Sa Wakas, A Pinoy Rock Musical’ Is Now On Its Final Run, Here’s Why You Should Watch It Before It’s Too Late
Why do relationships fail?
This is the central theme of the critically acclaimed play, Sa Wakas, A Pinoy Rock Musical. The bittersweet tale of love and betrayal revolves around three 20-something adults in Manila: Topper, a photographer in search of his big break, yet struggling at adulting; his fiancé, live-in partner, and college sweetheart, Lexi, a strong-willed resident doctor working hard to become a neurosurgeon; and Gabbi, a fun, carefree magazine editor Topper meets during a rocky phase, and eventually falls in love with.
While the storyline may seem cliché, Sa Wakas, with its unique narration and tug-at-your-heartstrings playlist, is anything but sappy. Instead, it’s a realistic depiction of modern day romance—and a painful, melancholic one at that. Now on its third and final run, Sa Wakas is showing until the end of May at the Power Mac Spotlight Theater in Circuit Makati. If you haven’t seen the play, here are four reasons why we think you absolutely must—but just make sure you bring a box of tissue with you to the theatre.
1. The unconventional storytelling
A breath of fresh air from usual love stories, the narrative of Sa Wakas begins at the end—where you will witness Topper and Lexi’s heart-wrenching breakup. Slowly but beautifully, the story unfolds itself, working its way back to the couple’s happy beginning, which eventually, will leave you asking—How can something so beautiful end in tragedy? Rather than providing answers, the musical closes with haunting questions. If you’re watching with a longtime partner, it’s advisable to debrief together and resolve to avoid the same mistakes.
2. The nostalgia
Honestly? It was hard not to sing along during the three hours inside the theatre, and some in the audience certainly did! Based on the songs of Sugarfree, this homegrown musical is one of the first local plays to merge the worlds of pop rock and Broadway. Featuring all time favorite OPM songs like "Wag Ka Nang Umiyak," "Hari ng "Sablay", "Makita Kang Muli", and "Prom", watching Sa Wakas is a trip down memory lane for Filipinos who grew up listening to the iconic band. It also features an original song, "Bawat Daan", which was composed by Sugarfree lead singer, Ebe Dancel, and eventually became an award-winning single for Star Records.
3. The social relevance
The musical is not only notable for its hard-hitting portrayal of relationships in crises, but also for touching upon relevant issues today. A recurring theme is the tension between advocates of the sciences and the arts—Lexi, the resident doctor, pokes fun of Topper’s photography, diminishing it to “point-and-shoot,” and asking if he could make it a hobby and find a “real job” instead. In contrast, her work is noble, dignified, and helps save lives. The constant harping on careers and discouraging words bandied are surely relatable to millennials.
As Topper worries about his affair, he calls his Kuya. Who else do Filipinos turn to, if not to family? Kuya happens to be an OFW, and after a bleeding-heart duet on the difficulties of working abroad to provide for family, they get down to business. Kuya assumes that it was Lexi who cheated, and promptly calls her all sorts of unsavory names. But when Topper confesses that it was he who strayed, Kuya withholds judgement. Is it just because they are family, or because society has long held double standards for men and women?
4. The amazing, proudly local cast
This proudly Filipino musical has an impressive roster of local theatre veterans much lauded for their raw, realistic portrayals.
The protagonist, Topper, is alternately played by Pepe Herrera (PETA’s Rak of Aegis) and Vic Robinson (Cornerstone Entertainment’s Ako si Josephine). His partner, Lexi, is played by Kyla Rivera-Soong (Repertory Philippines’ I Love You Because) and Cara Barredo (Repertory Philippines’ A Little Princess). The stylish editor, Gabbi, is portrayed by Maronne Cruz (Cornerstone Entertainment’s Ako si Josephine) and Justine Peña (Resorts World Manila’s Cinderella). Finally, the charming ensemble is composed of Abi Sulit, Hans Dimayuga, Laui Guico, and Moira Lozada.
Sa Wakas is co-written by Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan, Ina Abuan, and Charissa Pammit. The musical is beautifully arranged by Ejay Yatco, created and produced by Charissa Pammit, and is presented with the Manila Fringe Festival, with set and lighting design by Ed Lacson, Jr. and Miguel Panganiban, respectively.
For more information, visit www.sawakasmusical.com.
Lead photos from Sa Wakas, A Pinoy Rock Musical