Private Surfista Group: LOVE Family, December 2012 La Union

The LOVE Family (what a great name!) is from New York, USA and was brought by their family from the Philippinesto La Union to surf with Surfista Travels for Christmas! The kids Jordy, Daniel and David – together with their mom Jennifer – must have been the cutest and bravest Surfistas we’ve had so far! It was a great 2 days with this family and an awesome way to spend the Christmas holidays. Check out the following photos to see how much fun we all had.

CONGRATULATIONS to these kids for doing such a great job and for being so brave despite the big waves!

The Loves went on a Surfista trip for their Christmas holidays – what a great idea!

Daniel & David Love ready for their surf lessons.

SAFETY is important especially with kids. Surfista Elaine Abonal explaining the basics.

Class picture before their first surf lessons in La Union!

The kids must be proud of their mom!!

It’s never too early to start surfing! 12 – year – old David Love getting his balance on!

10-year-old Jordana was a natural! Look at that happy Surfista girl!

7-year-old Daniel had no fears despite the big waves during surf lessons! He just wanted to “surf all day everyday” he said!

The kids getting freebies from our sponsors. David with his stickers from Hurley Philippines!

On our way home. CONGRATULATIONS to the newest, cutest & youngest Surfistas we’ve had so far!

Here’s a little video of the kids:


Surfer Girl Diaries Feature: La Union

Here’s an excerpt from one of Republic of 7,107 Islands Travel Magazines last May 2011


By Elaine Abonal


     A lot of people travel around the Philippines to frolick on powdery white sand, lie around and get a tan, or get drunk by the beach. Those things are fun for a girl but this girl looks for something else – WAVES. And the Philippines definitely has it.

     Ever since I started surfing 9 years ago, I’ve always looked for coasts with waves, otherwise I easily get bored. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no pro and I am definitely what one would call a soul surfer. I love “playing” and dancing with the ocean in easy waves with my friends and I don’t care too much about winning contests or catching the wave of the year. Surfing, for me, is not only a sport, but a big part of my life. It’s the reason why my photo albums and journals are full of images and adventure stories of the people I’ve met from around the world, the waves I’ve ridden, the islands I’ve discovered and the road trips I’ve gone on with life-long friends.

     The Philippines has the most beautiful islands and coasts lined with undiscovered waves. People are friendly, travel is cheap, and adventure is bound to happen anywhere. I may be biased when I say this, but as much as I enjoyed surfing in other countries like in the US or in Indonesia, surfing my home break beats all of the hype written in other magazines. Ten years ago, there was only a group of surfers from each surf spot that everyone knew everyone else. Now that number has multiplied ten times, if not more, and there are more surf resorts, surf shops, surf schools, restaurtants and other businesses.

     This little article on my favorite surf spots in the Philippines will hopefully give you a preview of what it’s all about, help you out on where togo and what to do if you’re interested and inspire you to try it.

Favorite Surf Spot Number One: LA UNION

Why I Like It: It is only 5-6 hours from Manila by car/bus and it’s only a 45 minutes by plane. La Union is perfect for beginners because of the many surf schools that are constantly growing in the area, as well as the beach break. The beach break is a spot where waves break on a sand bottom so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by the reef or stones. There are other spots, with or without reef, which are also better suited for more advanced surfers. There are quite a number of surf schools and resorts to choose from and there are also different kinds of places to eat that can suit any budget. Locals here treat you like they’ve known you forever and are always willing to give you some tips to improve your ride or invite you to their table to have a beer. I’ve made so many friends here, I’ve even learned to speak Ilocano, and it’s a place that has a special place in my heart.

Type of Surf: Small to big waves for learning, longboarding and shortboarding.

Place To Stay At: San Juan Surf Resort. I’ve been staying here for as long as I remember and already consider the staff and the owners as family. A lot of surfers from around the world come and spend weeks or even months here. My friend Luke Landrigan, who is  part of the Billabong team, owns the San Juan Surf School where students can learn take lessons or rent boards. I’ve actually even “worked” there for a month right after I graduated from Ateneo – it was a perfect excuse to live the beach life and surf every single day!

