I remember reading somewhere about a Pinoy sending a question to a world-renowned scientist. And of all the things he had to ask, he asked this: Is there a “forever”? From what I remember, the scientist took it as a question about time. Is time infinite? But of course we all know what the guy was asking. What he was asking clearly was: “May forever nga ba?” The question should’ve been: “Does everlasting love exists?”
I was reminded of this today because yesterday my friend and I were discussing Dan Villegas’ #Walang Forever. To be honest at first I thought the movie and I weren’t a good match. In fact, I had no intention of seeing it and only saw it because I had a free ticket. Libre eh. I mean aren’t we already ODing on the concept of romantic love? Is this mass hysteria on romance due to the fact that our lives have become unbelievably unbearable? These were the thoughts that I had as I sat inside the cinema while watching the two leads “meet cute” at the University of the Philippines. In fact I so hated what I was seeing that I just stared at the Exit sign thinking how much interesting it was to look at instead watching what was transpiring onscreen.
However, I soon realized that the filmmaker, Dan Villegas, and the writer, Paul Sta. Ana (who crafted a very entertaining screenplay) were up to something new. The lead character Mia is a writer who cannibalizes her own romantic experiences for her film projects. And it is her works, which obsessively charts her history with her lover Ethan that ultimately serves as a catalyst for much of the film’s narrative. In one instance, it reminded Ethan of how much they were in love when they first became a couple. It reminded him of the things that they went through in order to be together, and towards the end the self-referential movies served as some sort of a time capsule for their son who was about to grow up with a deceased father. I soon realized that --- yes --- the title indeed perfectly fits the love story. Wala nga naman talagang forever. Walang forever for the simple and obvious fact that we are mortals and when we die we take our love affairs with us to the grave. Sabi nga sa isang kanta mula sa musical na Rent: “I think they meant it/ When they said you can’t buy love/ Now I know you can rent it/ But at least you are mine love (now?).” ‘Di ba ang ganda? The idea being we are just living on borrowed time but while we are still here we can always take shelter in each other’s warmth and love.
But it’s not only that. I think no matter how strong the love between two individuals, the love between them will eventually wane or will become deeper or will become something else. Because we, as human beings, evolve as we grow old and to expect to love someone with the same intensity as the first time we first felt the emotion is simply impossible and to assume otherwise is ridiculous, don’t you think?
In human existence and human experience, nothing is forever. What is immortal, on the other hand, is our art. That’s where we achieve immortality. Art lives on. May forever sa art. Tulad sa kuwento nila Ethan at Mia. Their love story was eventually immortalized onscreen. It will live on forever (or at least as long as the reels are stored in a film archive). Totoo ngang sa love stories lang ang may forever dahil ang classic love stories, as long as they are being told over and over again, will live on. And when I finally got that, that’s when I started falling in love with #WalangForever.