tang on paul's shoulder

“I love you. Thank You.” Original Script Part 1

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Read Time:35 Minute, 41 Second
paul inside train
Paul inside the train from Bangkok to Aranyaphratet.

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

The twenties is the extension of teenage angst, only bluntly real, more complicated, more consequential and blissfully senseless. This is the story of four lost and jaded twenty-something gay guys whose intertwining lives share a common search for direction and purpose as they try to cope up with the joys and pains of a love that is never returned.

Everyone must have experienced loving someone who doesn’t return the love. It transcends gender and sexual preference and though I consider “I Love You. Thank You.” as an anti-thesis to romance for tackling the bittersweet story of unrequited love, the circumstances that the characters go through are as complex and poignant as love itself. Something is magical about chasing after someone who will never love us back and this is what makes it universal.

SYNOPSIS

Paul is a restless twenty-something who cannot get his life together. Worse, he’s been holding on to his love towards Red, his bestfriend Ivan’s boyfriend. Looking for a sense of direction, he goes to Siem Reap and meets Tang, who falls in love with him. But when Ivan leaves Red without any explanation, Paul finds himself caught between chasing his unrequited love for Red or choose Tang, the one who is always willing to give him love that he cannot return.

Note: The original script was written from 2011-2014 that coincided with the Bangkok protests in 2013. The final shooting script was the sixth draft.

FADE IN:

BLACK SCREEN, a small-sized text appears:

“The love that lasts the longest is the love that is never return.” – William Somerset Maugham

FADE OUT/IN:

  1. EXT. DAY. MONTAGE. BANGKOK, THAILAND.

A huge crowd is protesting in front of the White Palace. Soldiers are everywhere. Commuters at the BTS are wearing ribbons that resemble the Thai flag on their wrists. News reports about the ongoing Martial Law can be seen on Thai television and heard over the radio. It is an image of a country in turmoil, Thailand under Martial Law.

FADE OUT/IN:

TITLECARD: THE ONE WHO IS INVISIBLE

FADE OUT/IN:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. FERRY. CHAO PHRAYA RIVER.

PAUL, 27, a FILIPINO gay guy, is riding a ferry traversing the Chao Phraya River. He is looking at the view, the temples and landscapes on the riverside. He takes pictures of them.

TANG, 25, a THAI gay guy, is inside the ferry. He is talking sweetly to another Thai guy who is holding a flower. PAUL and TANG do not notice each other.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. KHAO SAN ROAD. THAILAND.

It’s a normal day in the crowded area of Khao San Road. Tourists, most of them Caucasians, are everywhere: haggling for souvenir items, drinking, eating, partying, some are lost trying to find their hostels.

PAUL is walking in the middle of Khao San Road, lost in the sea of noisy Caucasians and tourists. He is wearing his typical hippie get-up carrying a native Thai sling bag. He looks around, as if seeing the last of it. His one-liness is unsettling but he seems comfortable with it.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. LATER. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

The small bar is located in the middle of a line of nightclubs in Silom. Gay tourists and locals are scattered around. The music is loud, the organized chaos is typical of Bangkok’s colorful and wild nightlife.

RED, 27, a FILIPINO gay guy, is tending the bar. He looks vain and despite his uniform, he still looks fashionable. He is flirting with the patrons, giving them drinks. DARREN, 37, a Caucasian, comes in the crowded bar.

DARREN
Sperm, please.

RED prepares the cocktail drink called “Sperm” as DARREN watches him amusingly. DARREN scrutinizes the drink first before gulping it.

DARREN
Interesting. One more, please.RED prepares his order.

RED
On vacation?

DARREN
Work. This is my home for the next two years.

RED
I bet you have explored the city already.

DARREN
Been suited up for work since I arrived. It will be more fun if you’ll join me explore it.

RED winks at him.

RED
Another sperm?

DARREN nods.

IVAN, 26, another FILIPINO gay guy, is sitting at a corner near the bar. He is RED’S boyfriend. He looks like the typical upper-middle class yuppie, clean-cut and well-dressed. He seems fashionably overdressed compared to the casually-dressed patrons in the bar. IVAN is bored and his mind is somewhere else. A few people stop by his table to say hello and exchange pleasantries with him. RED is glancing at him. They exchange flirty winks and smiles. RED signals “ARE YOU OK?” IVAN nods.

TANG is sitting outside the bar. He is with a Thai guy, the one he’s with in the ferry. They are sweet to each other. PAUL arrives, goes to the bar and orders a SPERM from RED. He seems restless. TANG does not notice PAUL. After ordering, PAUL approaches IVAN who looks at his watch and smirks at him.

IVAN
The late Apolinario Jr!

IVAN is looking at PAUL and immediately knows that something is up. He is waiting for the latter to tell him something. PAUL breathes heavily, rolling his eyes. He dances like a loose drunk. IVAN is laughing at him.

IVAN
Guay teow o massage?

PAUL signals he’s hungry. They run out of the bar gaily.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. CONTINUOUS. PATPONG. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and IVAN walk around the red light district of Bangkok. They pass by the night market of Patpong.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. CONTINUOUS. STREETFOOD. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

IVAN orders noodles. He waits long for PAUL to make up his mind on which food to order. When IVAN’S order arrives, he starts to eat. After going to and fro at the stalls, PAUL finally decides on having pad thai.

