Boracay Open 2017: A Perspective

Boracay Open 2017.

36 teams, 6 fields.
3 days of sun, sand and ultimate.
3 nights of awesome parties.
One amazing weekend.

Every Boracay Open starts with people trickling onto the island for a little fun over the days leading up to it. This year was no different, but things really kick-off at the Thursday night registration party.

On the night of April 6, the dining area of Casa Pilar was full life, sound, and people having a good time. Passers-by would hear the sounds of friendship; laughter, chatter. the clink of glass bottles for toasts and cheers, and the occasional “YEEE HAW” from a table that was playing a some drinking game (Probably the Texan team? I’m just guessing here). The captains’ meeting came and went, (some teams were moved to different brackets) and people stayed a bit longer to catch-up with old friends, flirt, make new friends, flirt, try to get their opponent teams drunk, and have a couple of drinks on the beach (and flirt) in the moonlight.

Come Friday morning the tournament proper began. Players and tourists alike would be greeted by feet churning sand, and people throwing their bodies through the air, all to chase that 175g disc of plastic.

Photo by Don Laczi of All About U

Those in the know would see familiar names & faces in new jerseys; the party legends, Sexual Harassment Pandas and their constant competitors, Dime Piece. The dominant Boracay Dragons & Boracay Pirates, Tim Morrill’s jamily, Humiliswag, the Spirit kings; Currier Island and the OG of Philippine Ultimate, Breakfast Club. Like any good tournament there were also plenty of newcomers around; teams from Europe like PUTI from Finland (whose name, I was told at the Friday night party, meant “touchers of butts” or something like it), and Beached Whales from GB & Sweden, Omelette from Malaysia, Bromance from Toronto, Flightless Birds from NZ, and Cooee from Australia to name a few.

Photo by Don Laczi of All About U

After 7 hours of grueling beach ultimate action, it was time to PARTY. Come 10pm, Beach Bar at Station 1 turned into THE place to be on the island, with the drinks flowing free, the beats dropping hard, and bodies moving in time to the music. Things got really intense after while, in ways best not described on this website, except maybe with the world “helicopter”.

The next day, games began at 10am, nice and late for those who had gone all out at the party, and saw some epic action.

The Saturday night party was possibly even better than the first, kicking off with a performance with fire dancers, before everyone else started dancing (and drinking) the night away to the beats of DJ’s like DJ Boo & DJ Tutay. The Pandas also brought made a splash by bringing out a maypole for everyone to dance under.

The DJ booth with DJ Boo on the tables
I’m not sure what’s going on here, but they seem to have had a lot of practice doing it; there are like 5 or 6 people in that tower.  Also, the look on the face of the lady at the bottom left of the photo says it all.

Sunday games began even later, with 2 showcase games beginning at 11am; the Philippine Women’s team to the WCBU in France vs. the women of the rest of the world, and the Lolas, the first generation of Filipinas playing ultimate vs. the girls of Boracay’s NexGen.

The Lolas after the game. Photo by the Author
The women of the Philippines & the world.
Photo by Don Laczi of All About U

Things came to a climax as the Dragons & Pirates went head to head for the title.

The Pirates took a early lead with fast, systemic play which the Dragons could not adjust to at first, which resulted in a lead of as much as 5 points. The turning point for the Dragon’s was a huge 2 point bomb, straight off of a reset to the endzone from a short pull.

The Pirates knew this one was coming, but you can’t coach height. Photo by Nico Primaleon of All About U

The sidelines were by no means just spectators, with competing cheers of “Let’s go Pirates” and “Let’s go Dragons” sounding out, and of course, the usual good-natured heckling (aka calls for hammers to be thrown). Come half-time, the Pandas came out, as is their tradition, and brought back the maypole, and just enough people to fill the midfield came out to dance.

Spot the author?
Photo by Don Laczi of All About U.

During the 2nd half, the Dragons slowly chipped away at the lead, until the game was tied at 16-16, at which point it became a brutal back-and-forth, with highlight reel plays happening every 3 or 4 throws.

Eventually, the Pirates broke the stalemate, and people flooded the field to congratulate both teams. Prizes were awarded soon after

Photo by Nico Primaleon of All About U

Things began to quiet down as the awarding ceremony was set up; spikeball sets coming out, jersey trades going on, and people saying “see you again” (not “goodbyes”). However, all good things must come to an end; after the awarding, there was one last semi-official gathering of ultimate players, this one with less loud music, and more conversations. This is not to say that that was the end of the fun on Boracay. Plenty of people stayed on for a few more days on the island, to enjoy the other attractions of the island, but that is a different story, for a different website.

Until next time!

Photo by author