The seaside town of Gubat in Sorsogon is sleepy, but it might soon spring to life with tourist activity. That’s what the provincial government hopes will happen once surfing aficionados discover Gubat’s charms.
“Surfing is an emerging hobby for young people in Gubat. They learn from the older surfers. The stretch of Rizal Beach and Buenavista Beach is also becoming a popular destination even for those who usually surf in Baler or
La Union because it’s less crowded,” said industrial designer Milo Naval of Siama Resort in Sorsogon City.
Naval, who is also the consultant of the local tourism department, designed a two-level pavilion on Rizal Beach just a few meters from the shoreline.
The circular structure with an open design is made almost entirely of sustainable materials; bamboo rods were used for the walls while anahaw fronds were plaited to make the roof with its circular opening. Six pod-shaped chandeliers cobbled together from scavenged scallop shells hang from the roof.
The pavilion was made so that surfers would have a place to rest between catching the waves. Even nonsurfers are welcome but if they decide to try their hand at surfing, they can take a lesson or two from the locals.
During an Inquirer Lifestyle shoot in Sorsogon earlier this month (the staff was flown in by Cebu Pacific), we met 11-year-old champion surfer Vea Estrellado. The youngest of three siblings, Vea started surfing only two years ago.
“My parents and two siblings also surf. I learned from one of our neighbors and I’ve been surfing ever since,” she said in the vernacular.
She later joined and won a local surfing competition, and has a couple of scars to show for it—a banged-up right knee and a scrape fading to white on her nose.
Despite these small mishaps, Vea seemed to be enjoying herself playing with her friends and giving lessons to beginners.
“As long as they’re enrolled in school, these children can continue surfing before or after their classes,” Naval said. “They learn while in school, and then they get to play and earn when classes are finished. It’s a win-win situation for them.”
Photography Toff Tiozon Assistant photographer RJ Roque Styling Luis Carlo San Juan Makeup Mayesa delos Santos Hairstyle Sari Campos Models Anjie Balatbat & Alaiza Malinao of Mercator Model Management
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