IVAN
Kumustang araw mo?

PAUL
At last, binigay ko na yung resignation sa school.

IVAN
Anong sabi ng Dean?

PAUL
Nagalit! Mag-resign ba naman ako bilang teacher sa kalagitnaan ng school year. Pinagbabayad nila ako sa natitirang kontrata ko.

IVAN
I thought naman kasi you were joking when you told me about it. Buti di ka nila pina-deport.

PAUL
Sabi ko, hindi ko na kukunin ‘yung backpay at benefits ko. Sa inyo na. Tumalikod na ako at umalis.

IVAN
You’re getting nowhere na talaga, Apolinario Jr. Two weeks ago, ansaya-saya mo kasi mataas ‘yung evaluation sayo ng mga estudyante mo. You woke up last Monday, na-realize mo bigla na ayaw mo na magturo!

PAUL
Sa tuwing hahakbang ako papalapit sa eskwelahang ‘yun, hindi ko na magawang maging masaya!

IVAN
Paano mo na-conclude if you didn’t give yourself the chance to love teaching?

PAUL
Van, sa simula pa lang, hindi ko na alam kung masaya ba ako sa desisyon ko na magturo. Buti na lang, mga Thai ang mga ‘yan. Di nila napapansin kung mali ba ‘yung mga English grammar na pinagtuturo ko sa kanila.

IVAN
So balik ka na naman sa pagala-gala mo. The story of your life, always going round in circles na lang.

PAUL
Kailangan kong pumili: manatili o umalis. Alam kong mamumulubi ako pero hindi ako nagsisisi.

They continue to eat silently, IVAN looks at PAUL with a look of concern. IVAN finally breaks the ice.

IVAN
Tingnan mo that white guy na naka-tanktop, 2 o’clock mo. Kanina pa tingin ng tingin sayo ha.

PAUL
Imposibleng sa akin nakatingin ‘yan. Baka sayo!

IVAN
C’mon, lapitan natin tapos ipapakilala kita.

PAUL
Wala ako sa mood lumandi!

PAUL walks away from IVAN who is finishing his food as fast as he can.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. CONTINUOUS. STREET. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and IVAN are walking (or are back in the night market looking mindlessly at the souvenir items).

IVAN
Sa simula, you’re always happy with what you do but as time passes by, you end up not wanting it! Nung nagtrabaho ka sa hotel sa Phuket, umalis ka kasi feeling mo nanliliit ka. Ni-try mo naman mag-aral ng massage sa Pattaya, feeling mo naman, namomokpok ka. Lumipat ka sa Kho Phi para mag-bartending, inayawan mo kasi gusto mo i-pursue ang painting. Sa 5 years mo rito sa Thailand, wala ka man lang tinagalang trabaho. It’s a never ending transience!

PAUL keeps silent.

PAUL
Nabi-visualize ko na ang nanay ko na nagtatalak: Sana di ka na nag-abroad, wala ka rin lang napala diyan! Blah blah blah.

IVAN laughs.

IVAN
I can still imagine your Mom na galit na galit nung mahuli niya tayong nagmi-Miss Universe sa kwarto mo gamit ang mga kurtina niya.

They both laugh.

PAUL
Kung bakit naman kasi dun ka pa kumuha ng gagawing gown sa mga nilabhan niya. Malamang, mapapansin niya ‘yun!

IVAN
Hay, the crazy things we did in high school! Nami-miss mo ba ang Pilipinas?

PAUL stops walking. IVAN follows suit.

PAUL
Van, ayokong umuwi ng Pilipinas. Natatakot akong harapin ‘yung nanay ko. Ipapamukha lang niya sa akin na isa akong failure.

IVAN
Kaya before we reach 30, mag-ayos na tayo ng buhay!

PAUL
Anong tayo?

IVAN
Never mind!

PAUL Natupad na nga ang matagal mo nang pangarap na makaalis sa poder ng Daddy mo. Tapos naging manager ka pa ng hotel. May boyfriend ka pang mahal na mahal ka. Ano pa ang kailangan ayusin sa buhay mo?

IVAN
Andami mong nang sinabi! Uwi na nga tayo.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL’S place is a small studio-type apartment with no bedroom. He is living with RED and IVAN. He sleeps on a bunk. On the other side is another makeshift bunk where RED and IVAN sleep. Everywhere, there are picture/frames of RED, IVAN and PAUL’S selfies together where PAUL is the one holding the camera. There’s a particular picture there where PAUL is looking at RED who is looking at IVAN and IVAN is looking at somewhere else.

On this particular day, PAUL is awaken by the sound of RED’S voice singing to IVAN. PAUL doesn’t move, his eyes are half-open and sees RED leading a blindfolded IVAN to the table with a beautiful cake on it.

Babe, surprise!

RED
In seven days, 4th anniversary na natin, babe. So naisip ko, bigyan kita ng pitong surprises araw-araw—

He takes off IVAN’S blindfold.

RED
Unang surprise ko sa’yo—

IVAN is trying to be surprised and jolly upon seeing the cake on the table with the words “HAPPY 4TH!” decorated on it. He tries harder to look happy. PAUL can sense it.

IVAN
Thank you!

RED
I love you, babe!

IVAN
I love you, too!

RED
I love you more.

