Young Filipino Jazz is waiting for his German lover Theodor at an airport in Davao, Philippines. The two have promised that there will be no calls on the day of the flight, strengthening the assurance that they will meet eventually.
Jazz took a long stroll to reach the airport of his hometown, much like Theodor going as far as Germany to the Philippines. While we saw a few glimpses of his determination that they finally meeting together after many online exchanges, doubt is also present.
Was Theodor serious when he said he will be visiting the Philippines to meet him? In this brief moment, a long intense wait, it is very possible that Theodor could be running a big scam. Jazz’s could-be fairy tale may be crushed into a painful what-if scenario.
What is scarier is the fact that Jazz and Theodor are planning to get married in Germany. Before this, Jazz had to undergo a months-long German language course to qualify, also preparing surprise presents to celebrate their meeting.
Theodor’s words are true and eventually showed up at the airport. The fairy tale is continuing to blossom into a possible reality.
Baby Ruth Villarama’s documentary Jazz in Love is filled with these subtle tensions. For a story wherein decisions can open a few brutal truths, it can be unnerving to see things expand.
It’s impossible not to wonder what might happen if Jazz and Theodor eloped to Germany and get married. What could happen to Jazz when he is away from his familiar roots and be surrounded by a foreign community?
For a country wherein “mail-order brides” have continued to be prevalent, Jazz in Love’s depiction of the Philippines is never diminished by the known constructs of the concept. It presents a country, a community that is never closed for openness, regardless if there are any hesitations.
Jazz being gay is never an issue for his family. What is troubling is him going away with a man they barely know. But who are they to prohibit Jazz’s longingness to idealize his optimistic view of a perfect life?
By the near end, Jazz in Love transformed into so much more. Jazz realized that his fairy tale may not be the fairy tale as he knows it. He decided to accept his reality.