#SoulSurf2013: Soaked and stoked!

It is like a time machine to a happy place, a place where board shorts and bikinis takes over. Where life is better in flip-flops and best if you are in your feet. It is where time is slowed and reality is bent. Where one can get drowned from love and alcohol. Where people can get lost to the sound and acquaintance of new found-friends.

This

is

Soulsurf.

we have the sun, the sand and a drink in our hand
we have the sun, the sand and a drink in our hand

The epic start.

I never knew that one comment of mine could bring me to La Union and when that happened, I felt as if I’m the luckiest man alive. Come on, it’s Soulsurf and I will be there, and I will be there for free!

and just like that, I got lucky
and just like that, I got lucky (c) Travel Factor Facebook Page

It was past eight in the morning when we reach La Union after an almost six-hour trip. That time, the sun was busy cooking everything and anything with its sheer glare. After checking in, I went to the beach side to get a glimpse of what is in store for me. Side by side, stalls and booths were setup. There were a number of people ranging from regular run of the mill Joe’s with nothing but their board shorts on, to sexy chikkas sporting on some skimpy bikinis, and a whole lot of surfer wannabes crowding the shore. The place looked like a maze and everyone was more than willing to get their self lost in it. Just by the looks of it, I knew that it’s gonna be an awesome weekend.

surfing stalls all-over the beach front
surfing stalls all-over the beach front

After a quick stroll I went back to the dorm and check on how my friend-making skill is doing so far. There I get to know, Alcys and Matiks and instantly they became my Soulsurf buddies. We were on our first day and there was not that much to do yet, so I went on a Skimboarding 101 with Matiks. Luckily I was able to get it after several failed attempts.

Eat, surf, rave. Repeat.

The waves were so inviting and so are the free booze. There were games and activities all around the corner, some were happening simultaneously that basically left everyone with no time to waste for sleeping. One can grab a board or a drink, or best to grab both.

waves were tempting and so are the drinks
the waves were tempting and so are the drinks

Basked in the goodness and take it all in.

I have with me the clear blue sky, some big bad waves and a surfboard. A quick surf seesh was all it took to get my stoke on. At around three in the afternoon, together with a friend, I went to a booth and played beer pong with the locals.

And another friend failed me. Why do you always have to do it to my photo?
And another friend failed me. Why do you always have to do it to my photo?

The deep shit I get into sometimes.

The night came and there’s no better way than to start it with alcohol in our hands. We had a mix of Tanduay and Monster while partying to sick EDM beats. With no dinner yet, fresh from a jam-packed morning of skim boarding and an afternoon surfing session, I decided to drink. After a couple of shots, I found myself a little tipsy. I was all over the place, dancing and whining like a carefree douchebag. I felt light with every move I make, a small movement I do and I get a little dizzy. I felt like I was drugged. The last thing I remember was of me dreaming of asking the bouncer to let me and my friends in on the VIP area. Then when I woke up, I was already at my bed and I found myself dripping in my own vomit (yikes, I know). I check the clock and it was almost two in the morning, but the party hasn’t ended yet. When I had my consciousness back, I look for my phone but to no avail.

Night one's party scene
Night one’s party scene

Morning came and I ask my friends about last night’s party. I told them of my dream, me challenging the bouncer, and me trying to get in on the VIP area. They were all just laughing the whole time until one of them told me that it was actually what really happened. Worst of all, while everyone was partying, I was just at the ground sleeping like a baby. They showed a picture of me lying in the sand and it was really embarrassing. I was ashamed of myself, only if I could wear a mask for the rest of the event I already did.

Day 2: The bum in me.

Our second day was spent touring San Fernando. We went to see Macho Temple, travel all the way to Pindangan Ruins and had a hearty meal at one of the local Chinese restaurant. It was a good escape for me after what happened the night before. But to be honest, I couldn’t care any less anymore.

the overlooking view at Macho Temple in San Fernando, La Union
the overlooking view at Macho Temple in San Fernando, La Union

When we got back at the Villa, I took my Lagu with me, grabbed a drink then went to the beach. With the cluster of people, I was lucky to find a spot near the shore. I watch friends dancing like crazy, people trying to ride their first wave and several souls waiting for the golden hour. It all reminded me of the moments that I actually live for. That right there in front of me, was one of those.

sunset in San Juan
sunset in San Juan

I let the air and the sun touch my skin as I continue to watch closely the people around me. Few minutes passed, and time painted the sky with red-orange hue and the great big ball said its adieu. I took my towel, grabbed my drink then went back to my friends.

drinking the tambay way
drinking the tambay way

Far from what happened on our first night, we [more on they] decided to have a breather and spend the night sharing rhum cola and stories just outside the villa. That night, I was just trying my best to resist from going to the festival grounds. After two hours, the force got stronger that my feet could no longer withstand not hearing the call. We went to check what was happening and the scene was pretty crazy. People were jumping and dancing like it’s nothing. Totally, my kind of thing. I was lost in the crowd but as the song says, I don’t care… I love it!

jampacked Night 2
jampacked Night 2

My all-time favorite One Republic’s If I lose myself became my anthem. But on a sad note, it became a reminder as well that no matter how fun the party could get, I don’t have the person I love around me that time. If you only know, I was singing with the crowd but I was singing it for you, I wanted to tell you that,

If I lose myself tonight, I want it to be by your side
If I lose myself tonight, I want it to be you and I…

and that I am looking forward to travel and party with you. Unfortunately, you are not that type.

Epic fail! The more deeper shit I get into sometimes.

For our last day, I decided to shell out a couple of bucks for another surfing sesh, but this time I decided not to get an instructor. That day, the current was much more stronger but still our determined souls were not shaken. I brought with me my friend’s camera as we race against the waves. Next thing I know, I was doomed! Double whammy as I lost my phone during our first night and now, an underwater camera.

last hurrah for surfing
last hurrah for surfing

The experience taught me that sometimes, “Happiness comes with a price.” If at first I thought I was the luckiest man there is in La Union for having not to pay anything, I was wrong. I ended up paying more than what the VIP’s have paid for. I lost a portion of my paycheck, a camera but worst of all, I thought I was going to lose a friend. Up until now, I’m still beating myself up for what happened.

Despite of all of my foolishness and stupidity, I did have one hell of a great time and as a promise to myself, I will be there again. I will have my sweet revenge. I will make more friends. And I will make it another Surf break experience to remember. Soulsurf, you got me soaked and stoked!

Big thanks to Travel Factor for making our lives easy. You guys really know adventure well!

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