I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Being a pop culture hermit for three months or so, I only heard of “glamping” when I was given the assignment. I thought it was “glomping” — the cutesy, throw-hug inspired by shoujo anime.
When I learned it was a portmanteau — two words to make a new one; in this case, “glamorous” and “camping” — my interest was piqued even further. How does one make camping glamorous, exactly? My thoughts were occupied by Harry Potter-esque tents that looked like houses inside, replete with air conditioning, toilets and culinary stations. How does that even work?
Arriving at Crystal Beach, however, such expectations were thrown to the wind. Far from the desert-resorts I’d thought it’d be akin to, it was a little more rustic, more outdoorsy — and pleasingly so.
Imagine yourself on a nice cloth seat, parked outside a tent for two and an air cooler beating down upon your sweaty self. The tent has an awning to shield you from the sun, and it’s a beautiful day; skies blue and cloudy as Zsaris Mendioro plays acoustic versions of old-school favorites. This, you think — feet sunk into the sand, fairy lights trailing down your tent like hipster season — this isn’t real.
But it is. Welcome to Glamping by Lifestyle — now on its third pitch and, hopefully, on to many more. Checking my itinerary, it appears there’s a ton to look forward to: food, fitness, booths, music, movies. Think the summer you never knew you needed in your life, but did. I felt like the girls in the movies, the ones who suddenly woke up to live their fairytale dreams.
Touching down, we were given special glamping bracelets and cashless chip bands to make purchases within the venue. It wasn’t as hot as I’d thought it’d be, and heading to the glamping area, we were greeted by rows of booths. There were activities the likes of beach mane sessions, calligraphy, DIY ice cream, and unlimited Nestea. Near the area, members of the Flow Collective gave festival-goers a crash course on the flow arts, such as poi, hula and the like.
In the afternoon, the MYX leg of the Summer Siren Festival began, with CRWN playing some well-known songs and collaborations. The Flow Collective also gave a fiery performance, props set on fire and blazing majestic into the night. The lineup itself was a mix of up-and-coming acts and hard-hitting veterans — BP Valenzuela, She’s Only Sixteen, Cheats, The Ransom Collective, Quest, Hale, Moonstar88, Ebe Dancel, Ace Ramos and Highrise. A special space was set up for glampers to get their fill of unlimited drinks and pica-pica, with mixes the likes of cherry vodka and salted caramel.