It is easy to like Virgin Labfest 2015’s HINTAYAN NG LANGIT. It is a romantic-comedy about two people who had wounded each other in the past, had nursed their wounds for years, only to find each other in an unlikely, yet inevitable, rendezvous. It is witty, straightforward, hilarious and (at times) bittersweet. And did I mention that it comes with wonderful and endearing performances by its two main cast?
For two years, Lisang has been waiting for her time to move on to another place. Her purgatory is a steaming, yet relatively comfortable receiving area where she dallies conveniently while waiting for the call to the next eternal level. Enter Manalo (Nonoy Froilan), a newcomer who just died and has joined Lisang in this world of the waiting. The thing is, Manalo and Lisang have a thing in the past; back to their early years when love was young, hopeful and blind. Today, in this steaming purgatorial room, both will have to face each other and try to settle their unfinished businesses; even if it would mean one Ampalaya scene after another.
Ballet Philippines‘ and real-life couple Nonoy Froilan and Edna Vida grace the Virgin Labfest stage with their amazing wit, chemistry and presence. Froilan as Manolo is eternally dashing, wonderfully sexual (and, oh! the butt!), and perfectly lovable. Here, Froilan offers his audiences the Mr. Right that we never had (or the one that got away). He orchestrates the stage with a careful portrayal of the still-wonderful-ex-boyfriend, who, despite the wounds, still lingers in our memories and painfully haunts our dreams. Vida’s Lisang is grumpy, discontented, stubborn, yet sincere and gloriously regal. She is unconventionally lovable — an adoring central character created to reflect our listening eyes, and tearful pasts. As Lisang, Vida wondrously commands her audiences with her wit, her sarcasm and her remarkable sense of rhythm.
Written by playwright and spoken-word artist Juan Miguel Severo and directed by Raffy Tejada, HINTAYAN NG LANGIT examines our desires to close old wound and give chance to forgotten dreams. This wonderful retelling of a love story is reminiscent of Woody Allen’s wit and Severino Reyes’ experimental settings. It offers a new look at our subjectivities of our heavens. It argues that life may have had taken its bid on us, but the next level may still have fresh chances and new hopes, and it is up to us if we still want to pursue and move forward and live (again).
Throughout its 45-minute run, the audiences of HINTAYAN NG LANGIT freeze with pasted smiles, burst hearty laughs and sigh unexpected tears.
If only for this one, I suggest you go run to the CCP box-office and get your Virgin Labfest ticket for Set C.
This is a must-see.
If you’d like to listen to the Jellicle Podcast on HINTAYAN NG LANGIT, click here.