RED takes a video of him embracing IVAN from the back and they blow the candles together. IVAN kisses RED on the cheeks then hug each other. RED keeps on kissing IVAN’S neck.

RED
I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you—

He keeps on repeating it like a broken record. IVAN is not too verbally responsive. PAUL turns his back and covers himself with a blanket. He is upset.

The pain in Paul’s eyes though.
[Isn’t this scene different from how it was originally written?]

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. LUMPHINI PARK. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL is listening to a song on his earphone. He is looking at the photo of him with RED and IVAN (the photo where he is looking at Red). He tears off IVAN’S face so it leaves him and RED on the photo. He stares at it sadly. RED arrives.

RED
Iwanan mo na kasi ang lalaking ‘yan!

PAUL sees RED approaching, smiling wide and waving at him. He quickly hides the torn picture.

PAUL
May magkakagusto ba sa pagmumukhang ito?

RED
Malay mo. Tara! Chatuchak tayo!

PAUL signals “LATER”. RED sits beside him.

RED
Ano ba ‘to?

He snatches PAUL’S earphone to listen to the music. PAUL looks at him adoringly, hoping he’d like it.

RED
Madrama ka talaga. Ilang taon nang naka-loop ito sa player mo?

PAUL
Since forever.

RED
Kumuha ka na kasi ng boyfriend para sumaya ka naman. Isama mo na rin siya pag nagpunta tayo ng ChillSky sa Ho Chi Minh para di ka laging OP.

RED laughs.

PAUL
So kapag nakahanap ako ng boyfriend, buo na ang pagkatao ko?

RED
Siyempre naman.

PAUL
Kahit wala kang pag-ibig sa kanya?!

RED
Bakit ka magbo-boyfriend kung di mo naman mahal?

PAUL
Hindi lahat ng mahal mo, nagiging boyfriend mo. Pwede naman na mas masaya ka na tinitingnan lang siya.

RED
Tulad nga ng lagi mong sinasabi, may dalawang klase ng tao sa mundo—

RED/PAUL
Ang nagmamasid at ang minamasdan.

RED laughs hard.

PAUL
Hindi mo maiintindihan ang pakiramdam ng nagmamasid kasi hindi ka naman nababakante. Nakukuha mo lahat ng mga lalakeng nagugustuhan mo. Feeling pogi ka kasi!

RED contemplates if PAUL’s statement is true. He shrugs it off. PAUL looks at RED as if wanting to tell him something but he can’t.

RED
Sa anim na taon na pagkakakilala natin, wala ka ngang pinakilalang boyfriend o nagustuhang lalaki man lang ano?

PAUL
Meron. Hindi lang nila alam. Saka hindi na rin kailangan sabihin sa kanila.(beat) Tara na, baka magsara na ang Chatuchak.

They walk their way outside the park.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. CHATUCHAK. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and RED are at the flower market. PAUL is helping RED pick the most beautiful ratchaphruek (Thailand’s national flower) bonsai. PAUL is having a hard time deciding and he is not helpful at all. RED is very excited. He calls IVAN on the phone but he is not picking it up. He dials three times before IVAN answers.

RED
May dapat kang malaman, babe.

PAUL
Sorry, busy. Andaming clients. Usap na lang tayo mamaya sa bahay ha?

RED
May—

IVAN hangs up the phone. RED just shrugs it off and pays for the bonsai.

RED
Mas okay ba ito kesa sa aso?

PAUL
Mas maganda kapag aso. Cute ‘yung pug.

RED
Dadating din tayo diyan. Alam mo naman si Van, mas sanay na inaalagaan kesa sa nag-aalaga.

PAUL
Sana nga mapanindigan niya ang pag-aalaga diyan.

RED
Kakayanin niya ‘yan, maniwala ka lang.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. CHATUCHAK. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and RED are eating at a foodstall in the middle of the busy market.

RED
Kung hindi ako sumipot nung pinapag-blind date mo kami dati, ano kaya ang naging buhay naming dalawa ni Ivan? Siguro, palipat-lipat pa rin ako ng lalake at kama linggo-linggo.

PAUL
At ‘yang si Ivan, malamang sa hindi, ni-date na rin ‘yang mga ikinama mo. Hindi ‘yun mapakali kapag walang boyfriend. Pero kung destined talaga kayo, magkakasalubong at magkakasalubong kayo, sa liit ba naman ng mundo ng mga bakla dito.

RED
Mantakin mo. Magkaibang-magkaiba kami sa lahat nang bagay, nakikita mo naman ‘yun. Kaya hindi ko rin aakalain na aabot kami ng 4 years. Meron pa rin palang forever ang magkaibang mundo.

PAUL
Nagiging poetic ka na, Red. Hinay-hinay lang.

RED smiles.

RED
Kung hindi rin lang kami ni Ivan, what’s forever for?

PAUL
Corny mo!

PAUL is trying not to be upset then makes light of the situation. He hugs RED tightly then pulls out a punch on his shoulder.

PAUL (cot’d)
Alagaan mo si Van ha! Mananagot ka sa akin pag sinaktan mo ‘yung bestfriend ko.

RED
Ngayon mo pa ba sasabihin sakin ‘yan? Dami ko na yatang napatunayan sa kanya ah!

