5 Life Lessons from Surfing in Siargao, Philippines

“Okay, ready? Paddle, paddle, paddle! Stand!”, my surfing instructor shouted. As he was pushing the board forward, I positioned myself automatically to synchronize with the wave, eager to reach the shore. I rode it beaming gloriously with pride. It is always a fulfilling moment whenever I get to ride the waves. The more time that I try it, the more it’s easier to ride the board. I paddled back to join the group and waited for that marvelous ride again. We felt the pain on our chest by paddling on the first day and scorching sunburnt pain on the back of my friend’s leg because of too much sun.

Four days straight we have been waking up early  not missing breakfast before we surf. Although we have been warned to eat light so it’s easy to stand on the board, we still do it anyway. Four freaking straight days, we have been surfing almost the entire day. If you will ask a random tourist for how often they would do it, they would reply you for just a day for trying it out. But there is something in the water and with the waves that kept me coming back.


The famous Cloud 9 Boardwalk

I occasionally wonder about the lifestyle of a surfer. They travel the world to find and wait for the perfect legendary ride. That luminescent beach hair, tanned skin and wide stretched smiles. There’s something with this lifestyle that makes me curious until I jumped on my board



These days, we often forget to enjoy the present because we often think of future’s  fickleness and we regret the past for the things we have failed to do. Sometimes, we tend to get distracted because we are busy attending something else or not being focus on the task. Have you tried living in the present?  If not, surfing is for you. Surfing teaches you  to be mindful – to live in the present and to enjoy life to its fullest. You get to enjoy the wave, the moment, friends cheering on you and the ride.




We frequently take control of our lives, by planning how exactly what future holds. We often want it badly and this leave us frustrated. In this fast pace life; we over think, expecting,  worrying and doubting before it unfolds in front of us. Instead, we let life evolve naturally and grow from it. I consider life as the waves, we should be willing to  surrender and let go of the plans we have in life. Alternately, let the flow of nature cradle us.

Siargao 3
©WSL, Siargao Surfing Cup



Funny  though it may seem, but I often asks the depth of the water before engaging in any water sports. I remember, panicking when my surfing instructor would joke about the depth. But after managing the first wave, holding on to the board and paddling back, I realized that it was possible. Surfing teaches you to push yourself, taking a risk and discovering yourself. I remember that I was able to stand on the second attempt and discover that I’m powerful than I could imagine.

Processed with VSCO with k3 preset
Accomplishment photo after a day long of surfing. WOOHOO!



Many times, I don’t understand  why my surfing instructor would keep insisting for me to take the wave when I was exhausted paddling back to join the group. “Here, here. You should take this!”, he mumbled. And I would do it, as I was told.  But then I realized that every wave is different. There’s a reason why we have to wait on the water and waiting for that perfect wave. And once, we saw a good one we just have to go for it. Just like opportunity, take it and take actions.

©WSL, Siargao Surfing Cup



I love the energy in surfing. Everyone cheering you on, the moment you take a good wave. It doesn’t matter if you are able to ride it for longer, you still get in any form of recognition. Laird Hamilton once said, “We are all equal before waves”. When you’re in the water, you are stripped of all of your identity. There’s no question about your background, race and sex. The waves are a great equalizer and we bonded through this unforgettable experience.

It’s always fun riding with friends.
This place I called HOME.

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Pinay wandering the world, one country at a time.

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