Surf’s Up: Philippine Surfing Travel Stories

We wrote about the Cool Surfer Girl at the Surfing Capital of the North (San Juan, La Union) and the Baler (Aurora) Itinerary and Surfing Adventure. We’ve also featured Surfing Fun in Urbiztondo, La Union and the Surfing Kinda Day (Doot Poctoy, Lanuza, Surigao). But because the Philippine surfing scene is as vibrant as ever, we’re going to add some more, from the VisitPinas-tagged photos in Instagram.

[See also: Best Island in Asia 2018: Siargao Island (Gallery)]

Everything starts somewhere. In the world of surfing, some freshies (what’s the slang for someone who’s just beginning to learn how to surf?) go straight to sea, learning on the fly; others learn the basics on the beach, or, in the case of Cloud 9 in the world-famous surfing capital of the Philippines, Siargao Island, instructions are also given on the viewing deck, as we can see from the yellow bikini, er, from Carla Marie Racca (check her Instagram account, @carlaaamarieee, for more photos), here:

Carla clarified that she’s just checking her form in this photo because it’s been a while since she surfed. But wait, let’s pause and go back to the bikini. Some surfers prefer to wear rash guard, while others are more at ease with the bikini. “Bikini is my next choice when I’m not on workout clothes,” says Glorien Merisco (check her Instagram account, @glor.yen), sitting on her surfboard in Siargao. Surfing is a way of life, as noted below, and it’s not surprising that what a surfer wears should come easy and natural for him/her.

Going back to origins, what got our attention, which, in turn, nudged us to include Carla’s photo, is the interesting story behind it. “On the verge of ditching corporate works, license and certification to move in a paradise; to surf every possible chance I can get; to be out in the ocean under the sunny blue skies and to share my knowledge and experience as a sneaky auditor. Just live in a beautiful island where life demands less of your energy but more of your heart and soul. And for me, that’s pure bliss.”

Surfing is indeed a way of life. And if you take surfing seriously enough, you’ll soon find out that you can also fly, like in this photo courtesy of @gwapitos.official and  @kermitsiargao, previously featured in the Flight of the Gwapitos at Cloud 9 Surfing.

It’s amazing how these VisitPinas-tagged photos illustrate the steps in learning how to surf. First, you get the basic instructions, as we can see from the first photo of Carla.

Second (this one we almost missed), you have to carry your surfboard. A big part of a surfer’s attitude is self-sufficiency and being able to adapt to whatever nature throws at you. You carry your own weight. A true surfer is no whiner.

K.March (check his Instagram account, @alphamarch, for more photos) seems to prefer carrying his surfboard on his head, like so:

Others carry the board on their sides with one hand (and we think this is the cool way of carrying a surf board that we often see in movies), like in this photo by Varie John Orozco (check his Instagram account, @cevjoano, for more photos).

Third, you paddle out to sea, then sit on your board while waiting for a wave (and fix your hair, while you’re at it, like Glorien in her photo above). While on your surf board, you can also choose to play hide and seek among the waves with the camera, like Rowie Pagcaliwanagan (check his Instagram account, @rowiepoly, for more photos), here:

There’s a fourth step, we realized only when we saw the photo below by Via Sabate (check her Instagram account, @foreveryoungvia, for more photos).

So, you carry your surf board to the water, then paddle out to sea. Before you can even sit on your board and wait to catch a nice wave, you have to survive the waves as you paddle out. Surfers make it look easy when they dive — board and all — under the waves. Some other times, you just fly with your board.

Fifth, you prepare to stand on the board and catch a wave, as we can see from this photo from John Rey Abitria (check his Instagram account, @bluegriffin12, for more photos).

We thought of adding an intermediate stage, between preparing to stand on the surf board and riding the wave. This one, as mentioned, is intermediate, so we figured it’s just between steps five and six. Here’s Stephan Forslund (check his Instagram account, @cayysan, for more photos), with his self-captioned “noob on boards” in Siargao Island:

Sixth, you ride the wave, like in this photo by Varie John Orozco (check his Instagram account, @cevjoano, for more photos).

[What are the other steps, if you know? A wipeout should be included. We’ll revise this article, so tag us with your surfing photos and stories.]

[Photos reproduced with permission (thanks). Tag your Philippine travel photos with #visitpinas so we can track it down. Photos will be featured in this blog’s photo of the day and in instagram/VisitPinas, facebook/VisitPinas, twitter/VisitPinas.]

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