PAUL wipes the tear that falls from his eye as he gives RED another light punch on the shoulder.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. LATER. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED is tending the bar. DARREN is flirting with him. RED is responsive but he’s just being professional.

TANG is sitting outside with the same guy he was with previously. He doesn’t notice PAUL sitting alone in a corner.  PAUL keeps glancing at RED, glances of longing.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S APARTMENT. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

IVAN is preparing for work. PAUL is awake but he is not moving. IVAN goes out of the room without kissing RED who is sound asleep.

PAUL gets up and starts folding his clothes and prepares his baggage. He takes pictures of RED. He goes near him and lovingly watches him sleep.

CUT TO:

  1. INT/EXT. NIGHT. ANOTHER DAY. FERRY. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and IVAN are in a ferry traversing along the Chao Phraya River.

PAUL
Talaga? Libre mo?

IVAN
Yup!

PAUL
Kaka-promote mo lang?

IVAN
Nope!

PAUL
Increase ng sweldo?

IVAN
Nope! Stop asking me na. Enjoy na lang natin ‘tong dinner na ‘to, padespidida ko na sayo.

PAUL
Kung ganito ka ba naman lagi na hindi nangunguripot, eh di mas masaya. Since kinder, ako na ang laging nanlilibre sayo eh ikaw itong anak-mayaman!

IVAN
Daddy ko ang mayaman. But if he’ll discover na bakla ako, I’m sure hindi ako iiwanan ng mana nu’n.

PAUL
Kaya mas mabuting nandito ka lang na malayo sa kanya. Kung kasingyaman mo ako, kung saan-saan na ako nakarating at di na ako babalik ng Pilipinas!

IVAN
What’s with Siem Reap ba na lagi mong binabalik-balikan?

PAUL
Sunsets!

IVAN smiles. PAUL’s face lights up as speaks.

PAUL
At tsaka hanggang doon lang ang kaya ng budget ko! Gusto ko man mag-Europe, wala akong sapat na pera.

PAUL laughs then he turns serious.

PAUL (cont’d)
Halos every six months na lang akong ganito no? Nawiwindang, magulo ang isip, nangangapa.

IVAN
Hindi na ikaw si Paul kung hindi ka laging confused sa buhay.

PAUL
Noong bago tayo gumradweyt ng high school, di ba pinagkasunduan natin na pag 20 na tayo, dapat graduate na tayo ng college. Pagdating ng 23, may sariling kotse na. Pag 25, milyonaryo na, pagdating ng 30, naikot na natin ang buong mundo. Eh 22 na ako, tsaka pa ako pumirmi sa isang kurso!

IVAN
Hindi ka kasi mapakali sa isang kurso! At sorry talaga kung di na kita nahintay sa pag-graduate. Kung pwede lang talaga, I could’ve done it!

PAUL
Van, kailangan ko na bang magtapon ng mga bagahe? Mag-let go ng mga bagay-bagay na alam kong di ko makukuha? ‘Yung totoong pagbubuhat ng angkla na hindi na nakakadena sa mga teenage angsts ko? Mga angsts na kesyo magkahiwa-hiwalay ang pamilya namin. Na lumaki akong walang tatay…

IVAN
Am I hearing this? Pakisampal nga ako! Nagma-mature ka na, Paul!

PAUL
On second thought— ano na ang gagawin ko kung maayos na ang buhay ko? Ano pa ang pwede kong gawin? Parang may mali—

IVAN
Baliw ka talaga, Apolinario Jr!

CUT TO:

Ivan wants to make sure Paul will take care of Red.
  1. INT/EXT. NIGHT. CONTINUOUS. FERRY. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

PAUL and IVAN are standing at the front edge of the ferry, enjoying the nightscape of coastal Bangkok.

IVAN
Hypothetical question lang, Paul. Kung ako ang pupunta sa Siem Reap at ikaw ang maiiwan dito, aalagaan mo ba si Red?

PAUL is caught off guard by IVAN’S question.

PAUL
Naku Van. Hindi ko alam kung matitiis ko ang pagiging emotional nun. Tsaka allergic sa sili yun! Di ako mag-eenjoy kumain ng tom yum kapag kasama ko siya. Isa pa, maarte ‘yun, kailangan laging nakaplantsa ang damit at dapat laging branded ang suot! Nakakapagod kasama mag-shopping ‘yun!

IVAN
Pero aalagaan mo naman siya di ba?

PAUL is now more confused. He cannot decipher what IVAN is trying to drive at.

PAUL
Kahit naman ngayon di ba. Kayong dalawa ‘yung inaalagaan ko. Wala rin akong choice kasi kayo ang mga kasama ko sa bahay.

IVAN
Babalik ka pa ng Bangkok?

PAUL
Siguro… Oo naman!

IVAN
Kailan?

PAUL
Ewan ko. Depende siguro kung makakahanap ako dun ng trabahong magugustuhan ko. Bahala na. Ayoko munang gumawa ng plano.

IVAN
I know deep inside di mo pababayaan si Red, Paul.

PAUL
Ang morbid mo ngayon, parang mamamatay ka na at nagbibigay ka na ng mga huling habilin.

IVAN just looks at the beautiful view as the ferry is nearing its last destination.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. HUALAMPONG TRAIN STATION. THAILAND.

PAUL is buying a ticket at the train station. He sits down on the floor after, taking photos of anything he sees while waiting for the train: a Caucasian couple eating, a group of tourists laughing, sleeping locals, etc.

