December 29, 2013
Disclaimer: I am no surfer so the tips written here are purely based on my beginner ‘surfer’ experience.
October is one of the surfing seasons in the Philippines and not being a fan of surfing (before), when a friend invited me to the 7th La Union Surfing Break Festival (Oct. 26-28), I said yes, mainly because I haven’t been there yet – ever – and I’ve been wanting to for the longest time, and it’s a beach and I need a break from work and I want to spend it with friends. In short, surfing wasn’t really my priority or my purpose of going there. So, I packed the usual beach outfit.
Lesson No 1: Familiarize yourself with Rashguard
Since my mindset is on beach mode, I packed maxi dresses and casual dresses on a tote bag. When I saw my friends, they are carrying backpacks.
When we get there in La Union, it’s very laidback. Guys are just wearing shirts and board shorts while girls are wearing just shorts and sleeveless or tank tops or shirts. Good thing, I really am more comfortable wearing the same thing while traveling so I almost passed on this one (except for the scarf around my neck).
In the beach area, you’ll see a warning sign that the beach is not for swimming. You can hardly see someone wearing just two-piece. In fact, I never saw one the whole time we were there, except at night, at the resort’s pool area, when we were all just chillaxing. So, for you to really enjoy the place and to share that wonderful experience with your friends, decide that you will try surfing.
And when you’re ready to ‘play’, rashguard is a must have for girls while some guys prefer just wearing their board shorts. Rash what? Yeah.
Waves can get really pretty playful so to avoid having a nip slip while you’re there trying to catch some waves, you must have a rashguard or anything on top of your two-piece. (P.S. String bikini is acceptable but bandeau is a no-no. Right, Moe? *wink).
Lesson No. 2: Get yourself ‘Some’ Surfing Lesson
Five minutes of land lesson:
And before you know it, your instructor’s already attaching the surfboard’s leash to your leg and you two are already heading where the waves at. Whoah! (P.S. Ask him to carry the board for you, trust me, it’s heavy.)
Lesson No. 3: Play!
‘Laro’. This is the term they all use when they are referring to the act of surfing. You’ll often hear them say ‘Kailan ka maglalaro?’ or ‘Nakapaglaro ka na?’ . I was honestly wondering if the term actually meant playing with the waves. Oh well.
Lesson No. 4: Ride
So, before you play, you must also know how to ride. Here’s a very inspiring and helpful tip for girls from one of the surfers of First Wave: Riding a surfboard is like riding a boyfriend. You have to be rough at first. Once you get your spot, then you can go slow and just be smooth. Meaty, huh?
Lesson No. 5: Breast Out!
Literally! (if you’re not wearing the proper surfing outfit). But, practically speaking, this is how you will manage not to be washed out by the waves coming at you while you’re paddling your way to the waves. But, if it’s a really big wave, let your instructor maneuver you to the same direction where the waves are going and just hold tightly to your board while he tilts your surf board upward so you will stay in your place while the waves hit.
Lesson No. 6: Ready … Stand!
When your instructor tells you to get ready, expect the push in five seconds and when your glide is getting faster and faster, all you need to think of is to stand (or just try to) and just let the waves do the works. Sounds easy? Nooooo. It took me more than an hour before I can manage to stand.
Lesson No. 7: Prepare to be ‘Stoked’.
A hundred times of getting washed out is nothing once you get to actually experience what it really meant to actually play with the waves. Trust me, it’s ‘solid’ and ‘steady’, if you know what I mean J Bonus in this experience aside from meeting new friends and ‘playmates’, are the surfing jargons you’ll learn as you go through the whole thing. So, what are you waiting for? Save P3,500 (with buffer already) and you’re good for a 3-day 2-night surfing sesh in LU. Want to know other details? Ask me. Love, Rikki.
This cutesy TreeHouse Tavern inside NorMi2’s Resort that you can see from the beach holds a wonderful surprise once you set foot on the inside.
The place is perfectly small enough for that intimate kwentuhan or kulitan session with your friends while eating dinner or while sipping your favorite Jack (Rachel’s favorite) or Vodka or San Mig Apple and every corner is interesting enough to realize that this place is every inch a work of art. Perfect for a night out with that authentic beach and hippie feel.
