Many Filipinos would argue that any song from Moira dela Torre’s repertoire is a direct arrow to the heart, regardless if you relate to the song’s narrative and accompanying message or not.
Because of this, the young singer-songwriter has embedded her name in the local music industry with emotional and heartbreaking stories that speak of love, pain, and all the things that make our hearts feel some type of way. You’d often hear a Moira song in the background of an emotional scene in a movie or teleserye, or a few seconds of it to change the atmosphere in a noontime or talk show when someone’s about to make a sentimental message to the camera—a cultural example of just how impactful her music has become to the Filipino psyche.
But the latest Moira production that has caused quite a stir among Filipinos is her 11-minute music video for the song, “Paubaya.” The mini film, aptly premiered on Valentine’s Day, stars one of the Philippines’ most beloved, not to mention, reel-to-real ex-couples in the past few years, #JoshLia.
The pairing merges two big names in the industry, Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto, who were once put together as a love team, but then pulled apart as the couple broke up in real life—breaking thousands of their fans’ hearts in the process.
On top of this collaboration being a surprise project with the former pairing, the thing that really got the nation talking was the few minutes at the song’s climax that was dedicated to Garcia and Barretto’s heart-wrenching dialogue.
The “Paubaya” message itself talks about letting go of someone you love, and entrusting that they’ll be okay in the arms of someone else. In JoshLia’s case, the two had an emotional exchange where they delivered lines that many believe are their personal messages to one another after their break up and the many controversies that followed. This general theory was solidified even further when the credits revealed that the dialogue was written by the two actors, themselves.
It’s a given that both successful young actors have an incredible talent in conveying emotions, crying on cue, delivering lines, and storytelling in general. But in the few minutes where they were given complete freedom to open up their hearts through self-written dialogue, it’s apparent that they’re drawing it from a place that’s much closer to home. With lines that specifically talk about abandonment, giving up, and other intimate matters, fans and non-fans believe that it was the closure the two needed to fully draw their chapter to an end.
As soon as the video premiered on YouTube, the Philippine trending topics on Twitter was dominated by keywords related the music video: #PaubayaMV, Julia, Joshua, “Ang Sakit“, “I Do”, and the name of Julia’s rumored boyfriend after Joshua, actor Gerald Anderson. The film was still what everybody was talking about the next day, with the same keywords filling up the country’s most talked-about topics.
JoshLia fans, of course, tore apart each line both actors delivered, feeling the double meaning in each uttered word. With the story of the music video itself, and the personal experiences of the ex-couple, it made the whole experience all the more powerful and heart breaking. Not only for fans of the former love team, but for all who watched it and felt all the vulnerable moments and too-real emotions conveyed on camera.
Moreover, in light of the overall story of Moira’s track “Paubaya”, a general message of painful acceptance and unconditional love was passed on on Valentine’s Day, a stark contrast to the usual lovey-dovey content that fills up social media on the holiday. As more and more people watched the short film, there were many discussions online on what the film is truly trying to convey.
At the core of it, the whole “Paubaya” narrative shares a heart-wrenching reality that a lot of us in failing relationships try very hard to deny. That is, one that is full of questions on falling out of love, letting someone go, and accepting that some things are just not meant to be. As we saw in the case of Joshua Garcia and Julia Barretto, no amount of love for the other person can protect them from pain, give them the strength to hold on, or save a relationship that’s bound to fail, if it’s just not right anymore.
Not that it’s any of our business to begin with, but we, and the rest of Filipino netizens, commend Joshua and Julia’s maturity and bravery for sharing their raw moments to the rest of the world so we could all learn from their story. And as the song goes, let this be a lesson to all of us that there are just some things that are best entrusted to fate and the workings of the world.