Surfista Travels’ 2nd Year Anniversary Party!

SURFISTA TRAVELS PHILIPPINES is 2 years old!!!!!  Last February 28, 2014 a party was held for the Surfistas, sponsors, friends & fans at Skippy’s Bar in BGC to celebrate the past 2 awesome years and a chance for Surfistas to have a reunion. It was a chill night with the awesome band Tempestuous Jones. THANKS for all those who came, dropped by, and celebrated with us, to our SPONSORS for giving prizes to our loyal Surfistas, to Xavier D’Souza for taking these awesome photos and to Moireen Espinosa for helping reserve spots for us.

Congratulations and happy birthday to all of us! 

Tempestuous Jones
Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels giving her Thank You speech and giving awards and prizes from our sponsors like GoPro Philippines, Hurley Philippines, VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines to loyal Surfistas
Surfista Travels’ Elaine Abonal and loyal Surfistas Chris Romero and Jovanne Lagman


Rockin’ out to Tempestuous Jones
with our talented photographer Xavier D’Souza
Skippy’s Bar and Grill at BGC
Loyal Surfistas JK Beltran and Trina mundo get freebies from GoPro as well as a stay at Aliya Surf Resort! Woohoo!
Scott Judy and his red pants to signify Surfista love!
Pretty Surfistas Tats and Andrea
Great reunion for old surf friends: JP Ong, Rob Chase from California, Elaine Abonal and Chris Romero
Elaine Abonal with our friends and amazing surfers that we worked with last year: Surfboard shaper and photographer Ian Zamora and The Surf Institute’s Carla Rowland


For other dates for Surfista TOURS & PACKAGES, click HERE.

Questions? Concerns? Read our FAQ page or e-mail us at

Thank you very much and we are looking forward to surfing and travelling with you soon!

1st Trip to Baler with Surfista Travels Philippines, December 2012

Beautiful Baler

Our happy Surfistas wearing their Hurley-Surfista rashguards before their surf lessons.

Surfista Travels Philippines went on our first trip to Baler on the long weekend of November 30 to December 2, 2012. It was a SUCCESSFUL and memorable trip for all the Surfistas who participated! We even had participants who flew in all the way from Malaysia and Bacolod/Australia and one took the bus all the way from Bicol just to join this group! They said that their trips were definitely worth it. The weather and wave conditions were perfect for our Surfistas and they also got to see the beautiful Mother Waterfalls in between surf lessons.

Aliya Surf Camp

Beautiful weather and perfect conditions for our Surfistas

We stayed at the beautiful Aliya Surf Camp and had lessons with the Aliya Surf School. Surfistas also received a lot of freebies from our amazing sponsors: Hurley Philippines, GoPro Philippines, VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines, Lightwater, Vitaminboost, Agos Pilipinas, 7107 Island Travel Magazine, Nalgene Philippines and Sea To Summit Philippines.

There were a lot of laughs, smiles, good vibes, and pictures taken and we couldn’t have asked for a better pioneer Baler Surfista group.

Check out our photos!

Surfistas on this trip actually got a full tube of Armada Face Cover from VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines!

Keeping hydrated with Vitaminboost!

Surfistas showing off their freebies from our awesome sponsors!

Surfista Travels LOVES VMV Hypoallergenics Philippines’ Armada sunscreen!


Mother Falls in Baler

Surfistas freezing in the cold waters of the Mother Falls in Baler

Australian volunteer in Bacolod Kerry improving her surf skils while she’s still in tropical waters!

Stacy flew in all the way from Malaysia to join this group! She loved surfing!

Repeat Surfista Roma was just in the La Union with us the week before and came back to Baler. Look at her improve quickly!

Hanz is another loyal Surfista who is really serious about improving his craft.

Madeleine is another repeat Surfista who wanted to discover the beauty of Baler with us!

The pioneer Surfista Travels group to Baler with Roy Angara of Aliya Surf Camp


Of course we had to pose this way!

Check out more photos from this trip on the SURFISTA TRAVELS FACEBOOK PAGE or click HERE.

Want to read what our Baler Surfistas about this experience? Check out their COMMENTS.

