Top 10 Reasons why Surfista Travels is the BEST!

by Moireen Espinosa

I’m a late bloomer when it comes to surfing, but I’ve been meaning to try surfing for ages. When I started learning how to surf and did my share of research, I stumbled upon Surfista Travels Philippines.  Here are the top 10 reasons (because I could list a whole lot more) why for me, Surfista Travels is THE BEST!

Moi has always been a fan of Surfista Travels and last year, she finally made her dreams come true and joined a Surfista trip! ;)


Surfista Travels makes sure that each trip has a touch of love and care! Aside from the surfing itself, each trip is filled with activities suited to maximize the trip where the group is in. For example, if the trip is in Baler, the group gets to visit the Oldest Balete Tree and the Mother Falls. If it’s in La Union, there are waterfalls called Tangadan Falls.  There are mini-ice breaker activities per trip that will be conducted such as a kris-kringle which I experienced during the La Union Surf Trip I attended last December 2013. Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels keeps everyone involved and excited, which I love.

Island hopping with the Surfistas who went to Siargao! Every trip and group is PERSONALIZED, which makes every Surfista experience memorable!

 2. They make sure of the QUALITY of everything.

Surfista Travels works with surf schools that have certified instructors, resorts with quality service and amenities, and sponsors that provide products geared towards a safer surf environment. All these are important because the aim of Surfista Travels is to help groups of people to get to the best surf spots, surf resorts and surf schools while making it easy, convenient, and fun!

Surfista Travels only works with the BEST. Here is pro surfer Luke Landrigan personally giving surfing basics to Surfistas.

 3. They’re actually LEGIT!

Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels is based in Manila and has been surfing, traveling around the Philippines and bringing friends to different surf spots for the past 10 years. She is currently a brand ambassador for GoPro Philippines, Hurley Philippines, VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines, Breo, Lightwater, Vitaminboost,  Nalgene Philippines, Sea To Summit Philippines, Zem Gear Philippines and Agos Pilipinas  and has also recently received her First Aid Certification from Philippine First Aid. How’s that for being legit?

Surfista Travels Founder Elaine Abonal with Moireen Espinosa

 4. COMMUNICATION is the key for Surfista Travels.

From pre to post surf trip, all you’d worry about is the #SEApanx and you’d be eager to join the next Surfista Trip. Elaine Abonal, the owner and founder of Surfista Travels, always makes sure that every detail of each trip is well-coordinated.  Surfista Travels has a website and social media accounts where Elaine posts updates about trips, deadlines, merchandise and such. She also makes a point to send reminders via email and SMS to participants regarding the trip they signed up for.

Elaine Abonal is known for and remembered by Surfistas as very organized and friendly – it’s as if you’ve known each other for a long time and are hanging out with an old friend.


People from different parts of the Philippines and other countries book with Surfista Travels because the process is simple and is hassle free! Surfista Travels takes the on the “spirit of surf travel” and makes it just pure FUN and STRESS FREE for ALL participants – from finding a place to stay, transportation to and from the surf spot; Surfista Travels takes care of everything!

No worries. Just join a Surfista trip and your main job is to HAVE FUN!

 6. They’ve got PASSION: Commitment to the Environment.

Elaine, through Surfista Travels, spreads her love of surfing. Surfista Travels is not just a surf tour company but it is also focused on the promotion of eco-surf / sustainable tourism . Surfista Travels has been an inspiration and a way for participants to reachout through activities such as Beach Cleanups to keep the environment safe and clean for both humans and mother nature.

Surfista Travels makes sure that we never leave any of our trash whenever we go on surf spots. We also heave beach clean ups to teach Surfistas the importance of showing the locals that we care for and respect their beaches.

 7. You’ll always be with GOOD COMPANY.

Being part of Surfista Travels is more than just the surfing experience per se, but being around people who you would share the same stoked feeling –regardless of the skill level in surfing. You’d likely meet people from different walks of life but at the end of the trip, you’d find yourself with a bunch of new found bffs.

Moireen Espinosa with her Surfista Travels group to La Union

 8. TRAVEL – what else!?

Surfing here would need to take hours of travel time – so this would also feed you’re your craving to travel! Surfista Travels offer different packages to different awesome surf spots such as La Union, Baler, and Siargao. Surfista Travels will surely bring you to the best surf spots at the right time for both beginners and intermediate surfers.

From beginners to advanced surfers – such as this TV crew from Montreal Canada who did a TV show called OuiSurf – Surfista Travels can provide you the service and information you need – especially when it comes to surf travel.

 9. Surfista Travels really live the SURFING LIFESTYLE.

Unlike what other people think, surfing isn’t a cliquish sport. Since you spend time with people and met new people at the same time, in the long run it’s a very welcoming community – and Surfista Travels takes this into account. But surfing is not just about getting in the water and riding waves, but it’s about relationships with Surfista Participants, the locals, and the environment.


