It's that time of the year again. If you're stuck at home, far from the hottest beach-set paradise in the Philippines that has drawn local and international tourists plus the big lifestyle brands year by year every Labor Day, well, prepare to be disappointed. The bitter ones may just have to shut themselves out of Instagram or Facebook for a while, unless they can go through all these photos hashtagged #LaBoracay without going envious. Because, really, who wouldn't want to be in Boracay right now? It's the place to be to meet friends old and new, drink your hearts out to cheap booze, get fat from all those seafood and fruit shakes, and dance to EDM and more until it all gets blurry. You're basically awake every night of that weekend.
Anyone who has gone to #LaBoracay goes on to tell some of the best memories in her life. Or, for her who has drunk too much to remember anything, she has got some memories that technically wouldn't count as such. In time for the much anticipated annual summer event, we've asked millenials around why despite #LaBoracay being too overrated to some, it still seems worth coming back to.
People have a good time no matter what.
Misery loves company, and it can be one reason why people are swarming on the island every Labor Day weekend. "I tried my best to enjoy the parties with my friends even deep inside, I was hurting," shares Jake*, who works in PR. Prior to the trip, he and his partner dealt with rough times, but pushed through with it anyway. Their relationship unfortunately ended after the trip, prompting Jake to call the episode in jest as "LABOracay."
On the other hand, those who feel uncomfortable at the idea of LaBoracay (i.e. too much partying going on) just have to open their eyes. "I used to be always uptight but going to LaBoracay has somewhat changed that. Indeed, life begins at the end of your comfort zone," Eros*, a personal shopper, shares after attending the annual event last year. Since then, she has learned to be more friendlier, especially during social gatherings.
You lose things, but you earn something else.
Yes, it'll happen if you let it happen. Marketing officer Lean* only realized that he lost his newly-purchased smartphone the morning following the parties. Nurse Carlo*, who has gone to LaBoracay in the past two years, always returned home missing something–a hat and then a shirt, respectively. Regardless of the things they lose, what matters are the good memories and the friendships formed. As the saying goes, "What happens in Boracay, stays in Boracay."
One night stands? Yes, they are a thing.
For some, though, next to making new friends, hooking up is really the goal when in LaBoracay. How wild things can go? Kyle*, a chef, recounts that his friend brought along several condoms for the trip for protection. "He went home without the condoms," he laughs. Berna*, a freelance writer confessed that she even took advantage of a cute drunk guy she met on the dance floor while partying the night away. Things became so hot, she took him to her hotel room that night. The rest was history.
But finding *real* love is possible.
Consider LaBoracay a real-life dating app, if you may, with some of these "hook-ups" progressing into bona fide relationships. Betty*, a sales manager, has kept an open mind to the idea of finding The One on the wild island. In fact, she met her current boyfriend during LaBoracay, and they've been together for almost four years and counting. "What's a better way to find love than in paradise?" she adds.
[related: The D Word: True Love Needs No Societal Labels]
*Real names withheld
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Banner photograph courtesy of Cris Lomotan