Bagasbas Beach: A Summer Surfing Diary

beach, camarines norte, surf trip, travel

(Note: This is a much delayed post.  I’ve started writing it last May, 2012 and never actually gotten around to publishing it because I thought back then that it read like a chatty blabber.  Then reading it now, I realized it’s not so bad– kind of like a comprehensible diary, if you will.  Also there are no proper entries in the blogosphere about surfing in Bagasbas Beach so I thought I might do a little public service and tell about my amazing time there.  xo– K)

April 29,2012– After an overnight stay at Tinaga Island in Calaguas, we are headed back home to Manila but not until we dropped by and checked out the surf at Bagasbas, also in Camarines Norte.  I was actually a bit wary that the waters might be flat, as what is expected during summer.  Oh, before I go on, I am in no way a surfer– professionally or even an inch near amateur, I suppose, but I love to surf once in a while (the long board kind) and get wiped out most of these times.  So maybe I am in no position to be saying that the water is flat blah, blah, blah but really, what fun is there in surfing on calm waters?  And is that still called surfing?  But before I consume you with my thoughts, I was quite happy to see as our van parked along the beach avenue, that the waves were there.  One local surfer the I got to talk to told me that the waves in Bagasbas never actually goes flat even during summer months wherein some other surf spots become calm.  I don’t know if this is actually true but if I can compare with my trip to San Juan, La Union a week before, I would agree– the waves in Bagasbas are much more surfable (there is actually no “surfable” word, I just made it up but you would agree it sounds right, no?).  I also noticed that the beach is alive: people are everywhere and you can just tell that energy is pulsating in the whole area.


Surf clinic at the 6th bagasbas Summer Surf Festival (Photo courtesy of Clarisse Hernandez)

Apparently, it was the second and final day of the 5th Bagasbas Summer Surf Festival so there were beach activities and a surf clinic!  This of course, seemed perfect for me, now I know I can finally get my surfing fix on.  The surfing lessons cost Php 500 which includes the lesson itself for one hour, an event T-shirt, Mojo flip-flops and a Roxy baller bracelet (but I didn’t get one, instead I got a Roxy sticker– not that I am complaining).  So then I proceeded to the lesson itself.  And let this be our little secret:  even if I had 2 lessons before this, I still went to the orientation of surfing basics and safety because I am seriously clumsy and need to remind myself to be careful.  My surfing instructor is a Wahine (a term for girl surfers) named Mocha and she is badass.  It was the first time I got a girl for an instructor and I was actually excited for the lessons because I feel I will be more comfortable with her and that I can ask her girly stuffs about surfing like, “what’s the best sunscreen while surfing” or “How can some girls surf with just a bikini top and not suffer a, uh, wardrobe malfunction”?  But I never did get to ask these questions because once we were in the water, it was pure surfing session for one hour!  Somehow, the tips she gave me allowed me to actually stand up and balance myself while riding a wave.  According to her, the waves of Bagasbas are very ideal for beginners because they run long and do not break too often until they reach the shore. True enough, I was actually able to do an honest surf and ride longer waves even.  It was magic, really.

Towards the end of our session, I was hit by my surf board on my brow bone.  I did tell you I am clumsy, right? But I swear I followed all the precautions! Its just that when I stood up after a ride, my board went parallel to me and before I could think: “get out of there!” the waves propelled the board to my face.  I am still lucky though that I just got a slight bump and the whole thing didn’t bleed.  Mocha told me to be careful next time and her words:  “O ayan, ibig sabihin gagaling ka na nyan!”  It sounded familiar from my surf 2 years ago in Baler wherein our tour organizer said on my wounded lip (yet gain from the surf board), “battle scars yan, it will make you better.”  Well, I hope that I will get better at surfing, I also hope that there will be no more “battle scars” (at least the serious ones). Because if it is commensurate to getting better at surfing, then  I want the world to know, and the higher powers that there might be, that I am just gunning for being able to long-board on my own and am not going pro or big-wave surfing so I don’t think there’s a need for abuse, hmmkay?

I love how those two kids make me look like a dork, surfing on ankle-deep waters. 🙂

I would say that my surfing in Bagasbas renewed my rather long and winded love-hate affair with surfing.  Sometimes I ask myself why a landlocked girl like me would have that affinity with the water (floodwater not counted). Why not volleyball or tennis or freaking marathon running?  But then a perfect surf like the one I had in Bagasbas reminds me that there is no place I should be but on the sea.  And so the abusive relationship ensues… and hopefully lasts.


All photos by Clarisse Hernandez.


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