The First Stoke


It’s as if it was just yesterday. A few weeks after learning to surf in Baler, I went on a surf trip to Zambales and surfed an entire day at Liwa. That day was the best I’ve felt in my whole life. On my way back to Crystal beach, the rain was pouring heavily from the heavens and the tricycle I was in provided little shelter. It was freezing cold and the wind and rain won’t allow myself to get dry. I just then played Monsoon by Jack Johnson on my Ipod and a certain feeling filled my soul. I closed my eyes for a bit and said a little prayer. “Lord thank you for such a blessed experience”. Looking back at it, I think that was the start of when surfing made me pray again.

And as I sing my heart out to the fitting lyrics of the song, I remember seeing waves everywhere I look. The trees looked like waves. The bridge we just crossed looked like waves. The houses looked like waves. I closed my eyes and waves are still all I see. I was stoked that day. Pretty hard. And I guess pretty much everything else I do from then on are attempts of recreating that very experience.

That was a year ago. But come ten, twenty or thirty years, I will never forget that rainy day.

– TJ