Bocas News

Filthy Friday! Young Talents! Third appointment….Fabio

Filthy Friday! Young Talents! Third appointment….Fabio

June 21, 2018

Meet a great chef, Beverly Chen, a DJ, Roberto Acevedo (Fabio is his stage name) and a war reporter, Ricardo Martínez,  three Panamanians, and you already have the best and funniest party in Bocas del Toro, Filthy Friday.

Everything come out from the need of these three young people to be able to do something fun in Bocas, create an event in which people could come and participate during a different day in the islands, and why not say it, a crazy day in Bocas!

Curious about all this, and definitely turned into one more of her fans, I have decided to include one of the three founders, Fabio, among our talented young Panamanians. I talk to him, Fabio, because we are friends of many years ago, but as we talk, I am convinced that his words reflect the ideas of his colleagues Beverly and Ricardo.

Roberto, or Rasta Fabio as we know him the majority, was born in Panama 34 years ago, in La Chorrera, and tired of combining the university with his time in La Chorrera, he decides to take a sabbatical year and starts traveling through Costa Rica with his surfboard , and working at the same time, because as he tells us “I cannot be without doing something”.

He is 18 years old when he traveled to Bocas del Toro for the first time, and of course, accompanied by his inseparable table, he ends up trapped by the Caribbean culture, its colors, its music … and feels at home. “At that time I was a Rasta and in love with the waves of Bocas,” he recalls, “I did not think there was such a place in Panama,” he said during the conversation.

Defined as a business-minded young man, and after having traveled and worked in Costa Rica, he decides to come to Bocas and start working as and where he can, as an artisan, or bartender in the evening, finding his place. Over time, a Frenchman, who sees in him a talent, offers to become a member of his new project. At that time it seems complicated due to lack of funds, but he manages to find the solution and that is how the Red Bird is born, now called the Aqualounge and one of the best-known bars on Isla Carenero. Things are evolving and on the return of one of many  trips, Fabio is offered the opportunity to become one of the partners of La Iguana, undoubtedly one of the largest and best-known bars in the islands. This is how his DJ career begins. In this time is when he cuts his big mane of dreadlocks (they weigh him a lot when surfing) and meets his current partner and now wife Ingrid, a Norwegian girl who has accompanied him since then in almost all his adventures. People love the night in Bocas, however, there was no event that included a good party, people wanting to have fun and with the possibility of visiting different points of the islands. It is at this moment when the trio think «why not organize the event during the day ? Something that the tourist can enjoy at the same time of the environment and have a good time at a big party» The idea arose with enthusiasm and to this day Fabio recognizes that many mistakes that were made at the beginning have been able to improve and correct them to the point of reaching their first anniversary this past April, with an attendance of almost 300 people. Also during the last months, the average came to be around 200 people per event, and when you ask the youth the reason for their visit to Bocas, many answer you, for the party (Filty Friday). Fabio tells us that “at the first party we organized we expected a maximum of 50 people, and almost 100 people arrived”.

Today, for each party an average of 15 captains are working to accompany and transfer the people, who previously have bought their ticket online, this prevents them from having to carry a lot of cash on top. At the same time, they work in the organization around another 25 people, always depending on the number of requests they have received. It is totally forbidden for captains and staff to drink and party during the event. There are very strict regulations regarding the use of drugs and respect for the environment. The latter demonstrates and shows how Bocas is becoming a place where the concept of sustainability is conquering more and more spaces. With the purchase of the ticket, which costs $ 35, it is included: a backpack, a T-shirt, a drink in re-usable glass (to control the consumption of plastic) and a folio that the staff will give you when you are welcomed, where they are written very clearly all the rules, such as, do not throw garbage in the sea, do not walk on the coral … another of the measures that have been taken with respect to the environment has been to eliminate the use of any type of glitter, since we realized that it was very harmful to the ocean. “We as a staff, are always attentive to all these rules are met without losing the concept of fun. One of the examples is that of water. At the first party we realized the need to have a lot of water to consume, and we went from carrying only 6 packages or more to always having a tank available. The safety of the people is always our main priority, “says Fabio. On the other hand, the photos we see on Facebook and Instagram are always very funny and cool, and many girls in bikinis also appear, so as mother and women I ask the obligatory question to Fabio, assuming that respect is a basic point in the party and that must be very present. He answers yes. The fact of being in a swimsuit all day does not mean that anyone can be disrespected. All this work, which never ends, as Fabio says, turns you into a machine that works 6 days a week without rest, well, except for the Saturday that is destined to rest … it is always necessary after a Great Filthy Friday! We asked him how the welcome has been among the people of Bocas, he tells us that “obviously at the beginning we had difficulties and people who did not know the project have tried to hinder it. In order to improve we went to Changuinola, we spoke with the Commissioner, we received his proposals and finally his consent, so the current mayor could also know the project. We have also participated in the Municipal Council, that is, we are willing to do things well, and as Panamanians we know our reality well and we are aware of what needs to be done. Finally, we asked him about the things that he likes about Bocas and those that he does not like so much, and that could change, he answers us with total sincerity: “Bocas I like it for its tranquility, for the surfing obviously and for the good quality of lifetime. However, there are many things also to change and improve, such as making a unique union of all, and not a competition between companies and institutions. » «Look what has been achieved with plastic bags» I remarks. «And this has been achieved thanks to the efforts of all». “Also Bocas has a big problem with garbage and recycling and government does not help. On the other hand I think there is a strong generation of young Panamanians willing to do, who want to talk and confront the things that are not well and thus achieve a good goal. Finally, he says, “I hope to see Bocas in 10 years and have a bright future, a place where many cultures are integrated with the Panamanian one in order to achieve great goals.” Beverly works with the selection of personnel, Ricky is in charge of marketing and communication and Fabio is responsible for the organization of the party in different locations and that the quality of the audio is always excellent, but in one thing the 3 are clear, they have a broad vision of their project, Fabio says that they are not greedy for money, “it is not worth risking a project that will surely have a long life”Now we just wait for you there, in the next Filthy Friday !!!