Surfista La Union February 2014 Video Highlights

Congratulations to the February 2014 Surfistas to La Union! You guys did such a great job and it was an honor to be a part of many of your FIRST surfing experience.

Check out this fun video made by Surfista Abraham Erbel of his 2nd Surfista experience with us (he joined Surfista Baler too ;)!

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Surfista Siargao by Nette Guevarra

Over a year ago, I made a conscious decision to live by three things: 1. Get out of my comfort zone 2. Let go of things, situations and people I cannot control 3. Listen to my intuition and let it lead the way. It wasn’t easy at first.  But once I learned to do these, my world totally changed.

All these Surfistas actually travelled solo and went home with a set of new friends!

Our first day and first meal at the Sagana Resort in Siargao: Nette, Frances, Jannelle, Camille and Jovanne

Because of these three simple mantras, with the help of a positive attitude, the Universe hurled me into situations and people that made my heart sing.  And SURFING is definitely one of them.

Siargao is a surfer’s paradise!

I have pretty much engaged in different sports and extra-curricular activities since childhood, but I must say, SURFING takes the cake!  I have a tinge of regret I didn’t learn this sport sooner, but as they say, it is never too late.  Traveling solo on a remote island for 6 days to try surfing (on the reef breaks at that) sounded like a bold and unconventional sabbatical to some people.  But to me, it was the BEST thing I have ever done for myself this year!  I have always wanted to surf, and I really think that the Universe was kind enough to make it happen. I stumbled upon the Surfista Travels Philippines page on Facebook, then saw cheap airline tickets to Manila & Siargao, and realized it was a public holiday/long weekend in Malaysia during that Surfista trip.  Thank you, Universe!

So glad to have stumbled upon Surfista Travels Philippines on Facebook!

Soooo much freebies from Surfista sponsors!! Every peso spent on this trip was worth it!

I thought about it for a few days and I cringed at the thought of me falling off my board and hitting my face or head on the reefs, rocks or other people’s surf boards. But despite my daunting thoughts, I listened to my gut.  You’ll never know until you try.  So I went.  Carpe Diem, baby!

Carpe diem! THIS is what my decision has brought me to: paradise, beautiful waters and beautiful people.

It was my first time to visit Siargao Island and I totally fell in love with it!  The clear blue sea, the inviting waves and Cloud 9 tower alone was just magnificent.  I speak for all beach lovers out there when I say that there’s definitely something about the sea that calms people down, humbles them, heals them and puts things into perspective.  To me it clearly explained why the Siargaonons exuded nothing but genuine warmth, kindness and compassion. Working and living in a busy raucous city in Malaysia, I greatly appreciated the simple island life and the kindness of its people.  Our surf instructors were patient, happy-go-lucky and by far, the most humble mentors I have met.  They were quiet and gentle with us, but these people are fearless in the water and even charge epic 10-foot barreling waves in international surf competitions! Amazing!

Nette and her instructor and also champ Filipino surfer – Carlito Nogalo

Each Surfista instructor was handpicked because Surfista Travels only works with the BEST! All these Siargao surfers are amazing – both in and out of the water.

The six days spent surfing taught me a lot of things as compared to other sports I’ve engaged in.  It taught me the value of patience and resilience.  It constantly reminded me to go with the flow, to let go, to rise back up, and repeat.  I was so tense in my first 2 tries to ride the waves with my 9-foot soft top longboard, struggling to stand up and all.  “Keep in mind that it is okay to fall off your board.  It’s okay.  Just let yourself fall.  What matters is that you quickly rise up on that board to strike that balance with the waves.  It will be all over in a matter of seconds, so you have to be quick to rise and feel it.  When you fall off, paddle back up here and then repeat.”  Those few words from Carlito, my surf instructor, and for some reason it got to me because it not only referred to surfing, but those words reminded me so much about life. 

Finally surfing!!!!!!!!!

