Trail Adventours Volunteer and Adventure Contributor Enzo Pinga talks about a surf spot he recently discovered.
In recent years, the Philippines has been recognized as having world-class surf around the world. The sport is seeing steady growth and tourists that come to ride our waves a go. I would not call myself a surfer but I do enjoy the occasional paddle-out. We are truly blessed with places such as La Union, Zambales, Baler and Siargao that has put us on the international surfing map. Locals are willingly taking into the sport as well, the aforementioned places a favorite destination for surfers (and surfing novices) on the holidays and weekends. I think this is great. It opens up more tourism potential and another activity for Filipinos to partake in and be proud of.
Despite these developments, I cannot help but be discouraged by throngs of surfers in the water in the now popular surf spots. People taking up the sport as novices are naturally not as well versed in surfing etiquette when they start. Most of all, the thought of wiping out in front of seasoned surfers is a daunting prospect, embarrassing to even think about. Coming face to face with a large wave can be scary. Have I mentioned that I am not an experienced surfer?
On a recent trip to Eastern Samar driving along the highway, I spotted surf while looking out the window. My goodness, did those Pacific barrels look divine. From a couple of hundred meters out, the surf looked gentle, surfable for a noob like me, and with only a few surfers out that day. It was not until two days after were we finally able to give it a go when we had a free afternoon. It had been more than a year since I last surfed and I had to get the feel of catching a wave and riding it back.
That afternoon session was perfect to get back to surfing. The waves allowed us to ease back into it and the water deep enough for us not to hurt ourselves on the rocky bottom when we inevitably wiped out. We only had a couple of hours to surf but how I wish we had more time. The place is a hipster surfing paradise. Slightly off the beaten track, only two other surfers in the water that day and an empty beach. The rocky ocean floor smoothened by centuries of waves crashing from the Pacific. The scenery from the water dotted by abandoned structures and coconut trees cut in half, remnants of the destruction that Yoland
a (Typhoon Haiyan) brought nine months ago.
There are signs of this hipster surf town coming back to its feet with the rebuilding of resorts along the coastline. The place deserves to be recognized as one of the better surf spots in the country. The experience makes me want to surf more often and continue exploring a different side to the Philippines. If only the place was not so difficult to get to but I guess that adds to its charm. As with (almost all) the places that captivate us, we tell ourselves that we will be back. Stumbling upon this place added to its allure. All we can do now is to make our plans to return and enjoy the place while still in its relative anonymity.