Surf, Stars and Sunsets

Text: Marian C. Baring
Images: Jan Sahilan

LET me just start by saying that just because I have surfed a couple of times, it doesn’t mean I’m an expert. But what gives me the authority to write about surfing? Well, I do that face in my GoPro photos that makes me look that I am. So there you go.

But yes, the first thing I did this summer was surf in Siargao. It had been something that I have always wanted but never really had a chance to do. I did buy plane tickets a couple of times before but only needed the prodding of one person for me to finally do it on my third attempt. Indeed, third time’s definitely the charm.

I can now say that I finally crossed it off my bucket list and it is one activity I highly recommend to everyone as a summer must-do, especially those whose spirits are flagging.

Surfing, is a water sport, where surfers — the wave riders — ride on a wave while on a surf board. They ride the waves until it loses power.

Daku Island

I tell you, riding the wave is easy. Standing on your board whilst it is being carried by a strong wave is the challenging part. Anyway, here are some thoughts to make you want to go surfing and let the waves lift your spirits up:

1. Pray for waves to stay.

I recommend surfing for the summer because the waves in Siargao this season are quite forgiving. So if you decide to take the boat, you will not spend around two hours from Surigao to Siargao doing the rosary four times praying for dear life.

Once on the island, waves will not be too scary to try surfing for the first time.

2. Surf. Live to tell the tale.

I know so many people who want to try out water sports but are scared shitless because they can’t swim. Well, guess what? Here’s something NO ONE, not even I expected: you will not drown surfing in Jacking Horse in Siargao.

When you watch too much surfing movies like me, despite wanting to try out this sport, you get scared because of two things: getting wiped out by huge waves and getting eaten by a shark.

Getting wiped out is a possibility but sharks are harmless creatures. The waves may look menacing but the water is waist deep. So you fall off the board, hit your butt on the rocks or sand (depends on your luck) and you stand right back up.

And I guess the most important thing to note is that local surfing instructors are there to guide you and pull you out of the water if you needed saving. Which you won’t because again, knee deep waters.

Now if you feel like you are ready for more challenge, then finish off your trip with an hour or two at Cloud 9, where waves are bigger and better, bruises are assured and fun memories are guaranteed.

Surfer slash Instagram influencer Ikit Agudo

3. Party Wave!

You will meet the coolest people.

I spent five days out on the island and I have not met one person with a surfboard who would not say hi or smile at you. They are the coolest bunch of people be they local or foreign.

You will also meet noobs like you, who for some reason, just couldn’t stop smiling. There will be a moment when you share a wave with 10 people. Which, I later found out, is called a party wave. You will probably hit each other’s heads with your surfboard but you will just laught about it. Unless someone gets a bloody nose.

4. Be like a Wahini.

I was fangirling on female surfers on Instagram and one of my best moments was seeing one of them, Ikit Agudo in action and actually talking to her. It needs a lot of dedication to be good in this sport. They live it. They breathe it. Ikit was born to surf. She has dedicated her every waking moment living a surfer’s life and that means waking up at 4 a.m. to get ready and catch those waves under a star-studded sky. Her instagram screams good vibes.

Now I’ve surfed. I’m one step closer to being like Ikit, right? Now if I could just cut down on my carbs, get those abs and relocate to Siargao then I’m almost there. When I return, I will be looking for another awesome surfer Elaine Abonal.

6. Beach bumming, bruh!

Stop calling yourself a beach bum if you are afraid of getting five shades darker.

I am a sucker for sunsets and beachbummin’ and nothing is more gratifying than watching the sun set over General Luna after a day of surfing, making friends with the locals and later eating Pizza at Kermit’s or Sisig at Harana.

It is the most perfect way to end a surfing trip.

*****

More places to visit in Siargao

* Bucas Grande (Sohoton Cove and Lagoon with the stingless jellies)
* Hagukan Cave
* Magkukuob Cave
* Daku Island
* Naked Island
* Guyam Island

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