Sipat Lawin’s LoveNot – A Gamble that was Worth It

Sipat Lawin’s LoveNot – A Gamble that was Worth It


LoveNot 1

If you think you already know a lot about love, think again.

Love is a gamble. It is a gamble like watching Sipat Lawin’s LoveNot or “Love: This is Not Yet a Musical” with a lover: you do not really know what you will lose or gain at the end of the day or how you will feel after the show, but you still give it a try.

Actually, we had already been warned before the show began. First, that we would belong to different groups, depending on which color of finger light we were given (finger lights were given randomly and no one was allowed to choose a color). Second, that it was an interactive play. Meaning to say, there would be no specific or definite ending. Therefore, it would not be our typical theater experience.

LoveNot 2

Welcome to the universe.

Sipat Lawin’s LoveNot – A Gamble that was Worth It


Actually, even the beginning was very unpredictable. It was around 7:30 PM and people gathered at the ground floor of the Erehwon Center for the Arts, waiting for the show to start. Suddenly, all the lights went out followed by the arrival of two people wearing horse head masks, called “mga kabayo” or horses. Each of them wore two finger lights and they instructed us to group ourselves depending according to our finger lights’ colors.

LoveNot 5

Listen to your own heartbeat.


LoveNot 4

You are part of the story. It is not all about us.


LoveNot 3

Open up to strangers; don’t hold anything back.

That was the beginning of our journey. The next thing we knew, we were being introduced to the play’s own uniberso or universe, where four gods (Init, Lamig, Alaala, and Tanao) rule. We were also instructed, “Gawin ang tama. Keep right, bawal mangaliwa.” (Do what is right. Keep right, do not be unfaithful.)

Then, we were also exposed to the different characters and what they did in that universe. It also gave a hint on how involved each participant would be in the course of the show as there were activities that required sharing and participation.

After the introduction, we were divided into different groups. I belonged to the white group and we were joined by blue.

LoveNot 6

Love is to be looked forward to.


LoveNot 7

What memories are you going to take with you as you fly to your future?

The first stage in our group’s journey was into the world of Tanao. It began with a short speed-dating game where “two strangers who were not meant to meet actually met.” It also played with the entire concept of destiny (“Destiny, destiny, destiny!”) and even encouraged people to look forward to a new love, either with someone they hadn’t met yet or someone they already knew but not deeply.

We were also asked to imagine ourselves ten years from that moment and talk to our lovers in the future. Indeed, the journey to the world of Tanao was full of promises, reminding everyone that love is something people should look forward to, no matter what.

LoveNot 8

Know more about coldness; you may be unconscious that you’re already generating it.

After that, we were led into the world of Lamig, a world covered with coldness and longing for intimacy. Here, we were exposed to people infested by extreme coldness to the point that they would do some crazy things. There was even a scene featuring a girl who chose to be with someone just for the sake of having someone who could be there and listen for her.

Through some games, which I believe were metaphorical and/or symbolic in some sense, I also realized a lot on the idea of the personal bubble and how it would usually urge people to step back and unconsciously generate coldness.

LoveNot 10

Relive the memories.


LoveNot 9

Imagine someone from the past, remember the old days.

The world of Alaala was next and it was powerful enough to make people ponder about memories and the nature of memory itself. Here, there were lots of throwbacks–people we once loved, things about them we remembered and sometimes would still recreate and reminisce, and powerful images we would never forget. For some, it might have been a painful trip in a dark past they still could not let go while for others, it might have just been a mere act of looking back to some things that did not matter that much anymore.