10. Last but not the least – SURFING!

Of course! Why join Surfista Travels if surfing isn’t in the list? Add to it the stoked feeling after you ride your first wave. Oh! And those muscles you didn’t know existed? They will surely ache but it’s worth it! Sooner you’d be ripped in no time! Once you start have that first ride on a wave, it is feels awesome! And since every wave is different, you’d get addicted to it!

Moi’s game face is ON! Learning how to surf with Surfista Travels is one of the best experiences you can give to your family, friends, and especially yourself.


Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.

twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels




By JJ Ferrer

The day before my flight to Siargao, I spent an entire afternoon at work deciding how I would write my out-of-office email message. I considerately decided that Thank you for your email, I will be out of office to go surfing on a beautiful island for six glorious days and do awesome things that awesome people do on an awesome vacation with my fellow Surfistas would be a ruthless thing to send to anyone who would read it while they’re at work. I leaned towards simplicity and just wrote that I’ll be out of office and will respond to their mail when I get back.

Dreaming of Siargao even before getting there!

By midnight, sheer excitement has prompted me that I will not get any sleep. I’ve already checked my bags twice. I’ve went over my Surfista goodies and tried to fit all the shirts, accessories and baller bands to pass time. Hmmm… maybe I’ll just drink one of those hot chocolate freebies while I do swimsuit inventory.


Our Surfista group for August 2013 and our local instructors – who are also the best surfers in the country!

The major element of the Surfista Siargao trip would definitely be the everyday surf. That’s good vibes on a daily basis! And if that’s not cool enough, we got partnered with super-skilled instructors who were as pleasant to surf with as they are to watch while they do surf tricks. (Note to self:  Learn the specific names of those surf tricks so I wouldn’t be mentioning “tricks” repeatedly!) They were also such warm and fun people who were so helpful in sharing their expertise. It feels so unreal to have surfed at Siargao with those legends.

with my instructor Eloy – big wave surfer, boat man, kinilaw chef, super awesome surf instructor and all around nice guy!

We’ve also explored other nearby surf spots and it was a quite an excitement. But I’d say it was pretty intimidating, too. For someone who just started surfing early this year, I’ve never really had that much experience on varying waves. Add to that the fact that I’ve never surfed on a reef break before. (Thank goodness for reef shoes!)  There were spots where the waves are bigger than what I am used to. Frankly, I think I grew solid guts because of this entire surf experience.

Surfing in paradise!!!!!



Siargao is well-known for surfing but there are other cool things to do there. One of our sunny mornings was spent jumping off rocks and dipping in the clear waters at Magpupungko Rock Pools. That one’s rather memorable because I somehow confounded my height fright that day. Awesome feeling.

Siargao is beautiful and there are so many places to visit!

Heading to the Magpupungko rock pools with fellow Surfistas

Jumping into the rock pool!! We all did it and dedicated to something we all needed to let go of! ;)

We also had a free day so we decided to use up a couple of hours to go carabao-riding. Chelle, one of the Surfistas, and I decided to add a dash of fun by wearing our dresses to this happy occasion. If you’re gonna do it, do it with flair, right? I consider this one of the many amusing highlights of the trip.

Carabao riding in style!

Kevin riding the carabao like a boss!

And how could I forget the trip to three islands in one day? We started the island hopping in the morning and as we walk through the woodlands to get to the dock where our boat was waiting for us, one of our local guides casually instructed us to watch out for snakes. Uhm, what?!? Did she say snakes? I thought that was a fairly good reason to faint out of terror but then I also thought it would be a good story to tell if we did encounter snakes. We didn’t. But there’s still the interesting story about the three islands we went to, the hearty lunch we enjoyed together, the glorious nap underneath a tree, the ukulele jam session, the good swim we had, and the golden tan that I’m too happy to have gotten so I cannot stop boasting about it up until the present time. (Sorry, jealous friends. #sorrynotsorry)

Freshly grilled seafood, mangoes and banana, rice for our simple island hopping lunch – it was SO GOOD.

More tropical fruits for dessert – watermelon for a hot hot day.

Chill lunch!

Of course we had to have that jump shot in Guyam Island.


I’m just so glad to have met people who were as ready as I was for whatever the island had to give. The very first night at the place, we heard about Jungle Disco (aka Jangol Deesco). It wasn’t part of the trip’s itinerary but we were so game for the island life and we were ready to roll! So what if we haven’t slept the night before? We excitedly waited for midnight and went to the disco! I actually pictured it to be in the middle of the jungle because it was called Jungle Disco, right? But no, it’s not literally on a jungle, but yes, there was dancing. And the finest part — Jungle Juice — the yummy drink that established the birth of our group’s name the Nutty Jangol Juice Surfistas.

My awesome group the Nutty Jangol Surfistas (missing Niko in the photo!)

