Surfista Life Reflections

by Elaine Abonal October 30, 2012

“It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for me and my surf/Surfista life. At the beginning of the month, I worked with a French-Canadian surf TV crew from Montreal, Canada called OuiSurf to film 2 surfers looking for surf spots around Asia. The show was inspired by the awesome surf website  www.ouisurf.ca by Benjamin Rochette. It was a pretty cool experience for me because in the beginning I was only supposed to be behind the camera – coordinating everything and helping them out, but then they also asked me to be part of it! So I had to surf with them, speak in French, explain things and be in front of the camera with them. I honestly can’t wait to see how it’ll turn out on the TV show!

We spent a week filming, surfing and travelling with the OuiSurf crew to film episodes about surf, people and culture in La Union and Baler, in the northern part of the Philippines. The locals in both places were kind enough to give us a portion of their time to share about Filipino culture – from food, cockfighting, skateboarding, secret and private surf spots, and just the beauty of the Philippines and its people. It was an amazing adventure and experience with them and it was really interesting, not just for me but also for the locals that we interacted with, to see how much passion they have for surf, travel and finding adventure. It’s true that the cameras helped (which Filipino doesn’t want to be in front of the camera?) but it was the sincerity and smiles of the entire crew that made filming fun for everyone. I’ll miss those guys.

Just last week, I led another group of new Surfistas with my company Surfista Travels ( www.surfistatravels.com) for a Sembreak Surf Camp in La Union and used my newly arrived Breo sunglasses and Orb watch ;). It was a lot of fun! This is the 7 th group I’ve brought for surf lessons and I must say that even if I’ve been doing this and even it’s been at the same place, each trip has been different mainly because of the people in the trips. There’s a different dynamic each time and every person adds to the groups’ vibe.  We had the BEST week with no crowds in the water, awesome surf lessons, a fun bonfire where everyone went dancing, the newly introduced drink “Surfista Sling,” delicious dinners and Filipino food, introducing my American high school classmate Jared to the Filipino culture, surfing of course, first time to use the Hurley-Surfista rashguards, new found friends, awesome times, BEACH CLEAN UP, hundreds of photos and videos, ukeleles and just a ton of memories. Again, I’ll miss those new crazy Surfistas.

Next month, I’ll be going to a surf spot I’ve never been to before called Lanuza which is in the south of the Philippines to watch a surf competition. I’m really excited about surfing in new spots, seeing what our country has to offer, seeing old friends and making new friends again.

The thing I’ll never stop learning about surf trips, is that whether you’re gone for a weekend, a week, a month or a year – it can CHANGE you, like TRAVEL inevitably and always does – if you let it. It’s one thing to say CARPE DIEM & get out there & discover the world but it’s a whole other thing to actually do it. It’s not always easy, getting out of your comfort zone is well… uncomfortable, and you’re forced to learn things that are either easy, stupid, or painful. It takes a lot of guts, a lot of PASSION, a lot of pushing of oneself to move forward, to learn your lessons and to do what you gotta do. I guess that’s why a lot of people I admire & will always relate to are the ones who surf and travel, because it takes a unique tribe of people in today’s cookie-cutter-do-what-everyone-else-is-doing world to do that. And for that, I am thankful – to have met people like that, to be friends with them & to know that even if there’s a lot goodbyes in this surf & travel life, that I will maybe meet the same wandering souls again.”

Elaine Abonal
Elaine Abonal



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