Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Surfing-Virgin No More



I've been itching to surf for ages. So when me and Fatima had the chance, we decided to try Baler's waves. We were both virgins on surfing and you could smell that on our rash guards. We were so excited and on Day 1, after looking for a place to stay, we immediately went to the beach and at 3 p.m. we found ourselves at Aliya Surf Camp along Sabang beach for our first try.


It was just a 5-minute trike ride (15 pesos each) from our home stay and just a walk from MM lodge (we had two accommodations in three days). We just walked along the shore and looked out for the most cute friendly instructors around. And just because it's freaking 3 in the afternoon, there were no surfers on the area. 

And then we saw this very nice and homey resort (Aliya) and  fell in love with the place. A very nice place to relax and of course, surf. We inquired about their surfing lessons for beginners. It is with a help of an appointed individual instructors who will actually guarantee you that you will be able to stand and surf within the first hour. And that's for 350 pesos. That also includes a rash guard just in case you didn't bring one (just bear the "student" sign printed at the back).

Aliya resort and surf camp
My instructor was Mac. He's this hippie guy with the long hair (Ayoko ng lalake na mas mahaba pa ang hair sa'kin... chos!). We did the standard how-to's on the shore. He showed me how to stand on the board and how to "fall" perfectly. My board was this yellow padded thing and that's all I knew (this will be significant later on).

Ayoko ng lalake na mas mahaba pa ang hair sa'kin! chos
After the intro stuff, I asked Fatima if she's ready to hit the waves, she said not yet. And then I told her that it's gonna be the perfect time because there were still no surfers at that time. She was so afraid 'coz she don't know how to swim or float or whatever.

Getting into the water, I noticed that you don't really need to be the best swimmer to surf. Yes the waves are bigger than the usual but it's kinda shallow. I mean you'll not gonna be drowned unless you'll get hit by a surf board and it'll knock you unconscious right? So non-swimmers are very much welcome here (Goodluck sa depth at waves ng Zambales where I used to spend my summer vacations). 

Me and Mac observed Fatima and her instructor first. I was cheering for my friend. She's not the athletic type you know and stuff like this freaks her out. And when the waves came, she braved to stand up and ride the waves. After a few tries, she failed. But then again, being true to their word, her instructor didn't give up on her and she did stand after almost 30 minutes of falling. We were cheering for her and I was (and still) proud of her. Really.

Fatima balancing
really proud of her
And then it's my turn. I was there on my board, waiting for my very first wave. I wasn't scared at all. No pressure from anyone. All I was thinking was the things that Mac taught me on the shore. And then he shouted, Go! And there I was... Standing and riding my very first wave. Up to the shore. It was a long ride. I did it! I never thought that I was that agile. I so loved it. Surfing without even trying - effortless (yabang lang). 

Carla: Mac ang galing ko! I'm sooo happy.
Mac: Ma'am 'di mo naman ata first time mag surf eh...
Carla: Tsss... Bakit naman ako magpapanggap?! 
Peksman kuya, perstaym ko. hihi

eto na yun? (on first attempt)
We owned the waves for the rest of the 1 hour period. Whew. It was fun. I mean really fun to ride those waves.

We were famished afterwards but we chose to chill on Aliya's side of the beach with our instructors. If only there's an available room for us then we could've just stayed there. And then we had an early dinner at Bay's Inn restaurant. I read in some blogs that the service here is horrible. But on the contrary, it was fine when we were there. 

The restaurant was busy at that time but they still managed to serve our food on time. I ordered Sizzling Beef Salpicao and a Coke, then Banana shake for Fatima (she's forever on a diet). After finishing everything, I ordered two cocktails (for me only) for a much needed booze. The food was ok, nothing exceptional. All that for 280 pesos only. Not bad eh? But the booze ain't kicked yet so we went back to our favorite chill place - Aliya resort. 

Ain't that exceptional


cocktail 1
cocktail 2
And so we went on to our favorite chill place and got kinda sad when we saw the Travel Factor gang and the party they brought. We thought that it was a exclusive party for the group but then, they allowed us (me) to drink there - lovely. I had a few bottles of Red Horse and our instructors chatted with us and with some of the guests. They were really nice. And the Travel Factor's reggae music complimented the "feel" of the night. 

our favorite chill place
reggae yo!
Our last day in Baler was devoted for surfing. We still went to Aliya Resort and the same instructors. This time, I used a solid long board (no foam or whatsoever). It was harder to groove with and I fell a few times but after putting some wax and after I was acquainted with it, I got the groove back. 