 Some nights we spent looking up at the sky and watching countless stars. It was beautiful and that’s definitely something you can’t do in the city. On starless nights because of rain, our group always found a way to do something fun and hilarious.  We had game nights and some nights were just spent talking — one minute were talking about our odd future plans (keyword: mermaid), next minute we were discussing books and another minute were singing Saging lang ang may Puso remix version. We were nuts!


 The skies were dark on the day we were leaving. All of us Surfistas were just silently sitting on Siargao Airport’s waiting area, bracing ourselves for our normal city lives. We were waiting for quite a while when someone announced that our flights got cancelled because of the weather. We all looked at each other, wordless, emotionless. (Another version of this story is that there was a resounding YAY heard in the entire airport but this has yet to be confirmed).  There was so much work to do in the city but who are we to fight the forces of nature, right?? ;) Maybe the island wasn’t ready to see us leave.

One of our extra days was spent going to Sohoton to check out the caves and lagoons. It took hours to get there but the view, the encounter with stingless jellyfish, the caving experience and the chance to jump off a cliff again were definitely worth the time. The rest of the days were dedicated to added crazy talks, even more food and of course, more surf time.

with Gianni of Kermit Surf & Dive EcoCamp and Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels

On the whole, I can absolutely say that the SURFISTA SIARGAO trip I signed up for falls under the Awesome Surf Trip category. Every aspect of the surf experience was terrific, the other activities were fun, the people I’ve met were amazing, the resort (Kermit Surf & Dive Resort, check them out!) and the folks there were so cool and Elaine did a lot of awesome work to make sure that our trip goes smoothly. I would definitely do it again. Definitely.

I would totally go back. I’ll never forget this Surfista in Siargao experience!!


twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels

A Peek at Siargao

by Yvette Ferrari
photo (3)

You’re an ocean dweller at heart and living in the concrete jungle has you coming down with a serious case of the blues. You could really use some beach time and good waves to wash the stress away. You know what that means. It’s time to start planning your next get away and Surfista Travels Philippines can help you get there.

Whether you’re a resident of Southeast Asia or a European looking for relaxation and an escape, Cloud 9 in Siargao, Philippines should jump to the top of your list of surf destinations to check out in Asia. Located about 800 kilometers southeast of Manila, Siargao Island is a part of Surigao del Norte known for its white sand beaches, untouched natural havens, and laid back culture.

If you have never traveled in the Philippines, it can be difficult to figure out where to stay and how to get there. Surfista Travels takes away the hassle of planning offering convenient packages including accommodation, transportation, surf lessons, board rentals, and not to mention a unique experience in a one of a kind place.

Many loyal surfers have already heard of Cloud 9. Popularized in the early 90s by American photographer John Callahan, Cloud 9 is regarded as “the surfing capital of the Philippines” and is renowned internationally for its thick hallow tubes and right breaking reef waves. Travelers marvel at the warm waters and serene environment of Cloud 9 while practicing their surf skills in a current that is not too intense for beginners.
Working with the best surf schools in Siargao, Surfista Travels ensures safety in the water and above all a good time. Other popular breaks on the island that cater to both left and right‐handed surfers at a more intermediate level include Tuesday Rock, Ventura, Pilar Point, and Tuason Point.


Surf and beautiful beaches aside, there are many other reasons to visit Siargao. Among those reasons is the Caob lagoon. Just a 40‐minute boat ride through one of the largest and most well preserved wetland of mangroves in Mindanao Philippines lays Caob lagoon whose natural beauty is only rivaled by its enchanting mystical qualities. Island hopping, parasailing, kite surfing, kayaking and big game fishing are among other popular activities in Siargao. Take an evening out with new friends you will surely meet in your Surfista Travels group and head to any number of bars concentrated along General Luna near Cloud 9. Friendly locals mingle with tourists where the nightlife scene can vary anywhere from a chill café to dancing the night away at Melvinbo Disco.

If surfing is up your alley and you’re ready to experience Philippines in a different way, then get to Siargao ASAP. But don’t take my word for it because words don’t do justice to the paradise that is Siargao. You have to see for yourself.
For more information about Surfista Travels Philippines and testimonials please visit and contact Elaine Abonal to reserve your spot on the next Surfista Travels trip. For more information on Siargao, Philippines visit www.tourism‐‐island

The Good Life: Surf Life & Friends in Siargao

Here’s a tidbit of Surfista Elaine Abonal’s surf life & clips of her friends and favorite surfers here in Siargao island filmed by the awesome Kyron Rathbone. Learning a lot about life & different kinds of realities here and am thankful for that opportunity :)

Thank you to VMV HYPOALLERGENICS Philippines, GoPro Philippines, ZEM GEAR Philippines (Official), Lightwater, VitaminBoost, Lagu, and the staff of Buddha’s Surf Resort – Siargao, Philippines & all the friendly locals of Siargao island for the support and great experience!

Surfista will be bringing groups to Siargao sometime next year. We hope this video excites you and inspires you for then!

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