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES. / / twitter & instagram: @SurfistaTravels

GoPros in Surf Action with Surfista Travels

Our sponsor GoPro Philippines and ThirtySix-O Media brought a talented team with us to La Union to take photos and film of our first trip last February 11 and 12, 2012. They worked as much as they had fun and with their creativity, talent & the awesomeness of the GoPro camera, it’s sure that they got awesome shots. We’re looking forward to the video they’ll come out with. In the meantime, check out these GoPro cameras hard at work while we went surfing!

GoPro cameras were mounted on surfboards to record some surf action

Can you spot the GoPro camera on this board? (Hint: Look up!)

Kenjo is going to have a lot of surf footage for sure!

A different perspective: using the head mount this time

Recording the sunset using time lapse & checking it with the LCD backpack

Another way of mounting our GoPros: using the suction cup

GoPro team & ThirtySix-O media crew filming Filipino-American Chris Romero!

GoPro camera securely in place - and in case it falls off, make sure the floatie is attached

Action shots with Elaine Abonal while using her own GoPro Hero 2 on her surfboard

Want to learn more about GoPro cameras? LIKE their page at and get your own GoPro Hero 2 now!

Photos by Diego Virata, Mike Nagrampa and Andrea Roxas

Surfista Travels Philippines Interview by 558AM Radio

Surfista Travels Philippines owner and founder Elaine Abonal was interviewed last January 20, 2012 on a local radio station 558 AM on the show “Bisnis ni Juan.” The show talks about different businesses in the Philippines – both small and big businesses. Here is an edited transcript of her interview translated into English. If you would like to listen to parts of it, we recorded the webcast and you can watch it here on


Our guest for tonight is the woman behind Surfista Travels Elaine Abonal. Good evening Elaine.

Elaine Abonal: Hello and good evening Mr. Raffy & Ms. Leo, thanks for inviting me to your show.

So tell us about Surfista Travels. What services do you offer?

Elaine: I just launched the existence of my surf tour company called Surfista Travels. What we’re going to do is we’re going to make packages for people who want to learn to surf or for those who want to go on a surf trip to La Union, Baler, or other spots in the Philippines. Surfing is getting more popular here in the Philippines but a lot of people don’t know where to go, where to stay, where to take lessons, and who to contact. I’ve been surfing for a while now and a lot of people have always asked me for help and I’ve brought so many friends on surf trips. So I was encouraged by my friends and my family to start this. If I know how to do it and I can help others, I should start my own company. And here it is.

Does Surfista Travels only have surfing in La Union?

Elaine: We’re going to start with La Union because that’s where we know a lot of people and have a lot of contacts. That’s where the pilot project is. The first tour is on February 11 and 12 this year. Then from there we can make other packages for other groups of people, for companies, and whoever else needs help and wants to go on a surf trip. That’s the plan for now.

Are you from La Union?

Elaine: I’m from Manila but I feel like I’m a local there because I’m always there. I even learned how to speak a little bit of Ilocano!

So this is your chance to greet people in Ilocos and La Union!

Elaine: Good evening to everyone listening from the North! Naimbag na rabii.

What inspired you and motivated you to start Surfista Travels?

Elaine: I’ve always loved surfing and traveling. It started as a hobby and I would surf on weekends as a student. Now I teach languages (I speak English, French, Spanish and Tagalog) so I always meet a lot of people who like to explore and who like to travel. Some of them are not really good with English and usually need someone who will help them coordinate and bring them to the place. I would do it just because I loved meeting new people and helping them out.

The idea of having my own company occurred when I went on an international trip with my good friend Luke Landrigan, a pro surfer who is sponsored by Billabong and owns San Juan Surf School and his dad, Brian Landrigan, owner of San Juan Surf Resort. We’ve all known each other for a while and they encouraged me to do it and even said, “If that’s what you like and if that’s what you’re good at (being around people), why don’t you make something out of it?”

So I thought about it and prayed very hard and with a lot of thinking and help from others, Surfista Travels was born.

Where do you surf?

Elaine: In the Philippines I’ve been to La Union, Baler, Siargao, Daet, Zambales… Have you tried surfing, sir?

Yeah I’ve gone surfing in the bathroom, on the internet. Haha. What are your other hobbies? Are you a student/employed?

I freelance and work as a language instructor for Berlitz Language Center and I teach English, French and Spanish. I also write and take photos for magazines.

So people can contact you just in case they want to learn those languages?