You see, one doesn’t always have to be always big or loud to be great *wink
I pictured myself ‘on the sand,by the shore, being submissive to the waves’ one morning.
And then that night, I got an invite from a friend for a surfing session in La Union. It was so tempting, I tell you. But then I thought of work and as hard as it was, I had to pass on that one.
The next morning, I focused on work as usual, gave all my time for it, but I feel like I’m losing track – one wrong move after the other while I’m trying to fix everything – uh-oh, something’s so wrong, I can sense it.
So before I totally lose everything, I packed my ‘work’, and finally decided that my longtime dream of beach-bumming alone has come to its perfect timing.
I wiped my tears, searched for my favorite traveling shorts (my own version of the traveling pants), slipped on my black beachwalk given to me with love (my loyal escapade companion) and off I go to chasing my ‘dream in life’ and to leaving another mark of my beachwalk trail.
So here, let me take you to a Quick Guide to this escapade:
- Bus from Crossing to Buendia – P21.00
- Power-baon pack – (This one is subjective, of course. I decided to just buy a power-packed baon that will last for the whole duration of my stay to avoid spending much on food and I did it strategically: frosty and fries on my way to the pier (dinner), salad for breakfast, bacon mushroom melt baconator for lunch)
- Bus from Buendia to Batangas Pier – P166.50 *less than 2 hours travel time (Prior to this, I already prepared my beach-bumming playlist: Moony, Kaskade and The Beach, purfet :o)
- Ferry from Pier to Sabang Beach (Ferries are only until 5pm so if you arrived there past that time, there are special trips available but expect a triple rate than the ordinary fare. Expect also a tour around almost the whole of Batangas city because from pier, special trips have a different start-off point and end-point. You’ll love it, though, especially when you pass by the Malampaya area and see all its lights on, it’s so surreal you’ll feel like you’re in a different place. There are direct routes from Pier to White Beach though if you made it to the last available trip)
- Tricycle from Sabang Beach to White Beach – P100.00 (Since these are more than 30 minutes apart from each other, they charge P300. To not pay this much, be friendly with the people on the same ferry as yours because some of them are most probably going to the White Beach as well. So instead of paying it full, it’ll be divided among you.)
- Hotel Accommodation – P800.00 plus P200.00 deposit (This I just found out as one of the perks of traveling alone – people are so generous to give you discounts! At first, they won’t believe you’re alone but when they realized that you really are ALONE, they become extra nice and become so protective of you. This even placed me on the room of my favorite number. Want to reserve at their place? Contact me for Las Villas Del Natividad‘s contact details :o)
- Gimick Puerto Galera Style – (When I go somewhere, I make sure I don’t miss the best cocktails the place has to offer. And when you’re in Puerto, you should not miss Mindoro Sling – refreshingly fruity 😮 ! Of course I want to try something new aside from that so I just let the barista of Mikko’s Bar offer me one of their bestsellers – Lumumba and shoot, it’s deceivingly chocolatey. Being friendly is always always a must so when people, esp. the manager of that bar, asked for your name and the other bakasyonistas there asked you to dance and join them, enjoy it – just don’t give number and don’t stay too long with them)
- Full Body Massage – P200.00 (Best on the shore and best with one bottle of Tanduay Ice *wink – P70.00. Befriend manang masahista, she’ll also offer you discounts for her handmade bracelets/trinkets. Again, contact me if you want to have Manang Jorie’s massage service 😮 )
- Bull Ride – P50.00 (This is sooo fun you should not dare miss it at Rodeo Bull Bar Entertainment and Restaurant. You can choose from mild to wild and they won’t stop until you fall. Trick – a good and firm grip and body movement that looks like you’re swaying and swagging like a bull. Be careful, though, scratches and bruises will come in handy no matter how mild that ride is)
Ferry from White Beach to Pier – P250.00 plus P10.00 fee * 1 hour travel time
- Bus from Pier to Crossing – P166.50
- Souvenirs – P100.oo up
Whew! I made one of my dreams come true in less than 24hours. See, things can always be done 🙂 But of course, you always, always have to pray – for your safety, for the loved ones you left behind and for the peace of heart and serenity of mind that you’re wishing to find.
Remember: We’ll only live once. And like what Steve Jobs said … ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’, friends! Cheers to realizing our dreams. Love, Rikki.