Typhoon stalking in the Philippines

By Bryant Vallejo

Summer surf in the Philippines mostly relies on typhoons (on the east coast) and southwest monsoons (on the west coast) . We decided to chase both typhoon Souldelor and the Southwest monsoon that came right after. The end result was pretty awesome. I had just landed from a long haul flight from Europe and checked the weather forecast only to see MSW forecasting super typhoon Souldelors track skirting the pacific coast of the Philippines and heading to Taiwan. I immediately booked a flight to Manila, and headed to my first destination, Baler Aurora.I arrived in Baler early in the morning and as expected, it was pumping everywhere.

With the swell reaching overhead, the beach break started closing out and Cemento reef was maxing out. I went to check Secret Spot, (which later I found out as the actual name of the spot) which is the go to spot when the swells are big. Its a river mouth set up located in the southeast end of Sabang bay, a long walling right hander which is forgiving and suitable for loggers and short boarders. The line up was crowded as expected, with the locals dominating and Manila surfers wanting to get a piece of the action. With the swell dwindling down the next day, the local surfers organization decided to hold an all locals surf comp showcasing Baler's best surfers.

I decided head to my second destination, Zambales on the west coast of the Philippines, which was a grueling 12 hour bus ride away. The swell was still building when I arrived and the tide was too high in the morning to surf the infamous Magic left spot. I decided to surf Megan’s, a shorey type wave which was short but fun to shake off the long journey.

The whole experience was very unique and rewarding, and also met some nice folk along the way. Definitely one of my most memorable Philippine surf trips.