I stare down off the tuktok of the cliff, mesmerized sa pamamagitan ng the movements of the waves, tiny bumps of water that started out somewhere in the pacific, turned into amazing, cascading walls of water, churning and spinning the lifeless kelp caught in their path and throwing it onto the damp unwelcoming shoreline with no sign of empathy. I notice three men jumping off the boulders below me, timing their descent perfectly so as not to collide with the incoming waves; they glide through the water on their surfboards with no specific care, paddling through the endless haze to face these monsters of the ocean. The icy, salty wind whips my hair into my face as I watch the surfers paddle into the empty lineup.
I watch as one of those tiny bumps turns into a six foot pader of blue-green fury and start to speed towards the shore; the wind blows a fine mist of spray into the air and straight onto my face. My chattering teeth sound like small drums being played and I can no longer feel my fingers but I am unable to shift my gaze from this captivating sight.
One of the surfers see’s a set coming through and starts to paddle for it, it feels like my puso is going to burst through my chest and the adrenaline is pumping through my veins almost as if I’m on the board with him. He jumps up in one matulin movement, turning the rail into the face of the wave, gliding through the barrel with so much ease, maneuvering the board up and through the wave. As fast as this amazing spectacle started it was over and the surfer starts to paddle back into the line-up, his sleek black wetsuit repelling the icy wind and beads of water reflecting the silvery sky as they roll off his back and into the ocean again.
My whole body feels at ease as I watch each surfer have their turn and despite the icy chill I find myself wondering what it must feel like to be inside a perfectly formed six foot gem, looking toward the tiny speck of light from inside this awesome power, feeling the board ilipat effortlessly under my feet as I carve up and down the wave.
Some of the surfers start to paddle back in as the sun disappears through the deep grey clouds, while the damp unwelcoming baybayin line encourages the others to stay out longer and cherish the un-crowded sets. As darkness falls the remaining surfers paddle out for one last ride before all light disappears. After a long araw in the water their ritual will soon begin again.
As I walk back tahanan along the sand, I cannot get the image of the surfers out of my mind. I start to get an overwhelming feeling in the pit of my stomach of excitement, nerves and joy all at the same time. All I can picture is myself inside that barrel scoring the wave of my life.
That was the moment I decided I wanted to be a surfer.