Flying made faster for Surfistas: Cebu Pacific Airlines now flies direct to Siargao!

Last December 17, 2017 Cebu Pacific Airlines had their maiden flight that flew direct from Manila to Siargao. Being based in Siargao Island in the Philippines, we were able to jump on the plane from Siargao and arrived in Manila after just 2 hours of flying! It was a relaxing and pleasurable experience – right from the service crew on the island, boarding the brand new plane, sitting on the front row with wide legroom space, very helpful airline crew, the smooth flight from professional pilots, the delicious snacks that were pre-ordered for us all the way to landing.

Getting to and from Siargao to Manila was always such a huge trek for people like me, surfers from Manila but have decided to move to the island of Siargao mostly for our love of surfing and the island life. But now, Cebu Pacific Airline now has a direct flight that I or anyone can take if we miss  or need to get to the city.

Aside from Manila, Cebu Pacific also flies direct to Siargao from Cebu, twice daily, with the lowest year-round fare. Travelers may also visit the island by taking a connecting flight from any of its six other hubs (Manila, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan de Oro) via Cebu to Siargao.

Another cool thing about Cebu Pacific Air is that is has also recently launched its newest service that caters to surfers and watersports aficionados—CEB Surfboard – which allows guests to pre-book their surfing equipment to reserve check-in space across Airbus jets or ATR aircraft of the carrier. This service can be added to flight bookings up to four hours before scheduled times of departure. Perfect to bring back our surfboards to the island!

Now people who want to explore Siargao, especially those who want to learn how to surf and join Surfista Travels Siargao Camps or Day Packages can travel faster and easier with Cebu Pacific’s direct flights and can up their surfing skills while visiting one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines, if not the world.  We are looking forward to seeing you on the island and hopefully learn how to surf the fun and professional way with us. See you in the waves!

Check out some of our photos for our Cebu Pacific experience!:


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– It’s the FIRST SURF & YOGA CAMP in SIARGAO ISLAND in Surfista Travels history!!
– It is the ONLY surf & yoga camp happening in the Philippines this summer!
– The first camp will be happening during the Women’s International Surf Competition so we will get to watch the BEST SURFER GIRLS of the Philippines and a few from Asia compete!!
– …and we get to join the parties and events that come with it too! ;)
– Only the BEST SURF INSTRUCTORS / best surfers on the island and in the Philippines will be chosen to teach our Surfista ladies.
– The Surf tour / CAMP will be led by ELAINE ABONAL – who started surfing in the Philippines in 2002 and first went to Siargao in 2005. She’s considered a local on the island and she knows her shiznit!!! ;) She LOVES surfing, taking care of a group and absolutely loves what she does!
– Private Surfista YOGA classes will be held by yogi & surfer LOUISE ALBANO who is from Manila but now based on the island and is considered to give the BEST yoga classes & will have surf specific programs during the camp.
– All Surfista girls will be staying in ONE luxury cottage at the SAGANA RESORT which is right in front of the world famous break CLOUD 9, has the best food and service, is where the pro surfers stay and was one of the first surf resorts out there (so they definitely know their stuff too! ;)
– We are going to be living the island & bikini life in one of the most beautiful islands and surf paradise any surfer can only DREAM of.
– It’s AFFORDABLE enough for both locals & foreigners joining. Trust us – you will not find the same price from other international surf camps.
– It’s a SMALL group so it’s very intimate! We will get to form deeper and more meaningful friendships while having a slumber party every day, surf together, visit Siargao’s surrounding islands and beautiful tourist places together, laugh, meet locals, yoga, chill, take photos & party together!

You’ll go home from our Surfista camps a better surfer and richer with memories and experience.

What MORE can you ask for?! ❤️👍🏄🙏 Read the full post »


by Larry Guevara


Did you know?!? Surfista Flair Bartender Larry has made a drink called SURFISTA SLING!! It’s naughty but nice… sweet but dangerous! Ingredients are our secret. Thanks for the drink Larry!

My initial motivation to go on surfing was after watching a training video by Scott Young of back in the late 90’s. I remember him mentioning a guy named Kelly Slater who added a different kind of “flair” to his surfing skills. Of course, add to that those inspirational movies like “Blue Crush” and “Soul Surfer” that portrayed the female gender’s “official” entry in the professional surfing scene, and probably you get the picture.


