“Gameboys” fans already know the drill – there must be something bound to unfold when you see the rather elusive Elijah Canlas dropping eyeballs on his rather-rarely-updated Twitter account. Sure, every once in a while he drops in to respond to Kokoy De Santos’s “landi” here and there, resulting to a string of precious “emehan” which can be good enough ayuda to last the loyal “famdom” through long days of drought.
But it’s often Kulot who’s the instigator of the kulitan, to which Jelo plays along. So, yesterday late afternoon, when Kokoy tweeted “waddup” at exactly 5:30 p.m., soon followed by Elijah’s eyeballs at 5:40 p.m., which was even posted a minute earlier than his smiley reply to Kokoy, it was already quite clear that something concerning “Gameboys” might be announced before the day ends – and by “before the day ends,” “Gameboys” fans already know that it could be anytime between Elijah’s eyeballs and Kokoy’s waddup to midnight. Yes, the famdom can wait, they don’t care if they don’t sleep, the most devoted of them are loving masochists.
By 8:00 p.m., the mystery was revealed when “Gameboys” creator The IdeaFirst Company (TIFC) announced via Twitter the release of the official teaser of season 2 of “Gameboys” on their YouTube channel by 9:00 p.m. Another major detail was revealed too at this point, and the clue was in the hashtag accompanying the video thumbnail – that the teaser video may have something to do with the phenomenal P-pop group SB19 and their song “Hanggang Sa Huli.” The fans were once again roused to excitement, particularly since a lot of “Gameboys” fans are also fans of the group, such that they are able to spot the occasional SB19 references in the series and take delight from these.
By 9:00 p.m., the video streamed, and the fans were treated to even more surprising details that could be hinting at some thrilling things to look forward to. We see Cairo (Canlas) entering the dining room, disrupting Gavreel (De Santos) probably studying lessons in his laptop by sitting on his lap. Cai sits on Gav’s lap – not Cai frowning at Gav, not Cai going “ayie mo mukha mo” at Gav – baby boy’s all grown up now that he’s become the instigator of tenderness, pleading to his boyfie to quit the punchlines so he can just enjoy that intimate moment.
Through dialogue it’s revealed that the two have been living together for some time, and that this can be stretched further while Cai awaits the return of a Tita Leni from Baguio. The ecstatic Gav then proceeds to rocking his dear Cai on his lap, all the way to bringing him to the floor on a tickling frenzy, rendering Cai helplessly locked between Gav’s legs, and the two laughing the moment away, until the SB19 song plays.
What follows is a montage of scenes showing other characters such as Terrence (Kyle Velino) and Wesley (Miggy Jimenez) perhaps in the same house, and Pearl (Adrianna So) with them at some moments as well. If this hints that CaiReel and WesTer Union would all be together under one roof for season two, then the fans can expect another emotional roller coaster ride. And while he was not shown in the teaser, Achilles (Kych Minemoto) is still sure to appear as his name is listed in the cast near the end of the vid, along with that of Angie Castrence (from 2019’s “Iska”) who must be a new character.
Everything looks joyful and romantic, especially while the montage is powered by the soaring chorus of “Hanggang Sa Huli,” but the lyrics can’t help but signal something bittersweet up ahead, and the line “’Di man ako para sa ‘yo, puso’y di magbabago” can’t help but tug in an unsettling way. Does this mean that there’ll be a parting at season two? Will it simply be a physical parting, or something severe, like a breakup? If yes, what could possibly be the cause? If no, then why must we hear the assurance of “At kahit pa ang mundo ay mag-iba, ako’y laging nandirito…”? The entirety of “Hanggang sa Huli” is not exactly a happy love song after all. If anything, it’s a song about letting go, and a letting go in one of the most painfully ironic of ways, common to anyone young and hurting – letting go by asserting that the love will remain.
Or maybe there’s no need to worry about that. If there would be a movie, fans can only hope that whatever heartbreak they are bound to bear in season two would be duly rewarded by everything they wish for in the upcoming movie. They’re a tough lot, they can take anything, and that’s precisely because they also know that despite the occasional torture, they are in fact spoiled. It can be remembered that last year, they desperately campaigned for a season two, and they got it. The “Gameboys” famdom perhaps is a natural when it comes to manifesting.
As of this writing (it’s 3:40 a.m. on the laptop clock, and I got a fellow journo friend to thank for the torture of tipping me with this development earlier, on my day off, because he knows I’m a third-wheeling fan too and he loves me like that – love you too baby!), there is no TIFC announcement yet on when “Gameboys” season two would premiere. No such info on that could be gleaned yet too from any of the Twitter pages of producer Perci Intalan, writer Ash Malanum, designer Nestor Abrogena or consultant Elmer Gatchalian. Director Ivan Andrew Payawal is not even on Twitter (or is he? It won’t be hard to fancy him as one of those secret fans with one of those handles that go like “Eyeroll ni Direk” or “Maling Innova”).
But producer Jun Lana, at 12:39 a.m. today, called out to the fans in another Twitter post: “Wag muna kayong matulog…” The pandemic may have taken away midnight madness mall sales from us, but in the “Gameboys” famdom, the craziest drops occur during kalat hours. True enough, in less than an hour, at 1:19 a.m., he retweets a 1:17 a.m. post by the TIFC page, with him saying “Here you go. Pampagising…”
TIFC posed a question, one that most fans ask aloud often: “How different is Gameboys 2 from Gameboys 1?” The answer slot is left blank but the post is accompanied by a photo attachment bearing images of a shirtless Cairo and Gavreel. Shirtless and slightly wet. Make that shirtless and slightly glisteningly wet. And if that sounds astonishing, the fan reactions are classic – from hilarious cussing to other forms of interjections you can expect from anyone startled from sleep or has been fighting off sleep, the wacky thread has it. Some of the funniest would have to be those appealing to get the boys some towels lest they get pulmonya, and those taking note that their babies are truly babies no more.
Well, come to think of it, the shirtless Gav is reminiscent of the flirty shirtless stranger from the first season’s episode one. As Cai would put it, “Galit sa t-shirt.” And as for Cai transforming into someone a little bit more daring, that can only be welcome, and by all means necessary for the series’s rich narrative. Anyway, we can probably bet there’s still inevitably going to be traces of the good old supladito Cai. In the teaser, as he pleads for Gav to listen, at 0:55, Cai again calls him “gago,” though giggly and gently this time, no longer holding back, with much affection. NVG