You may not know how to swim, but you can surf. I’ve found this out first hand when the road led us to Baler, Aurora Province this summer. Not only I, also my sister. Kenneth and I grew up in Mactan, our house was a mere 500 meters from the nearest shoreline, but we never learn to swim.
So you understand how doubtful I was when told I don’t have to know how to swim to surf. ‘Ma’am Cille kaya mo talaga yan’ assured Shanlee.
But of course the experience will be a lot better if you can swim well. 😉
We were in Baler for 4D/3N. This was our first summer blast.
Since our Baler Town Tour is slated for the following day, we were idle the afternoon we arrived in Secret Spot. Secret Spot is right on Sabang Beach, and on the compound is the Freedom Surf School.
At that time no one was on queue for surfing lesson. Julie, who’s been to Baler, cajoled us. ‘Surf na tayo Cille!’ I looked at the waves, they look high, scary, unforgiving. ‘Parang nakakatakot’.
Mentally psyching myself, and repeating that heyyyy we came to Baler for one main thing – to learn how to surf and if lucky, to ride a wave. This is it! This is my ‘learn something new for this year’. I got to do it, I have to do it. Now or never. Kaya nga ng mga bata hehehe
Finally nodding, we went back to our room, changed to our costume. Lol, yes, we bought new surfing outfit haha. We trooped to Freedom Surfing School, filled-up the registration form, and signed the waiver form. Eto na talaga, we have affixed our signature to a waiver, scary excited! hehe.
We lined-up on the shore with one instructor each for our crash course in surfing. With the board’s leg leash firmly tied on the ankles, the surfing lesson 101 officially begun.
Some of the students on our second day in Baler
I got the smiling Shanlee, medyo bata kaya nabubully ko. ‘Stanley ha, di ako marunong mag-swim’, ‘Stanley, bantayan mo ako’. ‘ Stanley ayaw ko ng masyadong mataas na wave!’ Hehehhe
Hi Shanlee! If you are reading this. 😉
Secret Point Surfing Spot in Sabang Beach
After the short lesson, Kenneth and Julie entered the water first, then Titus and I followed. After walking a few meters, my surfing instructor said ‘Ma’am sakay na kayo sa board’, then pulled the board with me on top and we headed to deeper bluish water.
‘Malalim na ba to? Ayoko ng malalim’
‘Hindi pa malalim, tingnan mo’ then he proceeded to ‘stand’ on the seabed.
‘Nakalutang ka naman eh’.
‘Di naman ma’am, nakatayo talaga ako, abot ko ang buhangin’
‘Oo nga ma’am’
‘Sure ka talaga?’
He just smiles hehe. I must have been a testy surf student.
He turned the board around; my view became that of the shoreline and the Baler hotels in the distance. Everything looks normal, except my heart was wildly beating against the chest.
‘Ma’am handa na kayo, wag kalimutan mag-bend’. This means my foot should be in ready-position on the traction pad, the hands correctly position against the board, and ready to rise and bend to balance.
I braced myself, the waves will come anytime now.
‘Be calm’ I told myself.
‘Oh my god, oh my god’.
Sheiyyytttts eto na!
Shanlee pushed the board, I pushed my hands hard against the board at the same time tried my best to get-up. After a few seconds of trying to balance, I fell off my board and scrambled as the waves tossed me further lol. Hehehehhehhe.
Nakakahingal lol. But exhilarating.
‘Balik na kayo sa board ma’am’
‘Shanlee teka lang, mamaya na, pag waves mahina na’.
First timer surfing sa Baler
Julie on a roll!
Kenneth and Surfing
I’ve got to share what transpired with Kenneth because it was so funny.
As our surf instructor brought us to deeper water, I can hear my sister telling her instructor not to bring her to deep water. I was beside her, also on my board, so If the water is deep, it is deeper for me since I’m a few inches shorter than her. My sister was really making a ruckus, finally she shouted to catch my attention and to report her instructor.
“Ate, ate, tan-awa iya dyud ko dad-un sa layo!”
She was saying “Ate, ate! Look at him, he is bringing me far!” She wants me to admonish the instructor lol.
No risk, no gain.
Yeyyy for a non-swimmer!
The morning after, the waves look calmer and kinder. We chatted with Raymond, a resident surf instructor of Freedom Surf School. He said for beginners, that morning was the best time to surf because of the smaller waves.
Waiting for our turn in Secret Point
‘Secret Point’ is a named coined for the surfing spot in the vicinity of Secret Spot beach huts
‘Let’s go surfing again!’ In a flash, Kenneth and Julie were back wading the waters. I stayed on the shore with my husband who says he has no plans on getting back on the surf board again. Surfing made him dizzy, no more for him. He looks beat-up so wala na namugos hehe. Titus and I thoroughly enjoyed jumping every time the waves came.
The morning became busier at the Freedom Surf School with loads of tourists arriving for their first lesson in surfing. My sister and Julie were still out there enjoying the waves. Naiingit ako, I got envious so I got up and changed. Before my feet touch the sea, I reminded Titus to take good shots of us on the board, and most especially if we surf!
I reviewed the pics and yep, hubby did take good shots of Julie and Kenneth, tons of it. But none of me riding the wave!!! Waaahhhh anong ebedinsya ko?! I rode once!
Lol, I really did, I swear. But no pictures to show for it. 🙁
Proud and Happy!
These are 5 things I learn after my first surfing experience:
- Surfing is best for those fit – madali akong hiningal kasi wala talagang regular exercise.
- It doesn’t matter if you fail, what matter is that you tried.
- Learn new things, enrich your life.
- Don’t be afraid to test the waters, if you are afraid be afraid, but take the plunge.
- Things are easily lost and forgotten, not so are memories.
Celebrating our first day surf with a boodle fight
If you want to test your skills, spend an afternoon in Baler near Charlie’s Point or Lindy’s point where the waves are bigger. Or if you are a hard-core surfer dude, head to Brgy Cemento and try the huge waves at Cobra Reef. For us, beginners, Secret Point works perfect.
Charlie’s Point in late afternoon
There are many surf schools along Sabang Beach, some of the best instructors comes from Freedom Surf School (FSS). They have recently moved from Secret Spot to another area, still on Sabang Beach. Hit them on Facebook or call them if you want to reserve and book them for surfing lessons, inquire about surfing lesson packages, or to ask for direction to their new surfing hub.
FSS Facebook: Freedom to Surf School
FSS Surfing lesson: P350 per hour (board and instructor fee included)
FSS Board rental only: P200 per hour / P400 per day / P800 whole day
FSS Contact numbers: 0918-3564727 or 0915-9746489
Learn how to surf, visit Baler! Enjoy! Get stoked!
See you again Baler!
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