Hampas ng La Paz: “Hampas ng Kahoy at Alon” (Part 3)

The openness of the sea is attractive to most of us. What makes it more interesting is the passion of the locals in maximizing their source of enjoyment.

Skimboarding in Barangay La Paz, San Narciso, Zambales has become a favorite hobby for the locals and people from the nearby towns. Kids as young as seven years old, teens, and adults, try it out. With pieces of wood they find in their homes, they ask their fathers to shape them into skimboards, and use them for gliding across the surface of the water.

IMG_7999I am amazed to see how speed can take them across the water, ride the wave, land them back on the sand and still standing on their boards. I have met a lot of interesting people playing this sport every afternoon. Most of them are kids who come to the beach right from school. Some of them are simply waiting for jobs to be offered to them. Others are applying for jobs abroad. A few are working too. I have also met some, who are doing it professionally in Zambales and internationally as well.

When they hear about good waves, whether it’s in the morning or in the afternoon, there’s only one destination for them: To the shores of La Paz!

It’s so much fun seeing them, resting their chin, while their boards are uprightly planted in the sand. They wait for the right wave to come. Their hearts pump fast as they see a nice wave coming, it pumps even faster as they run across the sand. As soon as they drop their skimboards on water, they hop on them and glide across the water. They look so carefree. This is how they play and they play the sport well.

After seeing how passionate they are in playing, I asked one of the locals, if they have ever competed with one another. I was told that monthly competitions are held there, but most of these competitions are open for other towns as well. With all their strength, speed, and interest in what they do, I’ve decided to organize, a skimboarding competition for the locals.

In one of my afternoon walks on the shoreline of La Paz and walking towards Crystal Beach (a surfing school in the town), I saw this guy who was carrying an Exile board. He runs and rides his board like he’s floating on air. “Wow! Ang galing mo!” was all I could say as he played on the surface of the water. I didn’t know that he’s one of the professional skimboarders in The Philippines! His name is “Manoy” of Jaromanoy and they make skimboards. He also competes nationally and abroad as well.

IMG_7569

1296583472_162685419_1-Pictures-of--Jaromanoy-skimboards-2Another afternoon came and I met Bob from Olongapo, who plays Reggae music.  He is also a skimboarder and a musician. “Hmmm”, I thought. “I think the first local skimboarding competition will be held here soon. With competitors, possible judges, Reggae music, Villa Kiana beachfront, and some sponsors, an event can happen here!”

Meeting strangers while traveling is one of the things I enjoy the most in life. It mostly happens when I’m in an airplane, in the train, in a bus, walking on the seashore, with a tricycle or cab driver, while doing pottery, etc. Without any judgement of who I am and who they are, friendships are formed.

I didn’t know that organizing an event is like putting clay parts together to create one whole piece. This can be fun too! With the locals as my friends in La Paz, it would be nice to acknowledge their talents through a competition.

Special thanks to my Uncle Louie and Villa Kiana Inn. Thanks to Mark Ramos and the Zambales Boardriding Association too!

To be continued…

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