Despite the lack of epic surf, the last few days of my stay in Baler were filled with much adventure. Many new friendships were made, a fun filled two day long all women’s surf competition was had, I experienced my first typhoon, and filmed loads of great footage for our film Return to the Sea that will surely make every surfer girl hop on a plane and head to this magical country.
The competition held here every year in October is an all female surf contest called the Philippine Wahine Classic. Carla Zamora created the event three years ago and it has become a huge success bringing Filipina surfer girls from all over the country together to show their skills, compete, and have fun. The two day contest is filled with talent and laughter, and each and every one of these women are just stoked to have been able to make the long journey to Baler to attend this event. From my own experience I can honestly say that I have never met such a wonderful group of ladies and I was showed but love and kindness from everyone. Four standout surfers, who are also now four of my best friends, are Daisy Valdez from La Union, Mocha Vargas from Daet, young ripper Josiela ”Lilay” Santos also from Daet, and Pia lopez, a surfergirl from Manila who shared with us her love and compassion for her local environment and community. These are just a few of the talented women that will be featured in Return to the Sea: The Philippines, and I am excited to share their stories with you.
As I leave Baler I am sad to say goodbye to so many awesome friends…but the journey continues and I am on my way to a dreamy, epic, wave filled island in the South… SIARGAO! Stay tuned!
Proudly supported by SSG, “Return to the Sea” is a film series that follows the journey of surfer, Michelle Watson, across the world as she meets up with the local female surfers who share their stories, cultures, and lives. We’ll be keeping you updated on her journey as she films. Stay tuned!