True enough, the next few rides after that were absolute FUN.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  I found myself paddling around the impact zone, braving those sets of crashing waves one after the other, and paddling back to the lineup to catch more waves.  The surf stoke is pretty much an amazing and overwhelming feeling, that I didn’t mind paddling back and forth, even if my arms felt like jello and even if I was so freakin’ tired from all that paddling (yeah, I’m outta shape haha).  In our last 2 days, I was having so much fun that I lost track of time and didn’t notice I was surfing for 2 hours straight.  

Photo shoots, island hopping, new friends, good vibes, eating freshly grilled seafood – other highlights of the surf and island life.

Surfing isn’t always competitive.  It is also something that you do just for the fun of it; It is something that gets you on a natural high (a.k.a stoke) which only the ocean and the waves can give you. It is something you do on your own, and yet you feel so connected to everything and everyone. It is a sport which very much resonates Life’s metaphors.

Playing volleyball and soccer when not surfing – how beautiful is our playground?

IMG_0040 Not only did I enjoy the surfing in my trip, but I loved the company. I had no idea that the rest of the group were solo travelers, like me!  The Surfistas were a diverse group – everyone was open to anything and despite our varying backgrounds, professions, ages and races, we all found ourselves laughing and enjoying each others company.

At night, we tried different restaurants around the island. Here we were having the best pizza  in the island – probably in the Philippines – haha at the Kalinaw Resort.

Here’s what else I loved: those warm “Good Morning” greets, at ANY time of the day.  Hopping to Dako, Guyam and Naked Islands.  Crazy photo and video shoots everywhere we go.  Volleyball and football games on the sand.  Climbing limestone rocks.  The medium-sized green snake we met along the way during our trek.  Making that proverbial jump into Magpupungko’s tidal pools.  Fun habal-habal rides to and fro Cloud 9.  Elaine’s crazy pickup lines.  Those long refreshing walks in Boardwalk before surfing.  Red wine and five enormous pizzas, over good conversations and hearty laughter in Kalinaw.  Yummy 15-peso bulillit burgers. Yummy pancit and veggie burgers in Sagana Resort with Sue.  Early morning surf lessons with our surf heroes – Carlito, Piso, Chongky, Manette and Marama.  Jangol juice and disco-dancing at Jangol Disco.  Gianni’s sumptuous pasta and sun-dried tomatoes.  Complimentary wine and Tanduay rhum shots in Kermit.  Hearty post-surf breakfasts in Kermit.  Eloy’s famous Kinilaw.  Hammock snooze sessions.  Relaxing body massages after surfing.  Yoga classes with our Lagu blankets.  Sentiments, chikas, laughter and random life stories shared on the island.  Hermit crabs of different shapes and colours.  Bahay kubos. Dream catchers. Siargaonons’ genuine kindness and compassion.  Humble surf champs as our instructors.  The simple laid-back island life.  My first surf.  My first time to jump off a huge limestone rock formation (wearing a bikini).  My first tattoo.  

The trip and surfing left such an impression that a tattoo had to be made!!

Enjoying local life by having 40 peso burgers by the boulevard – they were pretty good too! :)

So what happened when I followed my intuition?  I got back home more suntanned, bruised all over, with jelly arms and an aching body from all the surfing and traveling.   Despite those things though, I couldn’t care less.  What mattered is I went back home rejuvenated with a surf stoke that would last me til my next surf, a smile plastered on my face and precious memories of surfing, Siargao and all those free-spirited new found friends I have met along the way.  Frankly, I would not have done it any other way.  And I will definitely go back for more ;)

All smiles at the Kermit Surf and Dive Resort with owner Gianni – where we stayed

with Surfista Travels’ Elaine Abonal, my certificate and PROOF that I surfed, and Gianni of Kermit Surf and Dive Resort in Siargao

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE SURFISTA TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.
http://www.surfistatravels.com 
 surfistatravels@yahoo.com
http://www.facebook.com/SurfistaTravels
twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels

PRE SURF TRIP FALLACIES – WHY SURF?

by Elaine Abonal

The FIRST time I ever went surfing in La Union in 2002 – and yup, I was the only chick!

