Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pre-Valentine Surf

This happened months ago but I stumbled upon these photos while I was looking for something in my files...and I thought I'd share it with you.  It's a short story about friendship, family, kids, taking a break from the city, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and of course, surfing.

Annie, a topnotch lawyer (hehe forgive me Annie!), rarely has time to go to the beach.  I keep begging her to go w/ me.   Here she finally meets "Benjamin", my 9'6" Donald Takyama longboard.
(trivia: all my boards are named after Brad Pitt's movie characters. Seriously! Can you guess the other two? :-p )

Last February 21, 2012 I took my non-surfing friends to La Union to learn how to surf.  It was Ging & Vince's wedding anniversary & Ging's birthday as well.  They were the ones who actually planned the trip, excited for some downtime & to learn how to surf, with cutie pie daughter Danie in tow.

Annie & Dave, on the other hand, brought their kids Diego & Martina,  much to my delight! Those kids are a riot, we always have fun no matter what. :-)

Martina is my godchild who is very much like me! Maybe because our birthdays are only a day apart.  :-) She calls me "Ninang Tweet Tweet" because we used to have a cat-&-bird chasing game when she was little.  They've been bugging me to take them back to the beach ever since I first took them to Zambales last 2008 for a kiddie birthday party.  Here are photos from way back in 2008 (oh, how small they were back then!):

We brought a li'l pal along, Appa the shitzu...

...whom you can barely recognize as Martina simultaneously carried him
& wiped the icing on her nose (& ate it after, btw...haha atta girl) 

Martina, Annie, Miguela the Birthday Girl, mommy Tin, & Chloe

Here they are...asked (no, ordered) by Ninang Tweet Tweet to wax her board.

Pretending to be Master & Slave. Hilarious Martina!

Their most favorite part of that day. When we went to frolic (& be bulldozed) by the waves!

I think that day was forever imprinted on their minds.  We all had a blast!

And so 4 years later, we find ourselves on another beach...no more puppy but with more family & friends in tow.  This time the kids are bigger, taller, crazier! They actually tried surfing and had fun tumbling & romping in the more kid-friendly waters of La Union.  

Martina, Diego, & Danie

Annie & Ging at our beach apartment

(I last saw Ging & Vince on their wedding day back in Feb 2011, Tagaytay)

horsing around w/ Martina

wandering off from the wedding party
the last time I hung out with these folks

And so we fast forward a year later to the other side of Luzon minus the formal clothes...
Happy to have seen Amy, Kiddo & Cadey cutesie patootsie!!!

w/ Dave & Annie chillin' by the pool at Kahuna

I told you we are so much alike.  We even got matching outfits that day! 

Plus they accidentally met their Manong Jeff that day!

someone's knocked out...

My pre-Valentine date.  Surf was good that afternoon, by the way...

And so I remember we headed home sunburnt, happy, content, our tummies full w/ yummy fresh province food & dead T I R E D from the weekend play.  This is not so unusual for me since this is basically how every surfer feels when heading home to Manila.  But for me to see this feeling shared by my friends who rarely go to the beach...lawyers, businessmen, corporate gals who, just by looking at their faces while we were packing up to go home, exuded a certain glow that meant they were recharged & re-energized just from playing in the ocean.  Or just by being near it.  

Sure, there's plenty of work waiting back in Manila and the next day's urban grub would probably wipe away the weekend memories in a snap, but I'd say that's the purpose of this journal sometimes.  It could be a place for us to go back to & be recharged again by the love shared between friends, family, and Mother Nature.



May we have more road trips to the ocean, Annie! Let's not wait 4 years again please. 

Puppies, kids, and matching outfits are always welcome.  

Friday, June 01, 2012

Summer Read: Surfers' Blood

Excited for this book by Patrick Trefz, longtime surf photographer. Out on the shelves in the US by July 3.  And I quote from www.surfcollectivenyc.com:

"A beautiful collection of oceanscapes, portraits, and action shots, Trefz captures the most intense, glamorous, and frightening aspects of surfing along with moments of beauty, stillness, and serenity. The book juxtaposes world champions and unsung local heroes, monster waves and gentle rollers."

I believe this is Joel Tudor...?

Sunset beauty

This is so true I won't even attempt to re-phrase this.  Surfers will definitely relate, non-surfers will want to pick up a board and try the sport (if it's appropriate to even call it that): 

"Surfing is all about mankind’s intimate connection with the badass energy and beauty of nature. It is a deep bond, and for many surfing is a lifelong devotion and a spiritual outlet—a personal experience far removed from its much-hyped and commercialized public persona. Surfing is deeper than magazines and Hollywood depictions would lead us to believe…much deeper. 

For most surfers, surfing is in their blood and it connects them to an extended family that is linked through practice, tradition, craft, emulation, apprenticeship, and shared experience. 

Surfers’ Blood reaches out to those hardcore, dyed-in-the-wool surfers through an honest and beautiful portrayal of their sport and its surrounding culture, while at the same time offering outsiders a peek into the intense undiluted world of surf."

That's some angry-looking wave.

It's pretty much said that right now might be the "Golden Age of Philippine surfing".  I've only been surfing 4 or 5 years, but surfing in the Philippines is gaining popularity so fast and surf spots are being discovered and enjoyed left & right.  More & more surf enthusiasts hit the road every weekend and I could say there is really a community building up with surfing as its core lifestyle.  10 years ago there wasn't even a single surf shop (well, maybe one) in Manila and yet now there seems to be one in every mall.    
I remember what my local friends in Siargao told me,  there weren't even any boards to practice w/ when they were kids.  The whole community had to share 1 crummy, makeshift surfboard left by kind tourists, crudely cut to their size.  Kids now have the "tools" and the means to learn surfing, what w/ surf schools and proper lessons offered at your nearest popular surf spot.  What was enjoyed only by foreign surf travelers willing to make the long trek to the Philippines to enjoy our perfect waves now bring the same joy to the local residents & to "weekend warriors" from Manila (uhm, that means me, haha). 
It's comforting, exciting, and wonderful.  Well, just take out the possibilities of environmental abuse, overcrowding, drugs, corruption,  government greed and other crimes & problems that progress usually brings, I'm hoping the future looks bright for surfing in the Philippines (sorry for that bit of "nega", these are my random thoughts on a Saturday afternoon so I don't know where that came from)
I can't wait for a local book on Philippine surfing to be made.  I hope we are archiving these years well while it's happening.