Outside, TANG is hurrying. He goes inside and buys a ticket then sits behind PAUL. He double-checks the plastic bag he is carrying then he reads Manga.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. LATER. TRAIN. THAILAND.

PAUL is standing at the last couch, watching the train pass by the green countrysides of Thailand. He is in deep thought. He takes photos of anything he sees.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. TRAIN. THAILAND. DAY. LATER.

PAUL is sitting on his assigned seat. He stretches his hand out of the window, enjoying the gush of wind blowing on his face.

TANG, seated not too far fronting PAUL, notices him and is stealing glances at him. He is amused by what PAUL is doing. He is trying to catch PAUL’S gaze to no avail.  

He gets his notebook and writes in Thai characters “Dear Grandpa, Imagine these are your favorite chocolates. They’ll make you smile when you take them.”

PAUL stands up and goes to the lavatory. When TANG takes a look at PAUL’S direction, he is disappointed that he is not there anymore.

He writes on his notebook (in Thai): “Also today, the most beautiful smile melted my heart.”

CUT TO:

Is it love at first sight for Tang?
  1. EXT. ARANYAPHRATET TRAIN STATION. DAY. LATER.

PAUL gets out of the train as TANG follows him. The swarm of people engulfs PAUL, TANG loses sight of him. He is disappointed but lets it go anyway.

  1. EXT. DAY. SAME DAY. ASIATIQUE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED excitedly pulls IVAN with him. They head to a big ferris wheel beside the shopping center. IVAN is clueless. RED lets out a heavy sigh, he is taking a video of it.

RED
Ito ang isa pang surprise ko para sayo, babe! Actually, suggestion ‘to ni Paul. Handa na akong labanan ang greatest fear ko.

IVAN
Are you sure hindi ka na magsusuka diyan?!

RED nods nervously.

RED
Basta para sa’yo, babe

IVAN
Tara!

IVAN pulls him but RED starts to chicken out.

IVAN
Nandito ka na so let’s do it!

RED
Parang ayoko na. Nakakatakot.

IVAN
Pinagod mo pa ako para dalhin dito.

RED
Sige, sige, eto na babe.

RED breathes heavily then they ride the ferris wheel together.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONT. ASIATIQUE. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

The slow ride is too much for RED to take. He is shouting, nervous, panicking and excited at the same time. He embraces IVAN tightly. IVAN is enjoying the experience.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. SAME DAY. THAILAND-CAMBODIA BORDER.

PAUL searches his bag for his passport. He starts to panic. He lets out a sigh of relief to realize it is just inside his pocket. He then walks towards the Cambodian Immigration but he seems lost but eventually finds the exact location.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DUSK. CONT. SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.

PAUL checks in his hotel. He sees the hostel staff gossiping outside and greets him. He looks at himself in the mirror. He looks tired and his eyes are sad. He lies down on his bed and falls asleep.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. PAUL’S ROOM. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED and IVAN are lying on the bed. Their backs behind each other. RED turns around and cuddles IVAN but the latter is unresponsive. IVAN gets up and walks to and fro. He is restless.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. LATER. THE STRANGER BAR. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED is bartending. DARREN is there in his usual spot at the bar, flirting with RED. IVAN is in his usual spot but he is totally bored. He goes to RED.

IVAN
Di na kita hihintayin ha? Pang-umaga ako bukas.

RED
Sige pahinga ka na, babe. I love you. Ingat.

IVAN goes out of the bar. A cute guy approaches him, they talk inaudibly. RED takes long, jealous glances at them every minute. IVAN and the cute guy walks out together.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. STREET. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

IVAN is waiting for RED to come out as he closes the Bar. They walk together.

RED
Saan tayo mag-breakfast?

IVAN
Kumain na ako sa bahay.

RED
Sa bahay natin o bahay ni Josh?

IVAN
What?

RED
So anong pinag-usapan niyo ni Josh kagabi?

IVAN
Wala, nangungumusta lang. It was just a chance meeting. Nasa kabilang bar siya, nakita niya ako. Hi-hello.

RED
Bakit sabay kayong umalis?

IVAN
He was going home na rin.

RED
Magkasabay kayong umuwi. Sa iisang taxi?

IVAN
Siyempre hindi! Nasa Mo Chit ang bahay niya, nasa kabilang dulo ‘yung satin.

RED
‘Yung totoo, Van!

IVAN
You’re implying na nagsisinungaling ako?! For what?

RED
Nagtatanong lang.

IVAN
Ibig sabihin may hangups ka pa sa ginawa ko with Josh. Red, that was 3 years ago at lasing kami when we kissed! Ilang beses ko ba ipapaintindi sayo na truth or dare lang ‘yun! Laro ng mga lasing! Kung gusto mo, tawagan mo si Paul ngayon para ipaliwanag uli sayo kung ano ang nangyari nun!

IVAN hands him his phone.

IVAN
Sige tawagan mo!

RED
Ayaw kong makipagtalo sayo dito sa gitna ng daan.

IVAN
Then stop acting like a whiny kid! Nakalimutan ko na nga ‘yung ginawa namin, bini-bring up mo pa!

RED
So totoo nga na nagkaroon ka ng feelings sa kanya!