         You’ve always wanted to learn how to surf and watching those movies or photos of those carefree-always-happy-ocean-lovers has once made you say, “Someday I’m going to try that. I’m gonna surf.” So why haven’t you? What is stopping YOU from going on that first surf trip, first surf ride or first surf experience?

          You may say you’re shy, scared, or are just hesitant to try it. I get it. I was in your position once upon a time but after a lot of surf trips, wipe outs and islands visited, I guess I could say I’ve learned a thing or two about the truths and fallacies when it comes to this whole world of surfing. Here are some statements – mostly fallacies – broken down and explained to tell you what it’s REALLY like – and hopefully will give you a better picture and make you actually GET OUT THERE and SURF with us!

SURF FALLACIES:

1.      I need to have 6 pack abs, beautiful tanned skin and sun-kissed golden hair before I can start surfing.

 NO you don’t. You don’t HAVE TO be anything but YOURSELF. There is no weight, body type nor age requirement before you could start surfing. The beauty in surfing is that you get to meet so many DIFFERENT kinds of people from all over the world in ALL shapes, sizes, colors, styles, nationalities and ages. All you really need is a positive attitude, good vibes and a hunger to learn.

Bikini bodies and six-pack abs – don’t worry those are just photoshopped! ;) Haha

 But I have to say – because surfing is really good exercise for your body and you ARE exposed to a beautiful amount of sunshine, you may eventually end up being more fit, ending up with sun-kissed hair and skin and looking and feeling better both on the inside and out. Just BE YOURSELF and have fun! I heard the happier and more fun you’re having, the HOTTER you actually end up being!! ;)

SURFERS come in all shapes, sizes, nationalities, colors and ages. Don’t let the physical stuff prevent you from living your dream!

 2.      Surfers are scary and cliquish!

 Yup, surfers bite. Haha kidding, it MAY seem that way in the beginning. Because of all the time surfers spend together in AND out of the water,  we end up becoming really good friends.  That should ENCOURAGE you because you know that you’ll be making a new set of buddies (even a crush or a boyfriend / girlfriend oooh la la!! ;) once you start surfing or join a Surfista group.

Anni from Thailand, Michaela from USA, Kage & me from the Philippines & Philippa from Australia / South Africa – a mix of girls turned friends during a surf event in Siargao. We didn’t care if we were competitors, pros or contest coordinators – we were just surf chicks united by our love for the ocean :)

 You’ll see – once you’ve laughed about each other’s wipeouts, accidental wardrobe malfunction anecdotes, and shared more than a couple of hours in a van, plane or boat together, you’ll be forging bonds and making new sets of friends. Plus, being in a Surfista group feels like being in a family or a barkada each time. Ask the past Surfistas! ;)

 3.      I’ve never tried a sport before.

 Well then, NOW is the perfect time to start! Remember, surfing isn’t just a sport. It’s a LIFESTYLE. It’s the road trip, hanging out with friends, getting in the water, sharing stories on the beach with a beer or two and doing that every single time you go on a trip. It’s not just a “scary” sport, it’s also a FUN and life-changing (should we say enhancing?) lifestyle!

Time to get fit!! Stretching during before surf lessons during a Surfista tour in La Union.

Surfing can be tiring and requires a lot of energy. It helps a lot to be fit and to be a good swimmer especially when you’re taking on the big waves. But if we’re talking about just TRYING it and getting started, then I promise that it won’t feel like those boring treadmill walks at the gym. Standing up for the first few times and riding your own waves is going to be SO MUCH fun, you’ll forget about the jelly arms that you’ll feel at night.

John’s first time to go surfing – he was a longboarder on the street and now on the water too!

