Thursday, May 8, 2014

Labor (Day) Week Aftermath


BORACAY 2014 from Jennever Pelaez on Vimeo.

First, I want to say this is neither a "Laboracay" hate nor a fanatic post. It's merely an attempt to recount how I spent one full week of my vacation days in Boracay during "Labor Day" Week.

The Good
"Hey, did you join a convent or something?", asked by a regular clubgoer that I've become friends with.

My answer to that question was that I needed a break from partying because the Labor Day Week in Boracay was coming up. I didn't want to abuse my liver and I wanted to lessen the alcohol belly I've grown before going into a beach party island. 

Forgive me for using the term Laboracay, but Laboracay was a regular partygoer's dream! It was fun seeing and recognizing "The Fort Strip" party crowd in their swimwear, partying like it's the end of the world. I have decided to stop regularly partying on Fridays, but special events like this remind me that I go to parties to be with friends and to dance like there's no tomorrow. Never mind the hot bodies, I came there to dance and shout all my cares away!  

Imagine running to the ocean to take a dip at 5AM to cap the partying that started at 5PM the day before. What better place to do it than in one of the most beautiful places in the world, at least for me. Every night was a new experience. There was something special about every party we went to: getting hosed with water, trying to walk on foamed sand, getting free passes for me and my friends to Club Epic (because heeey skimpy bikinis sometimes do the trick), VIP passes to one event, sneaking to another hotel's pool (because ours was too far), hyping a dead party crowd until everyone's dancing too. There were so much more!

This trip also paved way for  my wanderlust-raver friends to become closer to each other. You learn a lot about someone when you see them in times when they're off-guarded. It was an effort to find other friends that were there too, but when we did, even with our dugyot appearance, we still hugged it out like it was nothing.

Then there's the Steve Aoki set. The experience was amazing. It's definitely a year where local DJs playing famous DJs' songs aren't enough.

And on a more physical side of things, I lost some waist fat! I could definitely say I'm more fit now because of the cardio exercise brought by a whole week of dancing. Wearing my first dress to the office actually made me say "wow, this fit me really well now!" This sounds hashtag-humblebrag-y, I know, but I want to stay this fit, and maybe even more. 

The Bad
"I saw in the photos that Boracay is now trashed/destroyed/runied. Is that true?"

This is one common question I get from friends who didn't go to Boracay last week. By this time, you probably have seen the circulating Facebook post (not the photo above) about how partygoers have trashed the island. I wouldn't even say that those photos did not happen nor whitewash it because the reality is, those photos were real. The parties were so chaotic and cramped that it was literally sweat to sweat contact with everyone. Move a little, and those who are still sober would complain about not getting enough space. While those who are inebriated wouldn't, it doesn't change the fact that once you're in that mosh, all the trash gets thrown anywhere but the trash can, not that I actually saw one.

BUT (notice the caps and bold font style) as early as 3AM, there will be groups of locals who gather the trash into sacks/garbage bags. And as the crowd thins out, you'll see more and more people getting things in order. This is why my first comment during our first party night was "May prize ba yung maraming maiipong basura?" And come next day when we are to eat lunch (because that's when we normally wake up), the beach will be as pristine as it was before the parties started. 

It was like that for the five straight days that there were events. The beach was reset every morning like no trashing ever happened. And as I've recently learned, Mayor Yap would not approve the party permit of the resorts if they don't clean up their beachfront. It was only fair, don't you think?

To prove a point (and to show this trip's official jump shot heh), here's the beachfront in the Epic area in Station 2, where the parties last until sunrise, around lunch time. Aside from the algae and some rocks, there's no trash on the beach. This was shot in May 2, after the fourth party night of the Labor Day week.
Being the Palawe├▒a that I am, where we'd rather keep our trash in our bags than throw them anywhere (because of the strict littering ordinance imposed by former Mayor Hagedorn since I could remember), I'm all up for responsible partying. Aside from the overhype that said Facebook post created, one good thing that came out of it was that it sure became an eyeopener. Those who were in the island who witnessed the whole thing now have this innate feeling not to be tagged as someone who would willingly destroy a beautiful island they so loved.

Idea: The process they have is okay now but aside from locals, can everyone also contribute in their own ways to make sure we can still call Boracay a paradise? An early morning cleanup should be a thing since everyone is still awake by sunrise anyway.

Okay, I may have leaned a little on the fanatic side while writing this. In my defense, this was the separation anxiety talking. It was a fun escape while it lasted and I cannot wait for next year. Thoughts? 

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