Warning: An open-minded, possibly foolish, depraved Christian is writing her own views and experiences. Feel free to disagree…
I had just gotten back from a two-night stay in the beautiful island of Boracay. I have been there many times, both for leisure and work. This is the first time, though, that I saw first hand the other side of it. Two new acquaintance, who have been living there for over two years, both gays, described the Boracay as the “temptation island.” I know that the presence of many bars and the influx of thousands of tourists all year round could add to the island’s party place reputation. I have visited a few bars in the past, but I was on the safe side. I was on the ‘outside.’ This time, I was invited to ‘party,’ and being sure of myself and being with another Christian friend, I joined. I knew myself. My conscience is not bothered with a few drinks. However let me make it clear – I don’t advise Christians to go to these places nor make the same risky decisions.
Talking to our new acquaintances, they were sharing their lovelife. Both of them are gay and they both have boyfriends. Both of them usually spend their Fridays partying all night, until 4am, when the bars usually close, and will go to work the next day at 10am. Both of them love living in Boracay because of their lifestyle. Both of them, while partying, enjoy the night almost without moral limits. Well, maybe not as one of them said he flirts with tourists (only) but he does not have sex as he is afraid of STD/ HIV. I was quickly reminded of the recent training on AIDS that I attended, that there is a rising number of new HIV cases in young Filipinos. I felt the need to talk to them about this, but chose to keep quiet. I don’t know how he defines where to set his limits, but having sex is a no-no for him. I sighed for relief, not spiritually, but at least, there is one gay who is aware enough to set limits for himsef. I thanked my new friends for their honesty. I told them I like them, and I meant it. Deep down I was praying that they too would be found by grace which found me many years ago.
In the two bars that we went to, and in the conversations that we had amidst the loud music, a few things were evident in my saved-by-grace eyes. Boracay, especially at night, is a place full of lost and needy souls representing all kinds of sexual orientation. Bars are full of energetic, partying people, mostly young souls from 18 to 40, who don’t know they are lost, who don’t know they need one most important thing. They live their lives thinking they can meet their need in these places through the same needy souls they meet. Drowning themselves with alcohol, they lower their inhibitions until they feel free to do whatever their body needs. One eye contact and they think they found someone who they can spend the night with, whether in that bar or somewhere else. Our new found acquaintances, having found out we were single, wanted us to enjoy the night, which means, they wanted us to get drunk, find someone (or more) to flirt with. It was difficult to explain to them, in the loud background music, that we don’t share the same values. Many times they connected us with a few guys, whom we politely turned down and said we were not interested. We were careful not to look anyone in the eye to avoid communicating interest. Many times I turned my back to those who would approach. I am thankful my two other friends know how to drink without getting drunk. As the night lingered the partying people slowly (for others more quickly) got drunk. Before the night ended we helped one gal who was dead drunk find her way back to her hotel. Our two gay friends were so drunk we were not able to say goodbye to them. The next morning they messaged saying they got drunk, but were able to show up for work. And it would be another week for them, until Friday comes and they would again party the night away. It was both amusing and sad watching Boracay at night.
If there is one good thing that I can make out of my close-to-foolishness decision of getting in to this hardcore bar, it is that I saw with my own eyes the hopelessness of this place that should drive me to pray for the gospel to be shared in this island. What I did, deciding to ‘party’ with my unbelieving new friends, should be a once in a lifetime experience. And I would not have done it if I were on my own. Thankful for the opportunity to be in that place but to state the obvious it is not a good place for Christians to be at. Thankful to be friends with honest and fun unbelievers but at the same time there is a need to live differently. Hearing today’s sermon in Romans, I pray the Lord would send messengers of His good news to Boracay.