IVAN
Ano?! Ito lang ba ang magiging stigma ko sayo habambuhay?! Matagal na nating na-solve itong issue na ‘to!

RED
Hindi mo siya hahalikan kung wala kang feelings sa kanya!

IVAN
Nonsense itong pinag-aawayan natin. Nakakapagod makipag-usap sa taong makitid ang utak! Ang aga-aga, bini-BV mo ako!

RED flares up.

IVAN
Bakit ba lagi mong pinaparamdam sa akin na mas mahal kita kaysa mas mahal mo ako?

IVAN cannot take it anymore. He wants to shout but all he can do is get frustrated. He walks fast as RED follows him.

RED
Sorry na Van, sorry na. Hindi ko sinasadya.

IVAN stops and looks at him. He wants to say something terrible but he controls himself. Instead, he makes his way to the BTS. RED is left there standing alone.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. ANGKOR PHNOM, CAMBODIA.

PAUL is riding a bike. He is exploring the place. He checks his map every now and then to avoid getting lost.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. ANGKOR WAT. CAMBODIA.

PAUL explores the temple. He starts with the lake outside where he stays there watching the tourists coming in. Then he goes to a secluded area where there aren’t many tourists. By dusk, he climbs to the top of the temple to watch the sunset and takes pictures of it.

For Paul, to truly find yourself, you have to get lost first.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. LATER. PUB STREET. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL is exploring the night market. TANG is there, he wants to approach PAUL but he has already gone away.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. LATER. PUB STREET. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL is eating alone. RED is calling on his phone. It took 4 calls before he answers it. RED is distressed on the other line.

PAUL
Ano na naman ang ginawa ni Ivan?

RED
Parang may nag-iiba sa kanya, Paul. Hindi mo ba napapansin ‘yun?

PAUL
Baka pagod lang o stressed sa trabaho. O baka umiral na naman ang selos mo?

RED
Anong gagawin ko?

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. APARTMENT. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

IVAN wakes up with balloons all around the apartment. RED brings him a breakfast in bed. He gives IVAN the bonsai he bought with PAUL.

RED
I am sorry.

IVAN is touched. He hugs RED and starts to tickle him. They tickle each other like kids playing.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL goes biking. He gets lost and reaches at local Khmer village. He sees so much poverty and a different culture than he got used to. He is moved by what he is seeing.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. TEMPLE BAR, CAMBODIA. NIGHT.

PAUL goes to the bar alone. He hesitates to go inside but eventually gathers the courage to do so. He drinks several glasses of cocktails then he dances in the middle, alone in a bar full of tourists.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. CONT. LINGA BAR, CAMBODIA.

A few number of people gather around a tranny show in Linga Bar but PAUL has too much to drink. He carelessly makes his way to the restroom. Someone is inside and PAUL wants to pee badly so he bangs the door.

After several attempts, TANG gets out of the restroom. PAUL goes inside and vomits. TANG helps him out.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. TANG’S HOSTEL. CAMBODIA.

PAUL wakes up in TANG’s hostel room, puzzled how he got there. He sees that he is still wearing the clothes he wore the night before. TANG is in the toilet. When he sees PAUL already awake, he gives him water.

TANG (broken English)
I hope you are comfortable waking up in someone else’s bed.

PAUL
This is embarrassing.

TANG
All the guys in the bar wanted to take you home. I was telling each one of them, nobody is touching my boyfriend!

PAUL
And nobody believed you.

TANG
Well, they did.

PAUL shakes his head, he looks at TANG suspiciously but TANG tries hard to look cute.

TANG
Teribble hangover?

PAUL
I don’t know why I drank that much last night.

TANG
Do you want something? Food?

He offers his empty bag of chips, TANG is embarrassed but he can’t get off the smile. PAUL declines so TANG gets PAUL’S things on the table and hand them to him.

TANG
Check them if they’re complete.

PAUL hesitates to check his wallet. When TANG turns his back to get more water, PAUL quickly checks it and his phone, everything’s there.

TANG
Why are you hesitating? You need my power, right?

PAUL is puzzled.

TANG
That’s Kurama from Naruto.

PAUL is clueless. TANG smiles and points to the manga on his bed.

TANG
You’re a local?

PAUL
Filipino.

TANG is amazed.

TANG
Can you sing for me?

PAUL
No way.

TANG starts to sing an indecipherable English/Thai song but he too, is out of tune. He laughs. PAUL starts to loosen up and laugh a little, too.

PAUL
Where are you from?

TANG
Thailand.

PAUL (in broken Thai)
Thank you for taking care of me!

TANG is impressed.

TANG (in Thai)
I just did what I had to do.

PAUL shakes his head.

TANG
I said you’re welcome. So you’re working here?

PAUL
No. I am just going round and round. But I used to teach English in Bangkok.

TANG
When I was five years old, I wanted to be a teacher like my grandfather. He used to bring me to his classes and—

PAUL
It’s not fun, believe me.

TANG
I want to be a writer more.

PAUL
I need to go. Thank you very much for being my boyfriend last night. I appreciate it, thank you.

TANG
Can I go with you?

PAUL gives him a suspicious look.

TANG
I just want to make sure you do not collapse in the middle of the road.

CUT TO:

The ruins of Angkor Wat are signifant places for Tang and Paul’s love story.
  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL and TANG are walking, making their way to the old market where the restaurants are. PAUL is still dealing with his hangover.

