The Captains log: philippines

Explore - Elyu


Explore - Elyu

Photo dump of some pics from a recent trip to La Union in the Philippines over Chinese New Year to escape the (not too) chilly weather!

float captain - surf Elyu

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Typhoon Stalking 2.0


During the months of July and August is the perfect time to go swell chasing in the Philippines. The monsoon on the West Coast and the Typhoons on the East coast can provide tons of waves, its just a matter of knowing when to go.

With the effect of La Nina, the anticyclone was active mostly on the South China Sea which means less or no storms at all during this time of the year. Luckily some low pressure started forming on the Pacific Ocean side and intensified the southwest monsoon on the South China Sea.

First stop is Baler, one of our favorite local spot. With the short swell period we managed to score just a day of swell.

With the swell picking up on the west coast, I decided to pack my board and started the 12 hrs long bus ride from Baler to Zambales via Manila. The forecast didn’t look so promising as the wind will be blowing at 10mph making the beach break choppy.

Then Mac (Ramos of Crystal Beach Resort) tagged me along to check out this cove which is half an hour ride by banca (local outrigger) and we were not disappointed. The swell was perfectly aligned to the cove which is protected from the wind, giving us glassy head to overhead perfection.

Surfers – (wahine ) Bea Vega
(Pinoy power) Mac Ramos

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Explore - Easy Skate Surf, Manila


float captain - easy skate surf philippines

We recently visited Manila's newest and freshest surf/skate lifestyle shop Easy Skate Surf and we were stoked. The decor is great, the store vibe is awesome, the staff are friendly and very helpful. The store has a strong range of carefully curated gear and accessories that caters to all your skate and surfing needs. We were also stoked they carry and make great coffee! (we love our coffee!)  Gerard Cancio (co-founder) mentioned they wanted their customers to get a "homely and friendly experience, and basically just chill and have a coffee, It creates a better vibe for the shop". Naturally we are glad to be stocked with the Easy crew!

Easy Skate Surf is located at:
Unit 104, 3 Brixton St., BRGY. Kapitolyo
Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

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Typhoon stalking in the Philippines


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.

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A night with: Franco


Franco Reyes is a song writer/musician from Cebu. In 2009 him and other well known musician formed the super band "Franco" and immediately rose to prominence. . Being true to his music he continues to write, play , sing and produce his materials.

How do u describe your music?

I really don't describe my music as anything or how or who it sounds like. music is music. its an expression of emotions. its the influence of the times we find ourselves living in. everybody influences everybody. my music is my outlet. my salvation. my safe little nook in the far corner of my head… or to be less dramatic, i actually just leave it to the people who listen to my music and how they perceive it. 

Does your love for surfing influence your music? Or your love for music influence your surfing?

 Both. it is apparent on the song that i wrote, a beautiful diversion, that surfing has greatly influenced my music, and if it wasn't for music, i wouldn't have experienced surfing if i hadn't played on that certain baler 2010 gig which introduced me to my first surfing experience. borrowing a 7'6'' from aliya surf camp not knowing what to expect and do with a surfboard. i just went out, got in the water and had fun even if i didn't catch any waves, but having to experience mother nature in that medium was an enlightenment. it also has been shown time and time again by the people we see as our idols. our rock and surfing gods has shown us numerous times that music and surfing go hand in hand.

Describe your ultimate surf session?

I think it was april 2011. first time surfing in giuan, calicoan in samar. got there early pm with jan jan mendoza and a few friends from tacloban with 2 gallons of tuba for the drinking session with the locals that night. everything was dark except for the nipa hut that we stayed in, facing the ocean with a cut off top of a mineral water jug incasing a candle, but i couldn't really get a good picture of the water nor how the waves were since the moon wasn't even out. the night sky glittered that night though. drank and got to know some of the locals, shared stories, slept in my hammock, woke up 530am. the sun woke me up and was already peeking through the horizon. drinking tea with a hearty breakfast prepared by our new local friends while watching lines of glassy waist to chest high waves. "there will be waves all day on all the ABCD points," they say. the smile on my face was from ear to ear. only a handful of people in the line up. even our lunch was cut short due to mother nature giving us awesome-wave-after-wave that day. surfed all day, got stoked, ate great fresh local food, met new local friends, enjoying the awesome surf spot, spent quality time with mother nature, soaked in the sunny weather, being away from babylon for a few of days! that was a great experience. the next day, Repeat!

If you are working on a new album pls give us some ideas/insights or maybe a teaser?

 i really don't sit and plan on making an album. i just tend to write as much as i can overtime because everyday is a different mindset, different influences, different mood, different feeling, so compiling all those into a song that i am creating out of nothing, is something magical. we're currently recording an EP consisting of 6 songs at Tower of Doom.

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Explore - Zambales


A 3 hours drive away from Manila, Zambales is the perfect place to get away for a reef break. Magical Left- the best spot during south swell, offers a chance for both beginner surfers and the more advanced to experience the excitement of the ocean.  

Whilst its proximity to Manila may ward off some, there is no need to worry, as the lack of crowds is evident in the fact that Zambales is a popular weekend get-away for city surfers. There are numerous points to go surfing: Magic Left, Mags, Liw Liwa, San Narciso and River Mouth. The variety of different locations allow surfers to test themselves against all kinds of breaks- a challenge that many enjoy. 

Thankfully, for those who can’t take a full on surf weekend, there are numerous activities that one can enjoy ranging from hiking, fishing, island hopping and adventures into the wonders of nature. 

Ways to get there:
-    3 hour drive via SCTEX highway to Subic then to Zambales province.
-    Bus 5-6 hours bus ride (Victory Liner).

Places to stay:
-    Punta De Uian (Magsaysay) - provides a more upscale feel with a family resort and a very nice location close to the beach
-    Villa Janella Residences and Beach Resort - modest family resort. 
-    Megan’s Resort - surfers discount and low-priced stay and food. Excellent location on beach front. 
-    Capones Vista Resort - busy and popular due to proximity to Mags beach.  

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Explore - Baler


Intoxicating, heavenly, and amazing- my three words used to describe Baler. Located in the Aurora province of the Philippines, Baler is a paradise for any and all to just come and chill. The long coastline was host to the classic film Apocalypse Now and ever since has been regarded as a surfer’s dream. It has beach break points, river mouths and reef breaks- the perfect place for surfers to just go all out.

Walking across the soft grey sand into the crystalline water is an incomparable experience. This doesn’t just apply to one beach, fortunately. For a surf, you can go to Sabang beach, Cemento beach, Charlie’s point and Lindy’s point, all offering unique but memorable surfing experiences. The friendly people of the place get to enjoy beach weather for the whole year with a 35 degree summer and a (at low) 18 degree December with the best waves roll between October and Febuary when the NE monsoon comes down from China. You know what that means- surfing in boardies all year round. 

But after you’re done riding the waves, you can enjoy the view and the hundreds of other activities Baler offers. The summer months blow in a light sea breeze, prefect to go windsurfing, diving and snorkelling and to eat the all-time favourite Baler seafood.

Serene and popular as Baler is, there are many places to stay and enjoy. Costa Pacifica offers comfy stay, while those seeking more budget rooms, can go to Mahdox surf school.

Baler is without a doubt a place to add to your bucket list to go and check off. Enjoy the surf.

How to get there?

4-5 hours drive from Manila

6-7 hours bus ride from Cubao (Genisis Bus Co.)

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