During summer, both local and international tourists bask under the sun as they take pleasure in the fine, white sands of the country’s many unspoiled islands, immerse in the abundant aquatic life, explore verdant greeneries, and discover the rich and varied flora and fauna (most of which are endangered species). However, during the late months of the year, there is something more exciting to look forward in the Philippines.
Several popular surf spots have contributed a lot to the country’s tourism industry as local tourists and those from all over the world flock to the different islands of the Philippines to experience the exhilarating waves.
The birth of surfing in the country is quite an interesting story. Baler started as a fishing town in Aurora until the late 1970s when the popular Vientan war film, Apocalypse Now changed all that. The movie that was actually in Baler (and not in Vietnam) starred Robert Duvali who plays Colonel Kilgroe, orders his men to ride the waves despite the current chaos. While shooting the scene, many of the locals were watching nearby and were fascinated as the actors take on the amazing waves off-screen. When the film finished shooting, many surfboards were left at the shores, which a group of young children used to learn the sport themselves; thus, marks the beginning of surfing in the country. Since then on, these captivated young locals have shared the passion for surfing. The former set of the Vietnam battle scene is now a notable surfing destination for surfers across the world. Its waves vary depending on the beach location. Its average and smooth waves have become a gateway to tourists who wish to experience surfing in Baler, while tall, sharp and strong waves are perfect for competitions. This surfing capital is a 6-hour drive from Manila. However, despite the long hours of travel, the scenic views of the fields and mountain ranges make the journey a pleasing one.
Believe when a professional local surfer says, “Anyone can surf,” even if isn’t actually a good surfer. Free surf lessons are offered by professional surfers, and assuring that one’s safety is always the priority when testing the waters. Only when you get your balance on the board will you understand the excitement surfing brings.
What makes surfing a challenge? Understanding what kinds of waves one is riding. There are three common ones – first, the beach break, are waves broken upon sandy seabed; then, point break is the wave break on rock-strewn portions; and lastly, reef break, the wave that is broken over coral reefs.
From Luzon to Mindanao, this archipelagic island is a perfect destination of every kind of surfer.
Aside from Baler’s great options of surfing spots, there are several remarkable destinations in the country that will surely draw everyone. San Juan, La Union can be reached in merely a 4-hour drive from the city. Surfing here is consistent all year round; however the best waves are seen from October to April. It has one of the leading surf schools in the country. Aside from being a favorite surf spot in northern Luzon, La Union is also a major tourist destination that hosts events like music festivals and retreats and environmental drive. Pagudpud is another surf spot in northern Luzon, ideal for all kinds of surfers with the only little crowd yet boasting good waves during the months of October to April. Drive 3 hours north of Manila and head to Zambales, the closest surf destination from the metro and an ideal beach break for beginners to advanced surfers. When waves are not consistent, it can be an exciting experience to search for the waves by traveling to another town or riding a boat. Puraran, located in Baras, Catanduanes, is a booming surf spot in the Philippines that has perfect barreled waves. Cottages and towering trees line the amazing shores of Puraran, giving the place an amazing tropical feel. Situated in Surigao del Norte, Mindano is the well-known surfing capital of the Philippines – Siargao Island With its strong barreling waves and reef breaks, this international surfing destination has been drawing tourists from all parts of the world. Thrill-seeking surfers take on frightening yet fantastic waves that reach about an average of 7ft during high season where international surfing competitions are also held. Siargao is undoubtedly making immense waves and has become a surfer’s haven.
Whatever time of year we are in, it’s always more fun in the Philippines especially that the peak surfing season is around. This tropical island is more than just a summer’s paradise as it offers the best surfing experience one can ever have even throughout the year.
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