PAUL
What do you want to write about?

TANG
Just anything.

PAUL
About love? It’s a writer’s bestfriend.

TANG
Love is too complicated to write about.

PAUL
It is universal.

TANG
But it’s not just about flowers and chocolates.

PAUL
Then what is it about? Clouds and sunsets and getting soaked in the rain?

TANG
More than that.

PAUL
Let me read your works. I will try to at least understand.

TANG
I haven’t written for a long time.

PAUL shrugs, gives him a timid smile.

PAUL
And your real job is…?

TANG
A writer.

PAUL
You write about anything but you don’t write about love. That’s sad.

TANG
I write about porn.

PAUL laughs hard but he realizes that TANG is serious.

PAUL
Like an article or a review? Like what they do with real movies?

TANG
That’s correct.

PAUL
Oh. Wait, let me try to absorb that.

TANG
It pays the bills. So, any plans today?

PAUL
Rest, maybe.

TANG
Would you want to go to the temple?

PAUL gives him a tired look but he smiles.

TANG
I’m TANG.

PAUL
Paul.

They head to a hawker selling French bread and noodles. TANG is acting like a real gentleman: ordering for PAUL, handing him his order and even paying for it.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL and TANG ride the bike going to ANGKOR THOM. PAUL, in one instance, almost lost his balance. TANG extends his hand as PAUL reaches to it and regains his control of the bicycle.

They hold hands while biking for a few seconds before PAUL lets go of it.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. LATER. ANGKOR THOM. CAMBODIA.

PAUL and TANG are exploring the temple. They pass by the face carvings. TANG goes to it, he whispers to it like a little prayer. PAUL is amused (while taking pictures).

TANG
I hope he listens to my wish.

PAUL smiles.

TANG
My grandfather is dying with Alzheimer’s disease. Everyday, I tell the wind to carry my prayer that my grandfather be healed.

PAUL
Death makes you wonder if it’s worth growing old.

TANG
I’m scared of death.

PAUL
I’m scared of dying without having lived well.

TANG
Everytime my grandfather holds my hand, he would always say “your hand is the same as my grandson, TANG. What’s your name?

TANG smiles sadly. PAUL feels for him.

TANG (cont’d)  
Where is your family?

PAUL In a province called Bulacan.

TANG
Do you miss them?

PAUL is having a hard time answering.

PAUL
I don’t know. Yes. Maybe I do miss them, I just don’t know it yet.

TANG
My grandfather’s disease made me realize that the simple things like saying I love you or I miss you are the only words that matter. Especially to your family.

PAUL
Well, we are far from one other. I mean, we are a broken family— I don’t know who my father is, I have other siblings, one mother and 3 different fathers. We are not sentimental people. It’s just not our thing.

TANG
That is sad to hear. As for me, if I can find a good job in my hometown, I would stay with my grandfather. That’s why every moment with my grandfather is very special. I’m trying so hard to make each day the best time of his life. Even if he doesn’t remember all of them.

PAUL
That’s the problem with memories. They only make sense when they’re gone.

TANG
That is true but only if you choose not to let them go.

PAUL looks at TANG. He cannot answer back. TANG’S last statement affected him.

CUT TO:

Ivan always finds a reason to start an argument.
  1. EXT. DAY. LUMPHINI PARK. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED brings IVAN to Lumphini Park. They go to the area where the small lake is located.

RED
Parang first date natin no?

IVAN
Loko ka talaga! Kaya pala pinasuot mo sakin ‘tong tshirt na sinuot ko sa first date natin.

He hands IVAN two pieces of plane tickets. IVAN looks at it and he is overly surprised.

RED
Round trip tickets natin ‘yan. Bangkok to Ho Chi Minh, babe. Reserved table para sa ating dalawa sa Chillsky sa birthday ko.

IVAN’s mood changes from excitement to annoyance.

IVAN
Saan ka kumuha ng pera?

RED
Pinag-ipunan ko.

IVAN
Gumastos ka ng ganito kalaki para dito?

RED
Bakit hindi? Minsan lang naman ‘to.

IVAN
Pratical na tayo dapat ngayon, Red. Lalo pa’t hindi natin alam kung ano ang mangyayari dito lalo pa’t may Martial Law ditto.

RED
Eh di ba matagal mo nang gusto pumunta ng Chillsky. Eto na, magkakasama tayo sa birthday ko!

IVAN
Di ba nag-iipon ka rin para sa bakasyon natin sa Pilipinas?

RED
Oo, naglalaan din ako ng konti para dun.

IVAN is trying to find an argument.

RED
Ano ba ang nangyayari sayo? Lately, wala na akong ginagawang tama para sayo ah. Nilabhan ko ang mga uniform mo, galit ka. Sinusundo kita sa hotel, nagagalit ka. Tinatawagan kita kapag lunch break, nagagalit ka. Sa lahat ng ginagawang desisyon ko, nagagalit ka!

IVAN
Hindi ako nagagalit. Sinasabi ko lang kung ano ang nasasayang. Pwede naman tayong mag-celebrate ng anniversary na simple lang.

RED
Dati na naman tayong nagsi-celebrate ng anniversary na ganito ah! Nagta-travel together, nirereward ang mga sarili!

