San Jose

Surf’s Up

A lot has happened and changed since last month–the way I dress and see things, my outlook in life in general. One day, while dressed in shirt and sneakers, a friend of mine wondered why my style has suddenly become different. I don’t know, maybe because life is much easier when you don’t worry about what you wear. My recent travels and experiences with Chad made me realize that there are other things more worthy of my attention. I have been very outspoken about my love for fashion. Don’t get me wrong, I still do love it, but I have to admit it’s not very practical and economical.  Yes, I feel very happy whenever I get a huge deal on my purchases, but I always end up wanting more. There is no fulfillment at all.

Chad said once that “true fulfillment is not measured by the superficiality of acquiring material possessions, but rather achieving a higher mental and spiritual state.” He always reminds me that there is nothing wrong with aspiring for material things but I should not forget that spiritual wealth is much more important. And I agree, because in the end, when we die, the only question we will be asking ourselves is if we have attained contentment.

Unfortunately, not everyone does. But luckily for me, I was able to experience it at least once–and that is when I was able to ride my first wave. The ocean never fails to fascinate me, however its waters are not always friendly. I can only swim where I can see the sea bed. My fear of drowning has prevented me to go deeper into the ocean and explore its beauty. Chad had been encouraging me to surf with him while he was still here in the Philippines, but I denied him of it every time. One, I did not know how to ride a surfboard and two, I was extremely afraid I’d drown. He and Jong, who taught Chad how to surf seven years ago, volunteered to teach me and assured me I wouldn’t. I trust these people, so I conceded.

I was scared out of my wits. So to calm me down, Jong oriented me about surfing, the do’s and dont’s, and the surfboard. Good thing Chad’s surfboard (the yellow one in the photos)  has a leash, so in case I get toppled by the wave I’d be able to locate the surfboard and use it as a life saver. HAHA.

When we arrived at San Jose, Daet (the best beach I’ve been to), the surfers were quite doleful upon seeing the waves. Not really fitting for a nice wave ride, but good enough for a beginner like me. We used Chad’s yellow shortboard, but I have terrible balancing skills so I kept falling off. Plus, I’m too heavy for it, so they made me use the longboard instead–without a leash D:

Testing my balance

So yes, as expected, a huge wave came and ate me like a tiny fish. What a way to learn surfing. It involved stingy rashes, scratches, a small reef cut, and a nose dive before I was able to ride my first wave.

But boy when I got a taste of it, I never wanted to stop. I was able to surf seven times; I was extremely stoked. That “ephemeral nirvana” Chad was telling me about whenever surfers ride waves was real!

After the experience, I guess I was never the same again. It felt so wonderful being taken by the waves ; it’s like they are leading you to somewhere beautiful and you want to know where it is. I’m not making sense, but that’s how I felt. My rashes and scratches were already killing me by the time I rode my second wave but I kept on going. I was too curious where the waves would direct me and what beauty it will show me next.

Ah, stoked.  <3

I can never thank Chad and Jong enough for teaching me. I hope I get to do crazy stunts on my second visit to the beach. HAHAHA. I’m kidding. That would never happen. I have to learn how to swim like a pro first.

Photos by Chad Verzosa

And oh, for those who are wondering, I’m a goofy. 🙂

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