It started with anger and a seemingly inevitable dive into hopelessness. We’re all wading into bleak waters these days, and sparks of joy can be hard to come by and take so much to grasp. Tara Frejas has a more coherent origin story for the Hello Ever After series. For me I learned it from her and Mina V. Esguerra, and then Mina shared her draft of the script. It was Ben and Naya from What Kind of Day, and it spoke of anger and love and pushing back.
It wasn’t difficult to start from there. I was at work then, because even when the world stopped our work did not. I guess like Ben, I was an essential. I opened a blank document and just alt+tabbed my way into finishing the script before lunch break.
I wrote Ringo and Kris (from You Out of Nowhere) in quarantine because of things I needed to process. How it’s scary, stepping out of the house when everyone else was staying in. How I had to, because I was a cog in a wheel and the wheel needed to turn.
Ringo was a corporate finance boy who actually liked his job but I knew despite that he’d feel cracks in his shield too, that innate positivity and drive to thrive that powered him. It’s weird driving out and seeing no other vehicles on the street, apart from the motorcycle of that policeman parked there to enforce the rules. (Whether those rules would keep us safe and alive or if that was even the goal was debatable.) It sucked to live away from the woman he loved, not be able to see her, much less touch her in ways that have been part of him now.
Kris, cookie shop boss, could stay in, because she had no choice, because her business was forced to close. And when the rules allowed her to open again she was left to her own devices, figuring out how to keep her staff and operations safe and their source of income running. And the cookies still needed to taste great.
In the script Ringo talked about how he had an epiphany, of how he had running water to come home to, and electricity, wifi, and security, because people were going outside and staying apart from their families to show up to do the work. He had to do his part too. It was such a Ringopiphany to have, and I thank him for that. Kris didn’t mind either. She just felt a little worried about how much she loved him.
Hello Ever After Episode 7: Favorite Alarm. Shooting with (from upper left) direk Tania Arpa, me (dying inside author), actors Raphael Robes and Gab Pangilinan. Photo by Mina V. Esguerra
Rap Robes and Gab Pangilinan were great as Ringo and Tita. I was virtually useless during recording, which was expected (I expected it, yes, I knew my limitations), and I just stayed there breathing on the mic (lol again SORRY) and watching art happen. I didn’t realize we’d run into trouble with bougainvillea (bogambilya). The ad libs stressed me out a little but they turned out great. I could never have come up with what Ringo ~did to that policeman.
Thank you to the Hello Ever After team, Mina V. Esguerra, Tania Arpa, Tara Frejas, Miles Tan, Layla Tanjutco, Ana Tejano. Thank you Jef Flores for the Jesus music.
If you watched Hello Ever After Episode 7: Favorite Alarm, thank you. If you haven’t yet, please see below. You’re welcome? Lol.
And please check out all the episodes currently up on the Romanceclass YouTube channel kilig.pub/youtube. Hit like and subscribe, please and thank you, and watch out for more to come. Next watch party is on Friday, September 4, 7PM for Bianca Mori‘s Kalad-Quarantine.
We’re angry, and at times devastated, but always there’s love, landi, and hope.
- June 26th, Make Good Days by Mina V. Esguerra (What Kind of Day)
- July 3rd, We Will Be Okay by Celestine Trinidad (Ghost of a Feeling)
- July 10th, Safe Space by Miles Tan (Finding X)
- July 24th, Happy Endings, Please, and Thank You by Tara Frejas (Like Nobody’s Watching)
- July 31st, Lab Notes by Six de los Reyes (Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions)
- August 7th, Midnight Melodies by Carla de Guzman (How She Likes It)
- August 21st, Favorite Alarm by Jay E. Tria (You Out of Nowhere)
- August 28th, No Giving Up by Ana Tejano (Keep the Faith)
- September 4th, Kalad-Quarantine by Bianca Mori (Chasing Waves)
Content warnings: set in the present time with the pandemic, community quarantine, thoughts of isolation, mention of COVID-19 deaths, mentions of parent with chronic illness, and film script with themes of sexual assault and suicide.