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Where are you from?

Siargao Island, in the Philippines. 

Where is your best place to surf and why?  Best place for me is at Batu Karas in West Java, Indonesia. 

Tell us about your connection with the ocean, and your incredible surfing life in Siargao. 

 Growing up, I’ve always loved the ocean . almost everyday we are out there because my family’s  main source of income are from fishing. My dad is a fisherman so everyday he goes to the beach. Sometimes we have to join him fishing  coz we couldn’t afford to hire and pay someone to help him coz We are a big family.  I have 8 siblings. So we really have to work together since we don’t have much. 

Meanwhile my brother in law and brothers are the first surfers in the family, so they introduced surfing to us and that’s when I got curious about this sport.  So growing up the ocean was  already a big part of my life and had a special connection with it. 

Sadly my mother didn’t support me and my sister when we started surfing because she thinks that the ocean/surfing is dangerous and she doesn’t want us to get dark. She thinks it’s only a male dominated surf. So sometimes I’d sneak out and join my brothers coz they supported me. But after a few yrs of surfing and started competing and winning, that’s when my mother supported me and my sister Aping. 

Now, I work as a surfer instructor so almost everyday I’m out in the water surfing together with my family. 

 

What is your favorite Abysse piece / Why do you love Abysse? 

My fave Abysse piece is the Hawkins bodysuit. I love the print and It’s so comfortable to surf. I don’t need to worry and fix anything when I wipe out, haha.

  

What characteristics do you think make up an Abysse girl? 

Mindful, strong and humble. 

 

Is sustainability a big factor for you choosing a brand you want to work with ? 

 

Yes, because as much I love being in the ocean, I feel obliged to also take care and be part of lessening the pollution we contribute on earth.

 

We heard you & your sister helped raising funds to re build houses and shelters of families after Typhoon Odette destroyed the area two years ago. Where you in Siargao at that time? How is the island & locals recovering?

 

Yes, we helped a lot of people during that time. We were able to build to over 100+ houses from scratch, provided construction materials to over 1,000+ families, 6 boats for our fishermen and distributed relief goods to over 10,000 families. It was devastating  to see the damages the typhoon brought . 

Unfortunately I wasn’t in the island during the typhoon. I was in Borongan for the competition. My flight was supposed to be on Dec 15 to the island but I rerouted my ticket to Manila coz I was thinking that if the plane couldn’t land on that day, I would be stuck in Cebu and looking at the map, it’ll hit that city as well. So I flew to Manila and stayed for 3 nights since there we no more flights on the 16th. I was so stressed in Manila coz I didn’t have any  contact or any news of how my family are doing, if they’re still alive or not. So then while I got stuck in the city, I thought of raising funds through my Instagram and was already planning my strategies on what to do when I get there. Surprisingly, thousands of people reached out and sent help. But I knew that when I get to the island, I wouldn’t have any signal or internet connection to update everyone. So I gave my Instagram account to Lux (a friend of mine) so she can update those people and continue raising funds. My friend got a satellite phone so I was able to send updates with what’s going on in the island.

Now, the people and the island have 90% recovered already. Flights, businesses and tourism are open so now we are happy that everything is  back to normal. Thanks to the many people who sent help and  stuck with us during those difficult times.  If It wasn’t for those people, the island would never have recovered that quickly. 

 

We believe that is crucial to raise awareness about female surfers and to support inclusive communities. As an advocate for the Sport what would be your words for the upcoming generation ? 

 Age, race, and social status shouldn't be a hindrance for us women to excel in certain sports we are good at. Always aim high for your goals and dreams in life. Stay passionate and keep doing what you love doing despite what other people may say.

 No, It's not gonna be an easy road but keep on keeping on! 

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