California, Hawaii, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Australia, Mexico. These are places that 14 year old Tia Blanco, a current resident of San Clemente, California, has already surfed. Quite also a feat for this lively ocean child is that she won 1st place at the 2011 NSSA Championships for Middle School girls while getting a 4.0 grade point average in her studies. Parents Simon and Sina do have lots reasons to be proud of their young champion – but so do we. Upcoming surf sensation Tia Blanco has roots in the Philippines and she is proud to be of Filipino blood.
Tia’s Lokal Soul: Tarlac and La Union
Sina and her family
Tia’s mom Sina is from Magaspac, Tarlac and San Juan, La Union while dad Simon is of Italian, French and Indian American heritage.
Sina tells us a bit of her family’s background and their colorful history:
“My Grandpa from my dad’s side Jacob Nool Carino born and raised in Magaspac, Tarlac. He served in the military. He was one of the victims captured in the Baton Death March. He managed to escape the horrible beatings and killings by bravely fleeing the scene on foot while no one was looking. He ended up making it back to the barrio in Magaspac and hid there until it was safe. He earned many medals for his bravery including 2 purple hearts. In the early 1950’s he made his way to Hawaii with my uncles to start a new life. Today in the Hawaiian phonebook there are many Carinos. My Grandma Pacing stayed back in Magaspac to run the family business producing rice and sugar cane. She was a very well known woman in her community. She sponsored many families and put lots of children through school and college. Both my Grandparents have passed but thanks to Lokalsoul their legacy lives on.”
My Grandpa from my Mother’s side was born and raised in San Juan La Union. His name was Romeo Dacumos Padua. The Padua’s were owners of a large estate in San Juan where they produced tobacco and sugar. My great Grandfather Daniel Padua was a well known local music composer. He wrote operas which were performed during the town festival. Many of his songs are still recognized today during the town festival in San Juan. My Grandpa left the Philippines in 1929 to pursue a fine Arts degree in the USA.
An Aloha Surf Beginning
dad and daughter
A family vacation in Hawaii turned out much more than a day at the beach. It would be at Waikiki where Tia first got introduced to the waves and practically the idea of surfing. Having so much fun in the sea, at just 2 years old, young Tia wouldn’t come out of the water. Simon, an avid waterman himself, then decided to put his child on his board and pushed her into the whitewater to get her to shore. As to what her parents recall, Tia just laughed and laughed. Needless to say the kid enjoyed the ride and from that point as they, is history.
at 2 years old
And Now She Rips: Currently Charging and A Promising Future
On school day every morning Tia has 1st period PE Class which consists of 2 to 3 hours of surfing. After school she either surfs again or does Yoga with her mom and sister. Tia shortboards, longboards, SUP’s and is basically a watersports lover in general. At the end of the day though, Tia goes thru and finishes her homework.
The pictures says it all. Tia has a tight skills both on the longboard and the shortboard. She now has twenty 1st place wins in 2011 with the year only being in the 2nd quarter. Her latest achievement is winning the National Scholastic Surfing Association Championships for Middle School. The NSSA is the highest profile amateur competitive surfing association in the United States. Tia currently works with a surf coach and their goal is to make it to the next level – Junior Pro. In her mindset, traveling and competing with the best can only make her better.
A Filipina Heart
There is truly an international mix in Tia Blanco’s being that makes her unique and driven as she is. But something that we Filipinos can identify with, Tia also has a passion for helping kids in need. She’s has already donated several of her used boards to kids in need and is looking forward to donating surfing supplies to the young surfers in the Philippines. Tia is so excited to be recognized and in many ways to be part of the Filipino surfing community.
Q&A with the Blanco’s
Simon the Dad
What future do you want to see in Tia? – I’m trying to steer Tia in the right direction. I want my daughter to be successful in whatever she does in life. I don’t want her to have to depend on anybody or any man to live the lifestyle she wants.
What is your advice about life for Tia? Be like your Mom; don’t take any crap from anybody
Tia is a beautiful girl. What kind of pain awaits the jerks and the a-holes? Tia IS a beautiful girl and I’m in the military need I say more?
Sina the Mom
What are “motherly” teachings do you give? I always tell Tia to do her best in everything she does whether it be surfing or studying because that’s the difference between good and great!
Tell us about the support you give to Tia – I’m basically her personal assistant lol. I’m always taking her here and there to surf and I film her so she can see what she’s doing right and wrong. I support most of her decisions that if she doesn’t feel like surfing, I don’t make her. I don’t want her to get burned out.
What is your advice about life to your daughter? Focus on school first then surfing, NO BOYS!!! That will come in due time 😉
First of all the important ones: Do you have a boyfriend already? – haha NO! I don’t have time right now. Haha plus my dad wouldn’t allow it.
Describe yourself – Let me see, I’m easy going, I like the beach, I’m vegetarian, I don’t like mean people and I hope to make a difference in at least one kids life.
Tell us what surfing is for you – The Ocean relaxes me and helps me think. Surfing is my sport of choice so it’s something I really like doing. I also like soccer, gymnastics and martial arts but my parents said I could only pick one so I picked surfing.
Who do you look up to? I look up to my sister Aja. She took a lot of AP classes and she worked really hard and now she’s graduating High School with honors and a Valedictorian as well. I also look up to Carissa Moore – she rips and was not homeschooled.
What does your Filipina blood mean to you? I love being part Filipina, it’s my roots and Filipinos are some of the most beautiful, nicest, humblest, hard-working people on this earth. If you don’t know, now you know!
What do you want for the future? I want a billionaire soooo frickin’ bad – buy all the things I never had haha. I want to stay in the surf industry and help out kids that need it and hopefully win another title.
Tia’s Message to Filipinos – Tumayo matangkad at ipagmalaki na maging filipino ito ay isang maganda ang kultura. Haha I don’t speak Tagalong so I had to look it up on Google translate =) It says, “Stand tall and be proud to be Filipino, it’s a beautiful culture”. I made that up =)
Lokalsoul.com is proud to have featured Tia in our humble blog. We hope for the best and we hope we see Tia very soon in the Pro Events that we so fanatically follow. And oh, hope to see her on Leave A Message part 2! Nothing but good vibes and the best for her and her family. Our country the Philippines does have a beautiful culture and more so in Philippine Surfing where no matter where you are — you are family. Yes, a beautiful culture indeed.
hey! check out Tia Blanco online!
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And yes, more pictures of Tia!
winning the NSSA
with surf legend Sunny Garcia who in fact, also has Filipino blood
with Bethany Hamilton
*Huge thanks to Joy Peace who posted on our Facebook back in May and brought our attention to Tia. Many many thanks to Sina Blanco who made this feature possible and thanks to Simon, Sina and Tia for gracing the interview. More power to Tia and nothing but love for the Blanco’s. Peace out!
Photos given Sina Blanco. Action and lifestyle shots taken from TiarahBlanco.com with credits to Hawaii Red Dragon Photoghaphy using Sina’s permission. Contact Tia Blanco and Sina Blanco at this email info@TiaBlanco.com.