Friday, June 29, 2007

Tama Ba?!

Tama ba na kinilig ako nung nakita kong mag-transform si Optimus Prime?! Kilig ha... not excited, not impressed... KILIG.

Like when you're about to see your favorite musician/rock star (in my case this was Sting) for the first time and you're sitting in this crowded arena and you dont quite believe you actually scored seats and he's actually deigned to come to your Third World country to play... and the stage lights go on and the crowd gives up a collective cheer... and there he is in front of you... in front the mic... it's Sting! It's really Sting! And even though the roar is defeaning and you're probably screaming along, deep down inside is this intense excitement that ripples through your body... because you cant believe it's really happening.

That's how Optimus Prime made me feel last night. I couldn't believe my childhood toy was alive... coming to life... right there on the screen. I was eleven all over again.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Indie Long Weekend in La Union

Where do I even begin? Hmmm...

1. Moved out of the Yeah, Yeah house and across the street to Surfers' Inn
2. Used my new Pentax Optio W30
3. Surfed Bacnotan Saturday and Sunday then scored big time at the "isang spot natin" on Monday.
4. Turned over photog duties to Coy

Lent my Tamron lens to Coy for the long weekend and he was nice enough to shoot us surfing in between his own surf sessions. Next time Coy, take turns tayo para may kuha ka din sa tubig. :)

Memo to self: next time, don't think of Coy shooting! Nakaka-conscious pala... I was more invested in making sure my tummy wasn't sticking out than I was in turning my board. Hahahaha. Next time, next time.

Again... big ups to Coy for shooting these excellent images of stoke in action.

5. Got Mang Bong to finally have a surf lesson!
6. Listened to the Jellyfish song
7. Got sprayed with vinegar in the eye by Phil, then later sprayed with dirty rainwater in the face by Raf.
8. Got to use a 9'1, 9'0 6'6, 6'0 and an 8'4 at different points in the weekend. ;)
9. Pimped Millie's clothes
10. Had an awesome awesome surf trip. Woot, woot!

For photos check out this album

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Friday, June 15, 2007

My Visual DNA by Imagini

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wahines in the Water: full version

I submitted this article to Elev8 Magazine's second issue. The last few paragraphs didn't come out due to a printing glitch. So here is the full article in all its unedited self.

There was a time that the idea of women surfing brought to mind Gidget, the Hollywood Beach Blanket icon. While cute and perky, she didn’t quite portray the most empowering image of female surfers.

In recent years, the presence big-wave riders such as Layne Beachley, Malia Kamisugi, power wahines the likes of Sofia Mulanovich, Keala Kennely and new talents like Chelsea Georgeson have made it quite clear that there is room for bikinis in the land of boardshorts. Whether it is in Australia, Hawaii or as far south as Brasil, women are definitely holding their own in the liquid arena.

Here in our neck of the world, more and more women are paddling out and taking waves in a sport more often than not designated for men. Point in case – the Philippine Surf Federation’s 2005 Circuit included an all-women’s surf competition was held at Siargao island’s Cloud 9, a right hander famous for its hollow barrels.

Anyone who watched these Filipinas charge Cloud 9 that year came away with much respect for them. These girls grew up in a line-up peppered with boys. This is especially the case for Nildie Blancada and Manet Alcala (Siargao) and Mocca Edusma (Daet) where they are often the only females out with the boys.

The event was seen as a gigantic step forward in the arena of women’s surfing. This year, the competition saw an even larger contingent of participants, including Australian pro surfers Sheridan Shields, Lyndsay Noyes as well as local wahines hailing from all over the country. The ripple effect of seeing women taking on monster waves has inspired a younger set of girls to get on a board and get in there. Only months after the comp girls as young as 6 began paddling out with Siargao’s normally all-male grommet posse.

Even back in Manila, the number of wahine weekend warriors has tripled in the last two years. The membership roster of the Manila Surfers’ Association has a nearly equal number of men and women.

On a personal level, it is not only empowering to see more girls in the line-up. It is, quite simply, more enjoyable. I am no longer the only girl on a weekend road trip, having to put up with pranks, fart jokes or actual farts. Now, there is always at least one other female to talk to about the more substantial aspects of life, namely: shopping, shoes and spas.

I am not a professional surfer. I am not even an intermediate level surfer. What I am is a chick with a waxed stick that enjoys every wave that she gets, whether it’s a wall that just keeps going and going or a party wave shared with four other friends. And it’s just fun that now, the chances are higher that those friends I share that one ride with are also fellow females.

From observations and conversations with other female surfers (and yes, even in the line-up, we girls like to yack it up), it seems that The Philippines is among the best places to be a chick in the line-up. The boys are less aggressive, more accommodating and actually quite encouraging. I don’t know if it is the way that Filipinos are raised to respect women, if it is the intrinsically mellow personality of Filipinos in general or a combination of both that makes these local line-ups a good place to be a woman surfer. Granted each line-up will have its fair share of macho men that will never see women as equals in the water. But they are, thankfully, the exception and not the norm.

My good friend Mille Fairhall is a free surfer who surfed competitively in her teen years. She shuttles back and forth between her two homelands of Australia and the Philippines. We were talking once about the state of women’s surfing in the Philippines and she said “There have been a few women who have dared to challenge the stereotype (that surfing is for boys). And I think that gender has no relevance on a wave. If women can get past that intimidation factor, the old guard thoughts and physical inhibitions there would be a lot more of us out there… enjoying surfing for what it is.”

By the way, Millie charges and rips so if you happen to be one of the rare aggro boys, don’t even think about asking her to move to the shoulder.

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