 4.      There are sharks and monsters in the water.

 There ARE creatures in the ocean (besides that freaky guy who keeps dropping in on you or staring at your bikini bottom). Remember, WE are the ones who borrowing water space from other ocean creatures so we should respect them. Being in the water a lot exposes you to Mother Nature and it’s a beautiful thing! There’s nothing more peaceful than seeing fish, sea turtles, dolphins, birds and even butterflies (yep I have proof!) out there while you’re on your board.

Nasty jellyfish… I’ve been stung and it HURT. Be careful! Didn’t stop me from surfing though ;)

There are NO recorded shark attacks in the Philippines (that I know of!!) and we don’t have Great White Sharks like in other colder countries. There ARE definitely jellyfish, nikniks, sea urchins, etc. once in a while – some that sting a bit, some that sting a LOT, so it’s best be aware of the conditions and always ask the locals what’s out there. Nothing someone’s pee can’t handle. (Just kidding.)

 It’s normal – we have to deal with these things as surfers!

 5.      I’m going to look stupid and look like a beginner!

OF COURSE you’re going to look like a beginner because you ARE one! Everyone starts somewhere and there’s no shame in that. It’s actually the most exciting part because you’ll be going from having no surf experience at all to riding waves in no time. And who cares about you looking stupid? The best surfers are the ones having the biggest smiles and having the most fun!

Best look!? Big smile!

Everyone starts as a beginner. This is Maddy getting pointers in Baler. There’s something new to learn in every surf session.

Surfista Roma claiming her wave!! Doesn’t matter how big or small those waves are – as long as you’re having FUN!

Those graceful and kickass photos you see of surfers from all over the country and the world are just a split second glance of what they really look like out in the water. Our hair gets all over our faces, our tongues are out when we paddle for a wave, our wipeouts are hilarious – and that’s what makes it all fun!

  6.      I have no time, no money and no permission from my parents.

I believe that if there’s a WILL, there’s always a WAY. If there’s something you REALLY want to do in this life, you’ll work harder to earn that extra cash so you can do it. When I will still studying in university, I saved allowance money and studied for my Philosophy classes at the beach  just so I could surf as much as I wanted to. And not only did I pass, I aced those tests if you were wondering. Must’ve been all the adrenaline and stoke in my brain! And as for parents (which is a common concern I get from students) – well why don’t you bring your mom and dad with you on a surf trip and see how happy it makes you and how fun it actually is? That’s what I did with my family and as soon as they saw that it was a beautiful surf world and my Surf Camp family kept me safe, they were less worried. Who knows? Your mom or dad might even want to try it!

Check out the Thomas family from France surfing together during a private Surfista tour to La Union. A family that surfs together stays together, they say! ;)

 7.      The water is cold and I need a wetsuit. 

Are you sure you’re in the beautiful warm tropical archipelago called the PHILIPPINES? ;) 

We are sooooooo LUCKY and BLESSED to be live in this beautiful country!! Get out there and explore it, please!

8.      I need to be with my entire group of friends or family. 

No, you don’t. The only thing you need to start surfing is the ocean, waves, a surfboard and your COURAGEOUS SELF. Not everyone wants to try the same thing or people have conflicting schedules. Fortunately for you, groups were created like SURFISTA TRAVELS PHILIPPINES so that you can try surfing with other lone travellers/adventurers so that you can still be independent but have fun with other people. The surf barkadas (group of friends in Tagalog) you see on Facebook are actually composed of different individuals united by their new love – surfing! You’ll make your own new surf family (I love mine a lot – and it keeps growing) soon enough.

One of the most memorable Surfista groups because these Surfistas stayed friends and now go on their own surf trips. They’ve formed their own little surf family and that makes me totally happy :)

 9.      I have no way to do it and nobody is going to help me!

 What are you talking about!? This is why I started Surfista Travels Philippines!!

