Counting Stars 2014: Valentine’s Night at UP Diliman
When in Manila and looking for a refreshing way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, coming across Counting Stars was truly a blessing.
In celebration of its 23rd founding year, the UP Circle of Entrepreneurs prepared for a Valentine’s night like no other–filled with great musicians, fun games, and good vibes all around. Lighting up the College of Science Amphitheater with vibrant lights and mellow music, a crowd of over 700 gathered around and shared an evening picnic on the grass as the night unfolded.
The event gave a chill vibe, akin-to-the-likes of Wanderland – complete with goody bags and picnic mats for the first 100 attendees (the rest of the attendees also received free chocolate and other freebies, though – how perfect!). The singers and musicians sang all-time favorite love songs to keep the romantic feel going.
The interesting part was that the fun was also happening around the amphitheater – with the Tacsiapo booths (the one where you get to break things), marriage and handcuff booths, a tarot card reading booth with a legitimate fate/card reader and flower and dedication booths for the mushier individuals.
What was even more amazing about this event is that it literally catered to everyone–it didn’t make anyone feel left out. Burned out from bad grades, a recent breakup, an unrequited love, or even family problems? You could throw your anger away with a resounding crash at the Tacsiapo booth. Some people were even screaming while they threw plates and glasses while people watched and cheered them on.
Been itching to prank your friend with a guy she’s been eyeing for months now and just so happened to be at the event, too? Handcuff them for 45 minutes or more and she was sure (and hopefully he, as well) to have a good time and talk. Still stuck in the honeymoon phase with your lover? Marry him/her at the marriage booth where you get to wear a wedding dress and tux as you profess your love for each other.
Aside from the special booths you rarely get to see at usual bazaars, they also had a photobooth, a stargazing booth and food stalls, so you really didn’t have to go anywhere else all night. At the beginning of the event, the hosts also called for volunteer guys and girls and real couples for guessing games and to test how well the couples knew each other. All night, the mic was also open to anyone who wanted to confess their feelings to someone or dedicate special messages.
Girls and guys, groups of friends and even lone individuals were there to share the fantastic night. The event was capped off with a new trend of sparkler lighting (because lanterns are too old-fashioned now) and a spectacular fireworks display.
Amazingly, just on the other side of campus, the 4th night of the UP Fair Concert was also ongoing, but it didn’t stop those who wanted a more laid-back night from enjoying this free (yes, it was free!) event. It’s just like they always say: the best things in life are free.
The event was even more special and intimate because the attendees were simply enjoying themselves and were content to be sitting or lying around with the people they were with. Usually everyone’s idea of a Valentine’s Party is loud and dancy and the pressure of mingling when you’re single and don’t have a date is really high, but that wasn’t the case here.
This event was made solely for enjoying other people’s company. The musicians were perfect for the acoustic sets, as well. Plus, the organization’s homegrown CEssionistas, a small group of members with vocal and musical talents, covered OneRepublic‘s song Counting Stars as the closing number.
Counting Stars 2014
Photos courtesy of Michelle Tiu
Although there weren’t enough actual stars to count because it was a cloudy Valentine’s night, I was still blown away and am definitely looking forward to the future events this organization will be holding in the future.
To those of you who are interested in their next event, the UP Circle of Entrepreneurs will be hosting Sparks: The Country’s First Flickering Lights Night Run on March 2 at the UP Diliman Acad Oval. Be one of the one thousand runners and feel like you’re running in a river of fireflies when in Manila.
UP Circle of Entrepreneurs