Behind the Scenes with Ouisurf & Surfista Travels by Elaine Abonal

October 15, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, someone sent a message on the Surfista Travels Facebook page saying that they were producing a French-Canadian TV show showing 2 surfers looking for great spots to surf around Asia. They wanted to meet different and interesting people and that it was off-the-beaten-path kind of travel show. The show was inspired by the awesome surf website www.ouisurf.ca and they were coming to the Philippines. They needed my/Surfista Travels’ help to go around Luzon, help with fixing accommodations and transportation, have the connections to meet the right people, go surf with and have fun.

Check out their website – it’s in French but there’s a lot of good surf action in there!

It was why I created Surfista Travels in the first place – to help surfers and travellers – beginner or advanced – get to where they want to go and be able to share what I know about the beautiful surf spots and culture of the Philippines. So I said YES.

Cockfighting “Training” with Ben and Jean Michel

We were lucky to be allowed IN the cockfighting pit & have real 1st hand experience!

We spent a week filming, surfing and travelling with the crew of Ouisurf to film episodes about surf, people and culture in La Union and Baler, north of the Philippines. The locals in both places were kind enough to give us a portion of their time to share about Filipino culture – from food, cockfighting, skateboarding, secret and private surf spots, and just the beauty of the Philippines and its people. It was an amazing adventure and experience with these hardworking guys. It was really interesting, not just for me but for the locals that we interacted with, how much passion they have for surf, travel and the goodness of the other people. It’s true that the cameras helped (which Filipino doesn’t want to be in front of the camera?) but it was the sincerity and smiles of the entire crew that made filming fun for everyone.

At San Juan Surf Resort – visiting the more popular beach for surfing in Luzon
Ben, Elaine (me), Jean Michel & Luke

Interviewing Philippine surf star & Surfista brother Luke Landrigan

The guys from Ouisurf had a fun skate session with the Baler locals.

I had to be one of the guys & get over being a “princess” to surf Cemento reef!! Good training though and the locals took care of me so well.

Thank you to Roy Angara of Aliya Surf Camp Baler for personally driving us, showing us around & bringing us to the most beautiful surf spots!

It’s been an awesome experience with Ouisurf – behind the camera, in front of the camera, and while we weren’t filming. One great thing about TRAVEL is that even if you go to the same place, it changes depending on the people you are with and how you’ve changed yourself. My boundaries were pushed, I surfed the biggest waves I ever dared to (but won’t have photos til they start editing) and connected with new spots, new locals, and new experiences. I wish I could keep every amazing person I’ve met with me and put them in my pocket but I know our lives will go on and we’ll only get to keep the smiles and the memories.

Behind the scenes in La Union with Benjamin Rochette, Elaine Abonal and Jean Michel Peloquin

I wish I could keep every amazing person I’ve met with me and put them in my pocket but I know our lives will go on and we’ll only get to keep the smiles and the memories. Bon voyage!!

Can’t wait for how it’s going to turn out and I have no doubt that it’ll be great! We wish them luck as they continue their adventure to Siargao and around the world. Check them out at www.ouisurf.ca :)

Check out more Behind The Scenes PHOTOS on the Surfista Facebook page or click HERE.

Want to travel with Surfista and have the same kind of arrangement? We offer private and customized group tours. Click HERE or e-mail surfistatravels@yahoo.com.

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