SURFISTA TRAVELS PHILIPPINES offers surf tour groups and packages which include transportation, accommodation, surf lessons, and board rentals. It is perfect for people who live in Manila who would like to get away and try something new for the weekend or for tourists who want to explore and see the Philippines in a different way! We work with the best surf resorts and surf schools so that you will have the most amazing experience.

We make the surf lifestyle EASY, FUN and CONVENIENT for YOU at Surfista Travels. :) Ask the past Surfistas!

 So what are you waiting for? Get rid of your doubts, let your experience speak for itself and just HAVE FUN, make new friends, explore the Philippines and SURF with us. If you have other questions or concerns, you may check out our FAQ page or e-mail me at surfistatravels@yahoo.com.

GET OUT THERE AND SURF!!! :)

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE SURFISTA TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.

http://www.surfistatravels.com 

 surfistatravels@yahoo.com

http://www.facebook.com/SurfistaTravels

twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels

March 2013 Surfista Trip to Baler Highlights

 

CONGRATULATIONS to the Surfistas during our trip to BALER, Aurora last March 22 – 24, 2013. It was a rainy weekend but we still managed to have fun with an awesome group of people AND we were blessed with beautiful peeling waves and sunshine on our last day. Awesomeness. It was amazing to meet you all! Until the next Surfista trip!

Here are some photo higlights!

Happy group (as you can tell with our smiles) photo for our Surfistas to Baler last March 22 – 24, 2013! :)

We soaked up a little bit of culture by going to the Baler Museum for the rainy weekend.

With our awesome videographer Marc from Canadia and JK when we rented ATV’s to drive on the beach :)

Marc Labrie from Canada was awesome enough to offer his services and help spread the Surfista love!

Francis Arellano surfing!! Yewwww! Good job dude!

Rusty Jorbina flew in all the way from Cebu just to join our trip to Baler! Sweet!

`

Loyal Surfista Frances on her 4th Surfista trip!! We’ll make sure she waxes her own board next time ;)

They key to surfing is to keep on doing it! Proud of these Surfista chicks carrying their own boards and smiling while they’re at it!

Arthur from CHINA was a man of few words but we heard that he had such a great time! He’s also joining us for our Surfista trip to Siargao! ;)

CONGRATULATIONS SURFISTAS!!!!
Baler, March 2013

We adopted an American and another Canadian during the trip and was helping spread the Surfista love around the world!

Aliya Surf Camp in Baler with our sponsors’ banners

We were so thankful that the sun came out on our last day. It was the BEST surf session for Surfista to date! It pays to wake up at 6 AM!

Surfista looking schnazzy before their surf lessons and sessions with their Hurley – Surfista rashguards

Beautiful Surfista chicks looking classy with their rashguards!

JOIN US ON OUR FUTURE SURFISTA TRIPS! Check out our TOURS & PACKAGES.

http://www.surfistatravels.com 

 surfistatravels@yahoo.com

http://www.facebook.com/SurfistaTravels

twitter: @SurfistaTravels     instagram: @SurfistaTravels

Extraits – OuiSurf et Surfista Travels Philippines

Untitled

Remember when Elaine Abonal of Surfista Travels Philippines worked with French Canadian surf TV crew OUISURF.CA last October 2012 as a surf guide to help them out for their show? Well, it finally came out TODAY in Quebec, Canada and we were so amazed by the outcome. We didn’t get to watch the show here in the Philippines, but luckily, OuiSurf has some “extraits” or video snippets from the show of our experience together. Enjoy these videos whether you speak French or not. It was an amazing adventure and we hope to see them again!

Philippines / Guide Locale / Surfista Travels from ouisurf.ca 
Other videos:
San Juan Surf Resort, La Union, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
Cockfight in La Union, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
Aliya Surf Camp, Baler, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
Cemento Reef, Baler, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
Balut in Baler, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
Rolling Store in Baler, Philippines from ouisurf.ca
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