Sure they can!

So Surfista Travels is something that you really want to explore and do. When did you start?

The idea came last year but I just launched it this month and this year. Kind of like a Happy New Year kind of thing, let’s try something new, new year’s resolution kind of thing.

How do you see yourself five years from now with Surfista Travels?

This is my dream. This is my new dream. So hopefully I would already be going to different places around the Philippines. I’m not sure if in five years we would already be going outside of the Philippines and have international destinations but hopefully we’ve already gone to many places and have had a lot more tours. I would still be enjoying. In five years I want this to still be my passion and something that I will be doing for other people.

Are you not thinking of planning or organizing a surfing competition with Surfista Travels?

Eventually and hopefully in the future. We’re still a small company. Our target for now is to have smaller groups so that it’s personalized and I can see what my customers want, don’t want, what market I have, etc. I have friends who are in the Manila Surfers Association and other surfing associations who hold surf competitions in different surf spots in the Philippines. Hopefully in the future we can work with them and have events, outreach programs, or competitions.

So what you’re doing now is you’re networking and marketing your services?

Yes. We’re trying to get the word out there that we exist. I think what is helping me the most is that I already know a lot of people in the industry and I have the support of my sponsors. I am sponsored personally and as a company by GoPro Philippines (a camera that you can use for surfing), Lightwater & Vitaminboost, Agos Pilipinas, Yabang Pinoy, Philippine First Aid. So I think with my friends and my sponsors, we help each other get the word out on our products/services.

With that we can see that in doing business, we can’t do everything alone. We see that we definitely need support.

Totally. I wouldn’t be able to start this if it weren’t for the help of my friends, my family, and all the people that I know so I am VERY thankful for the people who support me and my new company. I see who my real friends are. It’s really cool. It’s amazing how God has given me so many blessings so I am very thankful for those who have been helping me.

I see that you have a very good asset – you are very positive and you’ve made your hobby into a more enthusiast project or a passion.

Yeah, you gotta love what you do!

How else are you marketing besides the help of your sponsors?

I think Facebook and Twitter helps a lot. People like interaction. You can’t just tell people to join your tour and give you their money. You have to show that surfing is beneficial to you and your life, that it’s a good way to make new friends, and all the other good things about it. There needs to be a personal touch – which is what I want to do anyway. I like getting to know my clients.

So you’re saying it’s not just about the money, but it’s about making new friendships and doing something good in life.

Yes and taking care of the ocean and keeping our beaches clean. It’s actually one of our advocacies. You can’t go on a Surfista Travels trip without going on a Beach Cleanup. It’s part of our itinerary to pick up trash on the beach.

Wow so with your passion with surfing and the environment and with your tours, you are offering your services as your product. What challenges are you facing now?

I just started so it’s at this time it’s getting the word out there. Surfing is not very popular in the Philippines yet and even if we’re a country surrounded by so many islands, a lot of Filipinos are scared to swim or of big waves. People need to be encouraged to try something new in the water like surfing.

So it’s like saying that it’s more fun…

Yeah, it’s more fun when you’re surfing!

Yeah people say, “Surfing? There’s no surf here.” People don’t realize that more and more people surf and foreigners even come all the way here just to surf.

So I guess this is what you’re saying: you should be where your heart is and where your passion is. Even in business, it all starts with your passion and then everything follows.

Yes. That’s something I should remember and I’m very thankful to hear that from you, sir.

Do you have an inspirational message or business statement to share with our listeners? You sound like you’re young.

I think my voice sounds young!

Young at heart but rich in the mind. Maybe you can give an inspirational message?

I’ll just repeat what my friends and other people have been telling me – Just do what you love. If you’re happy with what you’re doing and when you wake up in the morning and think, “I’m excited, this is what I’m going to do today,” then you’re good. Even if you’re tired or spending a bit of money, it’s okay if you love what you’re doing. That’s how it should be. If you believe in yourself and that what you are doing is for you, just do it. Just go.

So since you’ve tickled the interest of our listeners, maybe you could announce your contact numbers so people can reach you if they’re interested?

If you’d like to join our first tour this Feb 11 & 12, you can go to the Surfista Travels website or check out the facebook page We’re looking forward to surfing with you and going on a Surfista Travels trip with you soon!

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