I was pretty much living a different yet very exciting “life on board” though. For some time I was working as a flair bartender on board international cruise lines travelling around the world and visiting other countries (for free!!!) My love and passion for “flair” (bottle-flipping and entertainment bartending) was what really inspired me to work behind the stick. Competitively, I consider it as my chosen “sport” which requires not only mental preparedness and physical agility but more so requires passion, determination, in-depth knowledge, accuracy, consistency, and great BALANCE. Pretty much like surfing!


A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity of joining some of the coolest surfing enthusiasts that was organized and headed by Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels. Four words to describe it: “IT WAS A BLAST!” My first try standing on the surf board on my first attempt was one of the biggest achievements I consider in my life (seriously!) The moment I nailed it I knew right then that surfing was for me. Same like when I realized that entertaining people and getting creative with cocktails and beverages was really my passion. You see, bartending is not just a profession – IT IS A WAY OF LIFE. Anyone can try it but not everyone can hack it in the real world. Like surfing, it takes a lot of nerves to be able to wing it out in the open seas and to face your fears once you have decided to paddle out. With every fall, every wipe out, every scar and what-not, we keep on pushing the envelope and we keep doing it because of the rush that we get once we catch a wave. But, for the most part, we do it because it’s F-U-N!!!

Surfista Sling

And in honor of the brave and passionate souls either “on board” or “behind bars” I have created a refreshing potion otherwise known as the “Surfista Sling.” A generous amount of vodka, triple sec, fresh lemon and four seasons juices makes this libation a refreshing drink after hours of catching waves or even at your home bar. Enjoy.


Larry Guevara Surfista Batch # 7


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10 Things To Pack for a Surf Trip by Gretchen Que

While packing itself is a tricky art to master, traveling with a surfboard demands more attention than the usual underwear-count concerns. Just like any other skill, you’ll get better over time as you learn from mistakes. But here at Surfista Travels Philippines, we’ve gone the extra mile by making (and learning from) all these blunders for you, so you can skip through the hassle.
You might want to bookmark or print out this list for your next surf trip, to ensure that you’ve got everything together. After all, borrowing might not be an option as your friends could already be at the line up by the time you figure out you’ve left something. Let’s start with things you absolutely must not leave behind, then work our way down to things you might be able to make diskarte for.
gretch blog

Gretch (far right) on a surf trip with her friends and fellow Surfistas!

10. Key to your tie-downs/roof rack
When you leave this behind, the trip is over even before it begins. You can always cut your way through your tie downs, but that creates the new problem of how you’ll drive your board home. Turning to sampayan strings won’t do, as the drag created by your accelerating car will surely flip your board off the roof. Personally, I secure my tie-down key with my car key so I only keep track of “one” thing.

Tie downs are very important for a surf trip. A couple of macho surfer boys don’t hurt either! ;) Mark Mabanag & Luke Landrigan being wonderful caddies on a surf trip!

9. Fins, Fin Key, Back Up Screws 
Your friends love you to death, but there is absolutely no way they could get you out of this one, short of lending you their board. And that means, one sits out while the other rides. Store your fins in your board bag to ensure that they always come with your board. Know what type of key your fins require: FCS keys are shaped differently from Futures keys, and even within the same brand the models could vary. Just as there are different keys, there are different screw sizes. Make sure you have the correct back ups in case the sand decides to eat up your teeny screw. To keep them all together, I use a Sticky Bumps fin bag where I also store my wax.
8. Leash
The locals and the surf schools could probably cover your ass on this one, but you might not be able to surf at your optimum. Surfing with your own leash that meets your body and board length specifications ensures your safety and of those around you. Using your own leash also means that the length is suitable for the types of maneuvers that you’re practicing for.
7. Foil Tape & Duct Tape
It is heartbreaking, but dings and cracks happen even to the best boards. After silently weeping, you can perform a “first aid” to save your session until you get your board properly repaired. Use your hands to feel your board through. Once you find the ding, dry that part with a towel. Cut/tear off a section of foil tape and fully cover the ding. This layer temporarily waterproofs the crack. Then, cut off a slightly larger piece of duct tape to stick over the foil tape as foil easily tears. If in La Union, you may seek out Aki San for his board repair expertise.

Dings, broken boards, injuries are always part of the surf adventure. Be prepared!