IVAN
You don’t understand eh.

RED
Ano ba talaga ang problema mo Ivan! Sabihin mo sakin kasi pipilitin kong intindihin!!

IVAN
Umuwi na tayo. Wag tayong magsigawan dito.

RED
Ipaliwanag mo sa akin ang mga nangyayari dahil unti-unti na kitang hindi nakikilala. Parang hindi ikaw ‘yung Ivan na nakilala ko 4 years ago o yung Ivan na kausap ko two months ago! Bigyan mo ako ng kahit kaunting dahilan kung bakit ka nagkakaganyan—

IVAN calms down.

IVAN
Ang point dito, you might need your money in the future.

RED
Pera ko ‘to, choice ko kung kanino ko gagastusin at pinili kong gastusin ‘to para sayo!

IVAN
So ngayon nagbibilang ka ng mga binibigay sakin!

RED is so frustrated he wants to punch IVAN but he can’t.

RED
Putangina naman Ivan o! Tangina—

He throws punches in the air and breaks down. IVAN stays there, trying to be calm and controlling his tears.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. SAME DAY. LINGA BAR. SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.

PAUL and TANG are drinking, they are enjoying each other’s company. They are unaware that they are both peeling their beers’ labels.

TANG
Chang or Angkor beer?

PAUL
That’s hard. I think Chang. Half-filled or half-empty?

TANG
Half-filled. Rainy or sunny?

PAUL
Rainy. Pasta or pizza?

TANG
Pizza. Air or sea?

PAUL
Air. Post-modern or traditional?

TANG extends his hand as if inviting PAUL for a dance. PAUL obliges.

TANG
Wanna have a picture of us?

PAUL
Sure.

PAUL takes out his phone and takes a selfie (only a part of his face is shown, he is holding TANG’S extended arm)

TANG
Send it to me please.

PAUL hands him his phone as he types his contact details. They continue to dance sweetly.

TANG
Traditional. Black or white?

PAUL
Black. Balloon or lollipop?

TANG
Balloon. Hot or cold?

PAUL
Hot. Full moon or new moon?

TANG
Full moon. Arts or science?

PAUL
Art. Guitar or piano?

TANG
Piano. Hi or hello?

PAUL
Hi. Sweet or sour?

TANG
Sweet. Leather or sneakers.

PAUL
Sneakers. Spider or cockroack?

TANG
Spider. Flood or earthquake.

PAUL
Earthquake. Love or chocolate?

TANG
Love.

They dance, flirting with each other.

PAUL (almost a whisper)
Chocolate.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. NIGHT. CONT. PUB STREET. SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.

Drunk, PAUL and TANG walk around the streets of Siem Reap, almost rowdy. They eat noodles together at a food stall. They are talking about mundane, silly things.

PAUL is talking to TANG in Tagalog, TANG replies in Thai (example: I like you very much, Paul. Paul answers in Tagalog that is not related to the question, example: Tangina, lasing na lasing ka na!).

CUT TO:

  1. INT. NIGHT. CONT. TANG’S ROOM. SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.

Both drunk, TANG brings PAUL in his room. TANG starts to kiss PAUL. They have sex. (TANG is bottom) TANG is more intense.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. NEXT MORNING. TANG’S ROOM. SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA.

PAUL wakes up with a hangover. Though not surprised to see TANG beside him, he lies there for a long time. He feels nothing, as if it’s just another casual sex. He leaves silently, still with a hangover.

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. RIVERSIDE. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL is walking home, feeling guilty and regretful.

CUT TO:

Lost, guilty and regretful.
  1. INT. DAY. CONTINUOUS. TANG’S ROOM. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

TANG wakes up without PAUL. He goes to the restroom to wash his face. He looks at himself in the mirror. He goes to his bed to try to sleep again to no avail. He starts writing on his notebook.

TANG
Dear PAUL,
(offscreem)
What does love mean to two strangers? When they reach the thin line that separates them? Does the magic of the moment vanish when their distance become their caring foe?—

CUT TO:

  1. EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. MRT. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

TANG is braving through the morning chaos of Bangkok BTS. He is walking in the streets of Silom, going to an office building, battling the hustle and bustle of Bangkok.

TANG
(offscreen)
When will I see you again, if may I ask? Will it be when the rain dries up and soil thirsts for his arrival?

CUT TO:

  1. INT/EXT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. TANG’S HOTEL. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL goes back to TANG’S hotel. He asks the receptionist but he says TANG has already checked out. PAUL is disappointed.

TANG
(VO OFFSCREEN)
Who goes through more pain? The one who went away? Or the one who’s left behind?

PAUL walks through the streets of Siem Reap.

CUT TO:

  1. INT. DAY. LATER. PAUL’S HOTEL ROOM. SIEM REAP. CAMBODIA.

PAUL is packing his things.

CUT TO:

Red, alone and left behind.
  1. INT. DAY. ANOTHER DAY. APARTMENT. BANGKOK. THAILAND.

RED wakes up to an empty house. He is surprised to see the closet without IVAN’S clothes in it. He searches around but there’s no note, not a clue as to where IVAN went.

The things that RED gave IVAN are there on the table: the bonsai, tickets, balloons, etc.

RED sulks in a corner. He cannot believe what is happening before his eyes.

CUT TO:

Part 2 in a separate post.

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