By this point, I was already over-thinking. Having realized that I was already okay and no longer living in the past, I was curious about my lover–was he also thinking the same thing? What if he realized something else? It was a crucial part of the gamble, I thought, as the play was really thought-provoking.
After Alaala, Init was next in line. Init’s world was indeed fiery, daring, sexy, and full of passion. No wonder, it reminded me of one of my important rules when it comes to loving: keep on loving, even if it burns you in the end. True, it would usually involve giving into some desires and even doing some crazy things but in the end, it would all boil down to one point: you’ve just loved.
Another exciting and at the same time thought provoking part of this stage was the sharing. We were encouraged to share the craziest thing we did for love as we burned our paper hearts given to us at the entrance.
Having been exposed to the world of the four Gods in that universe, we were all too overwhelmed with realizations and insights about the act of loving and love itself. Even more overwhelming, most especially in my case, were the memories from the past and some dreams of the future. It also allowed me to weigh things, think of the possibilities, and assess my current status. Though exciting and liberating (imagine, I got to share things and listen to stories of some strangers), it was frightening at the same time. How about my lover? What was he thinking right at the moment? That was still the question in my head.
Then, the moment of truth finally came.
After a short break in a room where we were subtly given some lessons in the art of waiting, we were called and instructed to go to the rooftop. There, we were asked to choose between the four gods, depending on where we were leaning to at that time. I chose Init and got a red finger light from one of the baskets, wondering what my lover would get. And guess what? He also picked Init and finally, after hours of separation, we still ended up in the same team. What a relief.
“Tayo o hindi? Meron o wala? Tutuloy o bababa?” (Are we together or not? Is there something or is there nothing at all? Continue or stop?) These were the questions thrown at us as we rode the metaphorical train of love, the Love and Relationship Train or LRT (actors really had a formation mimicking the structure of the LRT) where the space got smaller and things got more complicated each time. Yet, despite all these, we still continued.
A series battle followed immediately. These battles were between the different gods. First was Init versus Lamig, a question whether one would fall in love and completely indulge or simply back out. While this took place, members of each team cheered. People screaming lines such as “Go lang nang go!” (Just keep on going!) and “Tama na!” (Enough.) dominated the rooftop where we were located.
The battle between Alaala and Tanao followed immediately. This time, the question was whether one should let go of the memories or simply let go and look forward to what the future has to offer instead. Again, there was an exchange of lines between the members and some of the most unforgettable ones were lines such as “Nag-pinky swear tayo!” (We had a pinky swear) and “‘Wag kang mag-alala, iikot at iikot ang mundo kahit wala ako” (Don’t worry, the world would still revolve even if I’m already gone.)
After the battle was another scene which encouraged everyone to always keep the balance between four gods. As the saying goes, too much of something is bad enough. There should be a balance between Init and Lamig, in the same way as Alaala and Tanao should be balanced, too. One cannot just be too passionate all the time and forget about his or her own personal bubble. Definitely, the person has to take a step backwards from time to time and make use of the distance to process things. In the same way, one should make use of the lessons he or she has learned in the past so the person could be a better person in the future.
Then, something crazy happened next: a wedding. People who wanted to get married were wedded by a minister ordained by Universal Life Ministry, an online church, which also did online ordination. We got married, too.
The show ended with a very heartwarming scene where people exchanged things that they could offer their companions and loved ones who were there, and to strangers that they just met that night. Some gave smiles and hugs while other s gave time, words of encouragement, and other good things.
Apparently, people also had varying reactions. Those who were sawi (broken-hearted) surely had a different experience and reactions as compared to us: the ones who were in love. Surely, people who looked forward to new love and people who still could not let go of the past reacted differently, too.
That was the magic of the play, I guess. It was not about a specific ending at all and how you would want to see things would largely depend on you. What’s more important was the fact that people were able to realize and learn things about love, whatever they were.
While people enjoyed the final moment of the night’s show when in Manila, my lover and I also enjoyed a moment of our own: realizing that regardless of our pasts, the continuous battle between the gods of love, and all other possibilities that might hurt us someday, we would always try to be together.
And that night, we were sure, the gamble would continue even after the show.
(Photos by Eboy Alamodin)
Check out Carla de Guzman’s review on LoveNot here: https://www.wheninmanila.com/watch-sipat-lawins-love-not-yet-a-musical-the-second-time-around/