My Tips For You: Respect the beach and make sure that you don’t leave any trash behind. If there is anyone directly affected by what happens to the sea or the ocean – it’s the surfers. More and more people come here every year now, which is good for business but also bad for the ocean. So we should all take part in maintining the clealiness of our playground. The locals have clean ups every morning and afternoon and this is something we should learn from. We wouldn’t want to be surfing next to plastic bags now, do we? Also make sure that you know where you are surfing, what goes on around the spot (rips, tides, currents), and proper surf etiquette because not only does it make sure that you have fun and keep you safe, but it’ll also keep others safe.

We did it! First group to La Union was a SUCCESS :)

Surfista Travels Philippines had our first group and surf trip to San Juan, La Union last February 11 & 12. We had a little more than 10 participants, the ThirtySix-O film crew sponsored by GoPro Philippines, and a lot of excited smiles. We left Manila at 5 am and arrived at the San Juan Surf Resort just in time for lunch. The weather and wave conditions were perfect for beginners on Saturday when we had lessons with San Juan Surf Resort. Each person had a surf instructor and everyone was stoked as soon as they stood on their FIRST WAVE! And we must say, everyone was able to stand on their first try! :)

All set on a beautiful day! Surfboards, surf instructors, surf lessons

Each student had their own surf instructor

Already SURFING on the first day!!

Home base: San Juan Surf Resort

After taking a break in the afternoon and while waiting for sunset, we had a beach clean up. We want to emphasize the importance of keeping our beaches and oceans clean. After all, it IS our playground right?  The beach of San Juan is pretty clean and we thought we wouldn’t have to pick anything up, but we realized that there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of cigarette butts on the sand. Some local surfer girls helped us pick them up and put all the trash we collected in biodegradable plastic bags.

After picking up trash at the beach, we were blessed with THIS BEAUTIFUL VIEW!

At night we had dinner, chilled, hung out at the beach and played models/actors/actresses while the film crew were filming. These Surfistas are artistas!

Hanging out at the beach

The next day, everyone was up and ready for their next surf lessons. The waves were bigger and more intense this time but the instructors from the surf school were very good in making sure that we had fun and stayed safe. Everyone really wanted to improve their surfing. Thankfully we had a lot of supply of Lightwater and Vitaminboost to keep us hydrated!

Lightwater & Vitaminboost kept us hydrated!

The crew of ThirtySix-O hard at work but still having fun!

With all the filming involved, the first group of Surfistas felt like super artistas!

The weekend went by really fast – time flies when you’re having fun they say – and at the end of the trip, everyone wore their Surfista Travels T-shirts sponsored by Agos Pilipinas. The quality of the shirt was very comfortable and the design was classy, colorful and fun – both boys and girls loved it! Then we had our group photo taken, got our certificates and said our well wishes and goodbyes to each other before our trip back to Manila. We didn’t want to leave and wished the experience was longer.

One of the best things about surf trips is making NEW FRIENDS. Laura (on the left) flew all the way to the Philippines from Thailand to join us on this trip!

Surfista Girls

Surfista Boys with Surfista Travels founder & coordinator Elaine Abonal

This is just a short jist of our pioneer group’s experience on our surf trip but to sum it all up, we were blessed with sunshine, waves, the gift of surfing and new friends, a lot of smiles and new memories. THAT is how we can say the trip was a SUCCESS. :)

Want to see more photos? Check out the Surfista Travels Facebook page!

Want to read what our participants had to say? Check out our Testimonials page!

The first EVER group of Surfista Travelers! So proud!!!

Want to join the next trip? MARCH 24 & 25, 2012 to LA UNION. Save the dates to make sure you have a spot! Details at the Tours & Packages page.

We would like to THANK our participants, our friends & families, Luke Landrigan & his instructors from the San Juan Surf School, the awesome film crew of ThirtySix-O media, the ocean for giving us the gift of sea, waves & sunshine & our sponsors GoPro Philippines, Lightwater, VitaminBoost, Agos Pilipinas, 7107 Island Travel Magazine, Yabang Pinoy, Philippine First Aid and My Life on Board.

Photos by Andrea Roxas, Mica Ferrer, Mike Nagrampa, Diego Virata

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