Sabang, Baler Aurora for WORLD WATER DAY 2015

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Sabang, Baler Aurora for WORLD WATER DAY 2015

world water day waves for water

by Summer Puertollano and Monika Rivilla

baler aurora sunrise

As surfers, we take every chance we can to spend our time at the beach. Life at the beach fly right past us, and our days are fuller from morning surf sessions to all kinds of busy that we enjoy, one where we get to spend our time leisurely doing the things we love. At the beach, we don’t mind exhausting our bodies and minds to do so much more than we usually do in the city. We have grown very fond of the beach breaks we’ve been visiting and have been thinking of how we can give back to the local communities we pass by when we travel.

Last March 22, 2015 – on World Water Day, we were given the chance to be Clean Water Couriers (CWC). It is a program of Waves For Water where everyday people, travellers like us, help out by distributing filters to those in need around the globe – In our case, around the Philippines (for now). The best part is, we get to do this along side doing our thing.

We found ourselves online hitchhiking to Baler. We needed space for 2 ladies with surfboards and a bucket. We chose Baler because there were surf waves and the place is quite dear to us.


Alvin Obedoza, a local coach and dear friend of ours, helped us find this community of a hundred people – men, women, and children. They are sea gypsies, migrants from Mindanao who fled their homeland for safety and found new life in Sabang as fishermen. They have been living here for 10 years, safe from attacks and military warfare but without access to clean water.

Local Councilor Mr. Horizon “Tolo” Imperial gathered the community for us. And with big smiles on our faces, we demonstrated to them how the filter works, how to maintain it, and the benefits the filter can bring to the community, including elimination of common water borne diseases. It excited us that the community was attentively listening and was more than happy to participate in the demo. It made them even happier and so thankful that we were leaving them a filter to install in their community water source.

The ancient advice might have a truly legitimate basis, The Golden Rule, Karma “doing unto others as you would have done to you.” Baler has welcomed us with open arms, to surf their waves and enjoy their culture. So this was our way of saying “thank you.”

Yes, we were able to give access to clean water to this community but in the end, it was us who benefitted from the experience. The blissful feeling that you get after you do something for someone else is priceless. Thanks to the community, our friends who helped us out, and to especially Waves For Water for the opportunity – we are happier more fulfilled and healthier surfers!

waves for water philippines

Monika and Summer

Get creative and join the #nofilter campaign!
Post a photo with a handwritten #nofilter to create awareness about the water problem in the world.

Example 1:
1 billion people in the world have NO water FILTERS, thus no access to clean water. But we can change that, starting today, on ?#?worldwaterday??. Make a post like this one and spread the message. For every #nofilter post on Instagram (past and present), one gallon of clean water will be made accessible by @wavesforwater teams, around the world. // #nofilter ?#?wavesforwater?? ?#?w4wPhilippines?? ?#?cleanwatercourier?? #worldwaterday

Example 2:
1 in 6 people in the world don’t have access to clean water because they don’t have a filter. But we can change that, starting today, #worldwaterday. Help us spread the message. For every #nofilter post on Instagram (past and present), one gallon of clean water will be made accessible by @wavesforwater teams, around the world. // #nofilter #wavesforwater #w4wPhilippines #cleanwatercourier #worldwaterday

See live results of the campaign here:

#nofilter #w4wPhilippines #cleanwatercourier #wavesforwater #worldwaterday
“Do what you love and help along the way.”

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