Highlights: Boracay 2014

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“Laboracay.” It seems that aversion to the word is directly proportional to one’s age. College graduates and privileged high school students see Labor Day weekend as some sort of Spring Break. Yuppies and gentrified beachgoers see it as a lamentable mass exodus of selfie-stick carrying kids to one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines – and the world.

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My friends, colleagues, and family have sung countless songs about the beauty of Boracay’s long shoreline. They say the white sand is unlike any other. The sunsets are breathtaking every single time. You’ve never been to a beach party unless you’ve done so in Epic or Hey Jude. That sort of thing. That’s why it’s touted the best beach in the world – unless it’s algae season, or Laboracay weekend.

I have to admit that I’ve never been to Boracay until this summer. I was there to cover a 3-day event for work, which happened to take place during Laboracay, and algae season.

I brought my big laptop, two cameras, and more cover-ups than bikinis. We had drones, tripods, flash drives. So I wasn’t expecting to see a lot of the famous beach – I was expecting work, maybe one sneaky dip, maybe a few lucky shots on my phone for posterity.

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We arrived on the beach on April 28. Woke up early the next morning – and everything was still calm! So at least I still got to say Hi to Boracay on my own terms

I’m glad to report that the entire trip wasn’t so bad. I actually enjoyed it even though I was very, very tired everyday (imagine having to tweet + take pictures by the hour, interview people, coordinate with 5 different teams for stuff you need for coverage, that sort of thing). After all, how hard is it to have a good time in paradise right (even though you’re there with about 100,000 other people)?

Here are my favourite moments from the trip:

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1. The sunsets

The sunsets, whether on a beach or a yacht, truly live up to their hype.

By late afternoon, the entire beach is bathed in an impossibly golden glow. Everyone can be a movie star under that light. You’d be hard pressed to take a snap without people in it (as I tried to do) – but then I realized that the sunset isn’t for my camera to record. It’s for my own eyes to see, enjoy, and remember – a gift from the Creator.

 

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2. Visiting Crystal Cove

Here, we found underground caves, crystal formations, serene palm trees and unique bird species. The only other island we visited during the trip turned out to be a postcard-worthy spot.

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3. The NESTEA Beach Yacht Party

Admittedly it went on far too longer than we all wanted to… but you’ve got to admit that the first few hours were really kind of fun.

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4. The parties

Granted, the only actual parties I’ve been to even on dry land are ones that I’m covering/attending for work (what a Lola) so I’m thankful to at least attend one of the more talked-about ones here in Boracay this year. Getting to wave around Nestea tumblrs with LED lights sticked on them is also kind of trippy. Great high.

Carol and I with DJ Cedric
Photo by Paolo Pangan

Interviewing DJ Cedric

5. Interviewing Cedric Gervais

You can read and watch our exclusive interview on Rappler. Cedric was warm and very talkative and we were able to make the most of our brief sit-down w/ him. I like that I also got to edit the video clip using awesome footage shot by our DOP, Vic. These days, I’m writing more about stuff like health insurance and credit cards more than the culture-vulture stuff I love and I’ve done for ETC, so this was a very welcome revert.

In the end, I did get more than one sneaky dip and quite a few good memories to take home. 🙂

 

 

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