6. First Aid Kit (for yourself)
We love our boards but we’ve got to love ourselves too! Remember, safety above all else. A little scratch here and there is inevitable, but fin cuts and deep reef cuts require professional medical attention. And NO peeing on jellyfish stings. Just no.
5. Wax
Because otherwise, shame on you.
4. Dry Bag
Getting in that last surf session right before heading home is totally worth it. But that leaves your clothes with no time to dry. Bring an extra bag made of canvass to store your wet stuff in.
3. Treats for the Locals
This entire list is written under the (duh) assumption that you already have your own board. Which means that you’ve been surfing for a while. Which means you KNOW the locals. Never forget those who pushed you into your first wave. The guys who cheered you on as you dropped in on THEIR wave. The people who shared their food, their beer, and their secret spots with you. Chips and drinks are always welcome. Sometimes, I bring them free stickers and shirts I get from surf brands I support. :)

Locals love stickers!

2. 90s Music
If I’m driving and you’re not, you better start singing.

It’s always good to have good vibes and good music with you on your trip.

1. Underpants
This item makes the bottom of the list, but important still. You are expected to bring at least one more pair apart from the ones you’re already wearing on your way there.

We know you don’t need to wear a lot to go surfing and the hot weather makes us want to take our clothes off, but yes… bring extra underpants. ;)

The best tip I can offer is to keep everything together as much as you can. I have a bag that’s dedicated to surfing and nothing else. This way, I simply have to return all of my gear in the same bag after they dry. Best of all, I don’t have to pack and unpack for every trip. Do yourself a favor and spend more time surfing and less time looking for things. See you at the line up. :)


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10 Things I Love About Baler by Jovanne Lagman

  1. SURF! One of Baler’s famous surf spots, Sabang beach, is not the only place to catch good waves. There are also clean, barreling waves like Cemento for skilled surfers who ride shortboards, and nice, small peelers like Secret Spot or Rivermouth for surfers who enjoy long rides on longboards.

Jovanne Lagman enjoying the waves of Baler. Photo by Calix Enggay


  1. LOCALS. The friendliest, most energetic company that’s needed to keep a trip stoked! Locals of Baler are more than willing to entertain guests at any time to enjoy Baler to the fullest.


  1. FOOD. Start the day with a plate of Tapsilog in El Teodoro, and have some peanut butter flavored coffee at Ground Swell after. On a tight budget? Enjoy lunch or dinner at the famous Rolling Store with fresh home cooked meals. Baler is also covered with fresh grilled seafood and ensaladang pako on any of the food establishments around.

There are so many food choices in Baler!




  1. LOCATION. The best sunrise view happens on the east side. Wake up early morning to catch it, and appreciate the sun’s rays filling the ocean bed, turning it into a mix of warm, soft colours of reds, oranges, and violets.

Waking up to catch the sunrise is always worth it in Baler. Photo taken at Aliya Surf Camp.


  1. ENVIRONMENT. Unlike other populated beaches in the Philippines, Baler has always kept their surroundings clean. Not to mention, even the roads to other surf spots is a rough way just to keep it natural and untouched. The countless beautiful coconut trees, clean river paths, and different kinds of colorful flowers seen along the way are what Baler has best.

Surfistas Elaine Abonal and Jovanne look like dwarves next to the wide expanse of gigantic coconut trees! We are in paradise!

  1. SCENERY. A photographer can easily capture a picturesque view of what defines Baler. Appreciate the view of the horizon along Sabang, explore on other beaches like Dicasalarin, or watch the best sunset view over at the Ermita Hill.


  1. GOOD COMPANY. Travelling alone? Meeting new people along the way will save the trip’s worth! See the famous Balete Tree (also known as the Millenium Tree) or trek through to the Mother Falls together.

There are so many waterfalls to choose from and what better way to spend time with your friends than exploring nature with them! Here are Surfistas enjoying the cool waterfalls after a short hike and their surf lessons.


  1. THE TOWN. Also known as their “bayan,” it has everything needed fit for Baler’s lifestyle. The town not only has the market, food establishments and other services, it also has some historical background on its architecture and urban design, as well as their museum called Museo de Baler that stores different artifacts from ancient civilizations.


  1. NIGHT LIFE. This is not the city nightlife of unlimited booze and hyped music. The setting of Baler at night would either be acoustic sessions or videoke machines in bars, or a few bonfires with groups gathered around it along the stretch of Sabang beach.

10. BOATS. Explore Baler in a different way! There are a number of boats that can be used for touring all day. Wanderers will find coves, islands, reefs, and even historical landmarks that can only be seen from the sea. For surfers, this is also an easier way to check out surf spots along the coast.


Jovanne started as a Surfista and now has her own beautiful longboard and goes on surf trips on her own. We couldn’t be more proud of our Surfista girl!


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