Thursday, February 10, 2005

Setting Off Fireworks

Most Filipinos are too shy to be caught kissing in public. But on the eve of this year's Valentine, 5,122 couples were captured in embraces and locked in kisses at the Lovapalooza, the world’s biggest public display of affection.

Lovapalooza is a marketing event for Close-Up toothpaste that had couples simultaneously kissing in public to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

The previous record was 4,445 couples smooching in Chile, established just last month.

Kisses are the most intimate words never spoken, yet the Lovapalooza had today's youths talking. Aside from the ubiquitous banners and radio advertisements, it was the chatter on the Internet and the goading of peers that made the street affair cool among young adults. Most of the participants were college students ages 18 to 22.

College sweethearts Lester and Jackie Lou confessed they were ordinarily uncomfortable with public displays of affection. But the Lovapalooza captured their curiosity. "This is an exception," Jackie said. Both add that this was a unique way to start the Valentine's.

That Lovapalooza was an organized event lent legitimacy to making out. Jonathan and Fe, both fresh from their jobs in Makati, wanted to be part of the record books. That it meant kissing someone they loved did not hurt at all.

The event attracted passersby and barkadas as well. Throngs packed the boulevard to watch, to kiss and to lose themselves to the revelry. As cool as the evening breezes may be of Manila Bay this February, bodies pressing the flesh made the atmosphere of Roxas Boulevard moist and warm and smell of teen spirit.

Not counted

Though same-sex couples could participate in the kissing event, they were not counted as part of the tally. When asked regarding this matter, criminology student and Lovapalooza volunteer marshal Magiting said they had to follow guidelines laid out by organizers.

Dondi, Ronald and Bernie, all students aged 20, who call one another sister, confessed registering under feminine names to be able to participate. However, they were dismayed at not being issued numbers as the other participants were.

The event was a drawn-out affair, starting from 8:30 p.m. to 12 midnight. Despite the entertainment provided by the singers and the pep talk by the hosts, quite a few participants were champing at the bit.

As the countdown blared from speakers, students Mon, 21, and Pia, 19, gazed lovingly into each other eyes. They kissed on cue, but their "lip-lock" was much longer than the 10 seconds required for the record. They were lost in their own private Valentine’s as fireworks decorated the night sky.

Among the prominent kissers were Manila Mayor Lito Atienza and his wife, Evelina, models Bianca Valerio and Mike Carreon, and newlyweds Apa Ongpin and wife Ana.

"Let's take a break from the troubles we have been having, from our work, from political bickerings," Mayor Lito Atienza said. "After all, it's Valentine's Day."

By Rome Jorge, Reporter

That was last year.
This year:

GET close and join in as Close Up aims to break the record--again! Pucker-up for the biggest, most extraordinary, lip-smackingest Valentine kissing event: Close Up Lovapalooza Part 2, happening on February 12, 2005, simultaneously at Baywalk Manila, Davao, Cebu, and Angeles

They better have those rules changed. Otherwise, I'm gonna have to break it.
Anyone heading in the same direction? If you happen to see this mug there, bump me and say hi. We don't bite. :)

Somewhere, definitely.


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