By Nickie Wang/Manila Standard Today
What makes the tropical island Boracay the hottest and best beach this side of the planet?
It’s not the 7-km stretch of powdery white sand beach with pristine blue water or the upscale resorts and hotels that are lined up along the beach of the tropical island. It’s actually the lifestyle and culture distinct to the island that match the expectations of party people, beach bums, backpackers, and tourists alike.
While the rest of Luzon was being ravaged by a typhoon, Boracay island made everyone’s sky bright and sunny as celebrities trooped to the small paradise for some summer actions. From May 8 to 9, a bevy of television personalities attended the Nestea Fit Beach Volley National Circuit ’09, this year’s hottest summer event, and gave the adage “work hard and party harder,” a whole new meaning.
Nestea Fit Beach Volley is an annual sports event that gathers some of the country’s best collegiate teams. This year, 18 dynamic teams from different colleges and universities battled out for a hundred-thousand-peso cash prize and the prestige to be called the country’s best.
The real highlight of the summer event was not the presence of the athletes or the physically vigorous sport, but it was the appearance of local celebrities who brought entertainment to the crowd at the white sand court of Bora. Crowds couldn’t help but cheered for their favorite celebrities and consumed megabytes of memory taking gigabytes in digital snapshots of Rhian Ramos, Paolo Contis, Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Polo Ravales, JC Tiuseco, and Survivor Philippines finalists Jace Flores, Kiko Rustia, Kaye Alipio, Nikki Dacullo, Rob Sy, and Vern Domingo.
“We are here to enjoy and have fun, that’s the real essence of the entire game,” Survivor Philippines first sole survivor JC Tiuseco told us after his team ruled the sand court and won the celebrity volley showdown.
Most of the personalities who participated in the celebrity matches admitted that they don’t know how to spike or didn’t even have a short volleyball crash course beforehand. In short, most of them often hit the inflatable ball out of the line and committed numerous service errors like not having the ball reached the other side of the court or hitting the ball in a straight upward direction.
Sure these celebrities drink Nestea Fit with L-Carnitine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat, because they look oozing hot, and we are actually pertaining to Iza and Rhian who basked in the sun without wearing any make-up (the way it is supposed to be because it’s a beach, right?).
“It’s also our chance to meet and bond with other people. With our busy schedule back in Manila, it’s hard for us to play and enjoy because we need to work. I can’t even go to the gym as often as I have to,” JC, who became an instant celebrity after winning a reality contest, shared.
Enjoying the sight of picturesque Boracay, we often see people enjoying some activities together. JC Tiuseco with close friend and fellow Survivor Jace Flores consider their Boracay summer experience as their time to catch up with friends, even most of the time they have to pose for photo opportunities whenever people recognize them while walking around the busier side of the island.
“I feel like I’m still in the Survivor series. The location is pretty much the same and I’m reunited with the people who were also part of the Survivor series. So the whole game was not really hard. I used to play volleyball but this one is a different kind of fun. We didn’t look at it as game but a friendly competition,” Jace explained. “If we would consider the beach volleyball a challenge, it’s nothing compared to the challenges we had in Survivor. Kaya it’s like, kahit saan na kami dalhin, we are quite sure that we can easily do all the challenges,” JC quickly added.
While Survivor buddies JC and Jace were having a good time and nostalgic about their beach experience, smitten couple Paolo Contis and Lian Paz looked so inseparable. Lian was like Paolo’s number one fan supporting and cheering her boyfriend most especially when he makes service aces during the celebrity matches.
On the other hand, Polo Ravales and rumored ex-girlfriend Bianca Paz Villamores were also seen together holding hands in public. “Are they back together, were they really an item or what?” asked one of the guests of the event.
All roads lead to a party
Beach party, that is. With Boracay’s reputation as the country’s premier summer destination for party animals, Nestea Fit Beach Volley National Circuit ’09 featured an array of events dedicated to people who purposely visited Boracay to have a moonlit merriment with overflowing bottles of beer and glasses of cocktails.
After the fashion show dubbed “Hot and Fit Body of Work” featuring invited celebrities and the Survivor castaways sporting the latest summer island wear designed by PJ Arañador at Juice Bar at Plazoleta on May 8, people present at the venue continued to party the night away with feel-good music and bottles of malt drink, wine and vodka.
“This year’s event is much bigger; aside from the new product [Nestea fit], we also expanded the event by including parties and concerts that guarantee unique Nestea summer experience. So far, all our expectations have been met and we can basically say that whole event was very successful,” Ronald Chuacokiang, Nestea brand activation executive, told us before the dinner arranged during the victory party.
Capping off the three-day event was a victory party cum concert on May 9 headlined by music heavyweights Sandwich and 6cyclemind as they rocked Boracay with their famous hits at Paraiso Bar. Members of the press, celebrities, athletes and Nestea officials partied all night with a safe idea that next year will be just another exciting time to celebrate fitness and enjoyment with the iconic brand Nestea.