“Why do they make that sound?” Kami was referring to the local surfers as they shouted the words ice candy in what can only be described as orgasmic. “Ooohhhhaaahhhhiiiccceeee cccaaaandddyyy!” She was a Belgian spending the last week of her Philippine vacation surfing. Understandably, she was confused. I explained that they were likely referring to a street vendor in Cebu, he would shout that way to get attention to sell his ice candy. “Oh really! I think saw him! I was in a hotel near downtown and I heard that noise, but I did not understand.”
There’s so much about this trip that I’ll remember. The ice candy shenanigans will be one of them. The other will be the imong papa jokes, but the explanation wouldn’t be ripe for publishing in this little blog. Let’s just say imong papa gets personal. And of course, the waves.
That’s the beauty of this surf trip to Lanuza, Surigao del Sur. In between the waves, there were so many stories shared. The seven year relationship broken up by a ghosting, worst break up ever, that guy was a dick. The sneaking into a Cokaliong boat back to Cebu, had to do it, no choice. Known Cebu personalities owing millions of pesos, no names here. The dumb puns that never ended, thank you for that Bungot. The party waves and the Carlo sandwiches.
This trip even had its own share of stories that actually happened. The depressed local lashing out to a group of Lanuza surfers, the snake that didn’t hang for too long so na bitin mi (thanks again Bungot), the Earthquake while hanging out next to the tsunami warning sign, the visit to the picturesque Laswitan Lagoon in Cortes, the boodle fight by the water, the dumb throwing stones at stones game. So much happened, but so little happened at the same time.
Part of any surf trip is waiting for the waves. While waiting, it gifts you the rare experience of idle time. These days more than ever, idle time is a rare commodity and should be treasured. Stories like these only happen when you let them. For someone like me who is well into the working phase of life, this time is precious and fought for. It was a chance to disconnect, to live as simply as I could, to have no agenda, to hang and have fun.
Then when the swell hit, there were the waves. The waves on April 2017 in Lanuza, Surigao del Sur were perfect for the people who were there. They weren’t too big to intimidate, many were first time surfers, or in my case, once a year warriors. The swells came with long interludes in between, but when they appeared, you knew that you had two or three waves coming that could carry you a good distance. Those waves were more than enough to keep me stoked all the way home.
In between sets, my favorite thing to do is look west. The coast of trees lining the horizon with clouds overhead and the sun rays shining through have become a fixture of the surfing experience here. It’s one of the best parts of surfing Lanuza. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture that could aptly show it. I guess we were all too busy surfing.
That’s what surfing does to you. It’s an activity that forces you to shred all the excess baggage and focus. Focus solely on the wave. Focus on your paddling. Focus on what the water is doing. You can’t bring your phone to take a photo, you can’t bring a bag. It’s you and a board, nothing else. If you are lucky, the sea gifts you with the right wave to hold you over till your next surf trip.
When I first got back from the trip, it was difficult to put into words. When friends asked me about it, all I could say was, “Lingaw kaayo. Grabe. Lingaw.” I would just repeat that over and over, still stoked from the waves.