asked me, “Are you Team Lexi, Gabbi, or Topper?” It took me quicker than a heartbeat to answer: Team No One.
What Sa Wakas taught me, and what people who experience heartache need to understand is that everyone has mistakes and shortcomings, and there’s never really a single person who is in the wrong when a relationship fails.
Sa Wakas, the Farewell Run, will run until May 27, 2018 at the Power Mac Spotlight Theater in Circuit Makati. For tickets and other information, visit any Ticketnet outlet or check out their official website.