I went into the next level. He taught me how to paddle on my own and ride the waves without his assistance. It was hard at first and paddling is a way different thing. It was tiring but fun and fulfilling and best of all, the locals (especially the instructors) were really nice. 

hobby ko na 'to, ramdam ko
magkano na nga ulit ang board rental lang Mac? yung wala ng instructor? ;p
And right after that we went straight to Bay's Inn and had our (my) breakfast there. Fatima had her Banana shake (70 pesos) again while I tried the Shredded Beef Tapa (85 pesos). Again, the food arrived almost 30 minutes after we placed it. Nothing exceptional again. I dunno why people flock there because their food is not that great. But maybe because Bay's Inn restaurant is like their local Jollibee - even if you don't wanna eat there, it's still the most convenient way to not die of hunger (or maybe their local McDonald's?).

kinda cold
My first surfing experience is a memorable one. Maybe because I was with Fatima. Or maybe because of Mac and the others. Or maybe because of the surfer guys view. But maybe it was the fulfillment of being able to stand and erase the fear of the unknown. And for a few seconds, I'm on my own and in control of myself and in my life - even just for a good 5 seconds.






34 comments:

  1. mam ikaw na..wooh 1st attempt nakabalanse agd agad .ang saya pag longride noh,hay ako din looking forward din sa susunod na surfing xp.(yung wala din instructor)chos..

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    1. hi abeng! tamaa. yung wala na dapat instructor. chos :)

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  2. Good Job Carla! I remember reading a blog with your same experience I think it's from Donnie. Maybe its true, Surfing is harder when you thought but easier when its done.

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    1. hi there. maybe it's from donnie nga. i think everyone SHOULD really try surfing coz it's fun :)

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  3. nice one, carla! taray lang! reading stories of first time surfers really fuels my desire to try surfing asap!

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  4. Hanep naman nakatayo agad sa first attempt, around 8 or less bago ako nakatayo.:) Masarap food dyan sa Bays Inn.

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    1. hi there! ang yabang lang eh noh? haha. sirena nga ata ako dati. hehe

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  5. so love mo na ba ang long hair after the session? haha! galing naman! kaya ko kaya yan?! hehe! ang saya naman!

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    1. wis pa rin ang long hair. hehe. kaya mo yan gladys! go...

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  6. feels proud for the first attempt. Wanna try this one talaga. Pero tignan natin kung makatao din ako. haha.. definitely you had fun esp sa mga hot surfer guys.. aminin! hehe

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    1. go mitch. try it too!

      ang hot lag talaga nila grabe. lam mo yun. haha

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  7. Replies
    1. ewan ko marx. haha. puro plano eh...

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    2. Tumpak, puro plano pero walang pera.

      Sa Baguio na lang pag ginamit namin ung Azalea voucher namin! :D

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    3. sige! sa baguio tayo mag-surf. bwahaha

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    4. Hahaha! I mean sa Baguio na lang tayo mag-travel! ;)

      Pede naman mag side trip sa La Union for surfing. =)

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  8. "She was so afraid 'coz she don't know how to swim or float or whatever." I would be if I were learning to surf and I'm a non-swimmer. It is a recipe for a disaster.

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    1. but she did it bert. success naman ang surfing ng friend ko. dahil nga siguro mababaw lang ang dagat nila sa baler.

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  9. naks nakatayo on the first try! ikaw na! hahaha.

    i have not tried surfing yet pero i doubt i can do what you did. wala pa naman akong kabalance balance sa katawan. sa patag nga natatalisod ako, sa may waves pa kaya? hahaha. pero i would love to try that out one day!

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    1. aba! you should noh! and i know na makakatayo ka. di ka tatantanan ng mga instructors. hihi

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  10. ASTIG! I want to try surfing sooooon :)

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  11. hi... ask ko lng if ok magsurf khit di mrunong mag swim... i mean mag wowork b toh khit mag start ka sa water na hnggang dibdib... thnx -1st timer

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    1. yes po. pwede mag surf kahit di marunong lumangoy. di naman daw requirement ang swimming skills :)

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  12. 1 hr lang po kc sana kmi.. i eexperience.. bitin ba un? o we need to extend it hanggang 2 hours.. sidetrip lang kasi

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    1. yung 1 hour keri na rin. matagal na din yun ah :)

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  13. Hello! kahapon pa akong nagbabasa ng blog mo. Napacomment ako kasi surf instructor ko rin si Mac. Haha. Short hair na siya ngayon.

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    1. Hi dlee. Wow! short hair na siya?! gusto ko makita yun. hihi

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