Monday, August 28, 2006


It all began with Cebu Pacific's P1 fare promo and a totally unplanned decision on Jay and Binky's parts to book themselves on a flight to Puerto Princessa. Next thing you know, I am online, booking seats for myself and Jenina. Marlon, all the way is Oz, is booking a seat for himself as well.

So, three months later Jay, Binky, Marl, Jen and I are boarding a plane and heading to Puerto Princessa, Palawan for five days of doing absolutely nothing. Just beachin', eating, exploring, drinking, eating, star-gazing, snorkeling, eating, and trying to ignore our nik-nik bites. We spent a night at the Ranger's Station near the Underground River, bathing by candlelight and getting to know the resident guard dog named Guard. We rocked down to Puerto Princessa City on our second to the last day and devoured countless pounds of lobsters (personally, I had 6 all on my own). And we even managed to sneak in massages.

1,007 photos later... we were back in Manila with a serious case of vacation withdrawal. And it took me the longest time to write about it because writing about it would mean it was over for real.

As I am trying to save space on my pbase account, I only put choice photos from the trip on the pbase gallery. For all the photos check out the various galleries here.

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Friday, August 11, 2006

"Your Love is Like A Mango"

July 8 and 9, 2006
A weekend spent in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte to see Mike&Alma tie the knot... surfer-style.
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Post-session, post-wedding

That whole weekend is captured in my head. Mental snapshots of sneeking a peek at Alma before the wedding & crying cos she was so beautiful... of the look on Mike's face when he first saw Alma ... or how they both tried not to cry as they read their vows... of Alma's younger brother touching foreheads with her, a quiet post-wedding moment just for the two of them to share... of how there was so much love emanating from everyone around them... Alma and her dad laughing and crying while they danced... Mike nervously reading a cribsheet of lyrics as he sang to his Alma... of sitting down after most everybody had gone to bed, to share "one last drink" with Monica, Mia, Jun and Attorney Ely... and of course, an entire mental gallery of a Sunday morning surf session...
Fantastic weekend all around. Thank you to everyone there for the great company.
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Daisy, Viva, Kage & Nikki : as formal as a surfer girl can get.
To MikeandAlma:

I met you ages ago when you first traveling through the country. Two balikbayans trying to reconnect with their heritage... and surf at the same time.

And then you came back, this time for good. To settle down and create a new life here in the Philippines.

Fast forward to July 8th, 2006. After a 16-hour road trip, Nikki, Buji, Ely, Daisy and I arrive in Pagudpud two hours short of your wedding.

Your wedding! To this day I get giddy thinking about it.

The boys looked great in their khakis and whites. The bridesmaids rockin' in their tropical dresses. Your assembled families and friends, all dolled up and excited to be taking part in the ceremony.

And the two of you, undeniably in love... married now.

Thank you for inviting me to photograph their wedding. It was an honor to bear witness to your love.
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Love muchly,
This gallery has more photos.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Tossed Salad of Surfers and Surfboards For One Please

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This is not a new tattoo job gone horribly wrong. Instead, it is the newest of my surf- related injuries. The kind of ironic thing was I wasnt even trying to get a wave. I was sitting at the shoulder with Paolo's board strapped to my arm. He was filming in the line-up and decided it would be easier if he just swam.

Then a sneaky monster three wave set comes up on the shoulder. The first one I was able to paddle over, the second one, wala na. I couldnt get Pao's board off my arm and got off my board too in time. By the time I was able to eskimo roll the wave was swallowing me whole.
The last thing I saw was Cory turning his head around to look at me with FEAR in his eyes. Not fear for himself cos he can duck-dive his board but fear for me.

I got tossed over and around. Underwater, my board slammed into my sternum. Or rather, I slammed into my board. I had my eyes open and saw the deck of my board. I got rolled around some more and somewhere there the next wave came in, turned me around some more... I tried to keep my eyes open the whole time and also protect my head and stay under waiting for the set to move past me. All in all I got hit on my hip, half of my crotch and somewhere on my back. Bjorn, Mark and I got tangled up too so boards were flying around underwater.

Paolo's board ended up somewhere on the reef I think. All I know is that it fared better than I did with nary a scratch. Hahaha.

I wasn't spooked while it was happening. I surprised myself by remaining fairly calm. In fact, I remember coming up for air (finally) and hearing Paolo shouting asking if I was okay. And I told him "Yeah, I'm good. Where's your board? Is it okay?"

It wasn't until after, when I was back on my board and sitting once again at the shoulder catching my breath that I realized what had just happened. And the spook came crawling into my head. Then the adrenaline was wearing off... and the pain started to make itself felt.

An hour later we were back on land and Nicola was handing me painkillers. The boys sponsored a couple of beers (thanks Jun/Pao/Bjorn). The combination of the meds and the "medicinal barley" made for a slightly lutang me. So it wasn't until I was home in Manila and getting ready for bed that I saw the bruise that had manifested itself in all its purple and bloody glory right on my hip. Not since Carla Suiza's ass bruise has such a lovely abstract been painted by broken capillaries.

Click on this to get to the Digital Diary of my bruise.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

South Swell Sessions: round-up

Alex Grasshopper's Baptism

A day in Zamba to baptise my new board Alex Grasshopper. "Alex" for my good friend & surf dad Alex Kalbo and "Grasshopper" partly because he calls me 'anak ng tipaklong' and partly due to the phrase 'patience grasshoppa' because being on a new board is going to take a lot of patience and learning not to be frustrated. Heehee.

Other things about the weekend: Jov's magic bagoong, Meat Plus, visiting the turtles at Crystal beach, jelly fish stings, and accidentally taking home a strange giant green ant.

For photos you can always click this

Heckling, Doc's Birthday At Iba Pa

We didn't know who was riding in my van until two hours before we left the 540 shop. By the time we rolled out we had Kim, Jong, Aya, Olracs, Andrew, me and Mang Bong plus 6 surfboards all stored in the van. The thermostat of the AC was busted so it was winter or nothing. Good thing we were so afraid of being wet and miserable that we overpacked warm clothes and jackets.

Surfing in the rain near Kissy Face Island for the second time. Using Alex Grasshopper for the first time in proper wave conditions, and the third time ever in the water. Crossing a river and not getting taken out to sea. A total of six rides on Alex Grasshopper (the first one being the best one). The Scary Shortboard Lineup where Jun and Olracs tried to be supportive and helpful. Longboarders' "yeah. yeah" rides. Aya's losing her tooth in the line-up.

Eating it 101. Getting Worked 101. Red Horse remedial classes. Hiding the D70 from the rain. Heckling from the shore with Kim and whoever else wanted to join us. Doc's birthday lunch which Lui and I missed out on because we were in a meeting to plan out an upcoming surf comp. More of Jovin's bagoong. At... iba pa.

Super sulit weekend.

ps Happy bday masterbet! Di ka na namin nakita kasi di na kami dumaan ng Crystal.

To see first-hand photos of Aya's hard core tooth-losing injury (as well as some disturbing boys bathing together snaps) you can always check out this album .

Lefts and Low Tides

Left the D70. Snapped with a straightforward Coolpix. Lazy? Sometimes.

Beeeyutiful Saturday sessions. Grilled liempo and fresh fish straight from the market. Sinigang for dinner. Running out of rum (gasp!). Havanas shopping in the market. My first ever Zamba Boat trip! And the meanest lookin' bruise since Carla Suiza's Pagudpud Reef Rake.

Again, no photos of actual surfing because we're still sussing out how to get me a water housing. ;) I am accepting donations by the way. Heehee.

Choice photos from the trip. For all photos go to this place