Ebe Dancel Sings ‘Burnout’ and ‘Prom’ at Sa Wakas’ Closing Night
The success of Sa Wakas’ 2017 run is undeniable. All 34 shows of its entire one-month run (January 12-February 12) at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater were quickly sold out, wrought by intermittent website crashes due to high volumes in online ticket sales. What a feat for an original, homegrown musical!
Sa Wakas is an OPM musical co-written by director Andrei Pamintuan and Mariane Abuan and produced by Charissa Ann Pammit. It is a bittersweet contemporary love story weaved together with the songs of popular rock band Sugarfree, artistically arranged by Ejay Yatco. It had a limited 2-week run at the PETA Theater Center back in 2013, which quickly gained a cult following.
(Sneak Peek: ‘Sa Wakas’ Cast Performs Excerpts From Much-awaited Rerun)
At last February 12’s closing night, after Pepe Herrera, Cara Barredo, and Maronne Cruz took their final bows as Topper, Lexi, and Gabbi respectively, Sugarfree frontman Ebe Dancel graced the stage and gave a heart-rending speech:
“One day I sat down and I was trying to figure out what to say to you all tonight because I’m not the most articulate person in the room. So I was having dinner with my manager and she said start with ‘Thank you’ and then susunod na lang lahat. So sa lahat po ng pumunta sa 34 shows… all 34 shows sold out and di ko pa narealize na… minsan nakakalimutan ko na ganun ko pala kamahal at kamiss ang banda. I want you to know that you lift me up everyday. Dahil diyan mga kaibigan I want you to know mahal ko po kayong lahat ng labis at tunay. So thank you.”
(In Photos: Sa Wakas the Musical)
He then thanked some of the people in the audience who were close to his heart—his best friend and manager, and his close family and friends. After which, he gave the audience some very personal anecdotes of how the musical came to be.
“When I was first approached with the idea of the musical, I just left the band. I was very skeptical. For the record, Cha, Ejay, Andrei, when you first came to me, I thought you were out of your minds! And I didn’t feel like dealing with my ghost… ghosts just yet. But call it a leap of faith and I said, ‘ Okay sige.’ So I lent you 20 or 25 of my songs, and a few weeks later they came back to me and said, ‘We love it! We think we can make this work but can you write one more song?’”
“As exasperated as I was, I went home and I wrote ‘Bawat Daan’ and that night kasi I felt very, very lost. I was on the verge of quitting music for good. But because of that song, because of this musical, I think I found my way back home. So thank you guys, everyone.”
Bawat Daan is the original song he specifically wrote for the musical 4 years ago.
(Review: ‘Sa Wakas’ is a Dramachine)
He then teased the audience of the possibility of a third run.
“Should there be a third run, I hope everyone here on stage will be present okay? And know that I will with you every step of the way kahit hindi ako araw-araw na nagpapakita sa inyo.”
“You guys are so talented and, you know, 20 or 30 years from now, I don’t care if people remember my name or my face. Ang tanging mapapamana ko lang sa mundong ito ay ang aking mga awit. And thank you for keeping the songs close to your hearts. THANK YOU for keeping the songs close to your hearts.”
After that emotional speech, Dancel performed two of his most popular songs—Burnout and Prom, with the entire cast and the audience members on their feet!
The night ended with him giving the entire cast a warm group hug. We were very fortunate to have borne witness to such a poignant and electric evening. What a night!
You can watch the entire coverage below.