Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I went to Boracay for the first time around a decade ago, for work. I was alone. I didn’t know anyone. And I ended up spending five glorious days inside my hotel room watching HBO (okay, and CinemaOne, too, I think). When family and friends told me how stupid I was for just vegging inside the room, I didn’t really care. I didn’t feel bad about it, or even regretful. As it turned out, I would get to go to Boracay every year—for work—for several years, after that first time. I didn’t get to go to Boracay the last couple of years so when I recently received a couple of invitations to go there for work, I was really excited.
Last April 13, Edd Fuentes Publicity flew me there to cover the Century Tuna Superbods 2012: Salute to Sexy. I was billeted at Le Soleil and for my roomies, I had Julian Mauricio of StarStudio and Carlo Velasco of Travel Life. The moment we got to our room, I turned the TV on and what greeted us was a love scene between Richard Gomez and Jacqui Lou Blanco. I knew right then and there that we’d have lots of fun in Boracay.
There were lots of celebs. Some of them I just saw recently, like Solenn Heussaff (I went to Subic with her for Fashbook a week earlier). Others I was glad to see again after forever, like JM Rodriguez, Tim Yap, and Aljur Abrenica.
Of course, it’s always nice meeting new celebrities. I finally got to meet Derek Ramsay, Lana Roi of Eurasia, Regine Angeles, and Anthony Pangilinan (still can’t believe I was drinking with Mr. Maricel Laxa!).The event was very entertaining as well, and it’s not just because everyone showed a lot of skin. Just like every pageant fanatic, I loooved the question-and-answer portion of the Superbods finals. We were actually surprised to find out that they had a Q&A portion, but, hey, we had a blast listening to the contestants’ answers (and stifling a laugh sometimes). My personal favorites were Charlie Sutcliffe and Kate Goza. They both didn’t place—how sad.
Best thing about the trip, of course, was the company. I’m glad I was able to finally get to know Julian more, after several failed attempts to hook up and do videoke. It was great to catch up with Carlo, who never ran out of cool stories. I had fun with the girls, too: MJ Marfori and Gretchen Fullido, who I always see but never get to hang out with, plus Kristine Serrano, the Lovi Poe lookalike who has awesome taste in music. It was really a fun bunch. Imagine, we were talking about anal sex one lunch time.
After flying back to Manila last April 15th, I had a couple of days to rest and work and then it was back to Boracay for me, this time for the 15th Nestea Beach Volley.
One thing special about this Boracay trip is how I ended up being the pimp to four Boracay virgins: Jennifer Pagalilauan of Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, Mau Belmonte of mb.com.ph, Honey Escullar of Philippine Star Entertainment, and Jovic Yee of Inquirer 2bu. From day 1 to day 5, I was the daddy who showed them around, plus introduced them to choriburger, Jonah’s shakes, and calamansi muffins.
Lots of celebrities were in Boracay, mainly because of the Nestea Beach Volley. They brought in the ever-bubbly Maja Salvador; the stunning Bianca Manalo; Karylle, who needs a couple of my songs for her new album; Erich Gonzales, who surprised me with her sincerity and eloquence; Rafael Rosell; Derek Ramsay, who I met during the Century Tuna event, so close na kami; Matteo Guidicelli, who I now semi-like; and Jake Cuenca, who I also now semi-like.
I also bumped heads with Gian Magdangal and Sheree, The Manolet Ripol, Kiko Rustia, Rovilson Fernandez, Will Devaughn, and Daniel Matsunaga, who seemed like he was perfectly fine being single again.
This particular Boracay trip was very memorable for me. One sunny day, I suddenly felt sad, unloved, and unappreciated—like no one cared. Being around couples and families and barkadas made it worse, actually. I am not a party boy but I went out that night and tried to dance the emotions away. It helped a little. The DJ and the alcohol made me forget for a while, but I knew it’s still just there. I’m in a very weird place right now, actually.
Oh, I almost forgot. Highlight of my trip? On my way home one night, there was this attractive American couple that tried to pick me up. They stopped me, and started thanking me for all these things. I had no idea what they were talking about, of course. One was touching my arm while the other was shaking my hand. One guy asked where my hotel was, and then the other suggested I go to their place. I was a little too buzzed and drenched in rainwater and brokenhearted to reply. I was just smiling the whole time. I don’t know how I escaped them, but I did. Next thing I knew, I was back in the hotel, chugging on water, enjoying a bar of Cloud 9 dark chocolate cherry, and staring into blankness while listening to “Sunrise” by Simply Red.