Parties for singles

SINGAPORE - They were strangers who met at a singles event on Valentine's Day last year.

Even though the freelance emcee, who is known by her stage name Jasmine Red, 21, smooched another man for a kissing contest during the event, she ended up with her current boyfriend, polytechnic student Brandon Gan, 21.

They met at Club Lava during last year's Valentine Vendetta, an annual event organised for singles on Valentine's Day.

Ms Red and her partner for the game won prizes for the best kiss - she a BlackBerry tablet and phone, and he, a holiday to Phuket.

Although she was hoping that he would invite her along for the trip, he did not.

But Ms Red did not fret over it and walked away with something better - Mr Gan's number.

She got it when they had drinks before the contest and they have been together since.

The annual singles party is now in its fourth year and this year's edition would be held at New Asia Bar at Swissotel tonight.

The event was the brainchild of creative production agency Creative Insurgence.

Its director, Mr Mano Kunasegaran, 28, said he came up with the idea after the woman he asked out for Valentine's Day five years ago became upset because he invited some mutual friends along.

Indeed, she had expected a fancy dinner alone with him, flowers and all.


Thinking that Valentine's Day was too serious for its own good, Mr Kunasegaran came up with the idea of Valentine Vendetta.

From 300 attendees originally, the singles party has now burgeoned to become an event for 1,000.

Creative Insurgence is not the only group that believes that Valentine's Day is also an occasion for singles.

Lucha Loco, a Mexican bar at Duxton Hill, holds the Anti-Valentine's Day Party for singles.

Its marketing manager, Ms Rachel Lim, 24, said: "Valentine's Day seems to be an occasion just for couples to enjoy. We realised there is a market of singles for us to tap into and we wanted to give these singles a chance to have some fun."

The party began last year with more than 100 partygoers and is back for a second year with twice the crowd expected.

Singles who have just broken up are also invited to take part in a session where they can pin a photo of their former partners onto a pinata for a time of lighthearted bashing.

Participants can even buy and deliver a "shot" to other participants whom they fancy through the "Cupid of the night", who will be armed with a bow and arrow. A shot of tequila, that is.

Ms Red and Mr Gan will be going back for this year's Valentine Vendetta tonight, this time as a couple with Ms Red as the emcee for the evening.

When asked if she still feels she missed out by not getting invited to Phuket last year, Ms Red said: "Brandon has planned a trip to Phuket for us to celebrate our first anniversary. I think it definitely makes up for all I've missed."

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