Sunday, January 06, 2008

La Union Surfing Near Death Experience

As I’ll be leaving for Boracay tomorrow early morning for the 20th Neil Pryde Boracay Funboard Cup and I’ll be staying there (at Laguna de Boracay Resort) until the 13th,  let me leave you with a summarized travelogue/photoblog of the most recent surfing trip we had (Dec. 15-16, 2007)…
Enjoy the rest of the week, folks! I’ll try to go online during my stay in Bora, but I can’t promise. I might be dead tired from all the physical work during the day plus I might be partying at night (crossing my fingers). You see, although this will be my 7th trip to Bora, it will be my first time traveling alone (read: without Peter). Oh God…. This will be so much fun!!!! Ok, I’ll try not to miss my baboo too much. He’s always working anyway, making more money for the both of us, hihihi. Don’t worry baboo, we’re millionaires! (Think positive lang yan! Hehehe!)

My mantra for this week goes:


Back to my La Union travelogue now:

We dropped by SOUL cafe for brunch.
We haven’t had anything to eat since we picked up our friend Rea from Wack-Wack, Greenhills at around 5am and headed straight up north. 

If I wasn’t asleep during the ride, I was chatting with Rea about the idea then of quitting my job and she was thinking of the same thing too! I told her about this book I read in Boracay during our Nov. 30-Dec.2 trip, THE SECRET, which my sister introduced to me, and which really made me rethink the way I was living my life. But I was still waiting for signs then, for me to know whether I should really quit my very lucrative job or change paradigms again for the nth time just so I can survive its dog-eat-dog political, crazy and dirty world..

Finally, after much serious thought, we decided to declare what we want, release it to the universe and focus on making the most out of this trip. It’s been soooo long since our last surfing trip!
At around 12 noon, we’re already checked in at San Juan Surf Resort.  I immediately changed into my rash guard and board shorts and excitedly jumped into the ocean!!!
After taking a picture with Peter first, of course) Weee!!!

I look like a boy! Hihihi! 

I noticed that the waves were much bigger and fiercer than what I was used to. But then again, we came here to enjoy the waves. So…
…we tried bodyboarding first.
  Here come the waves!!!! Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!! 
No, my baboo isn’t drowning…yet.
Rea definitely had a grand time being chased by the unstoppable waves! 
 Next, we tried surfing, even if our instructor wasn’t around. We thought we could hack it like everyone else…
But Peter got tired of making his way to the line up. He wasn’t able to surf properly at all. I tried my luck, but as you all know, I almost drowned. The same happened with Peter when he tried to save me. :-( 
So there I was getting excited and all… I was just trying to imitate what the rest of the amateur surfers were doing — drag the surfboard to a nearby line up just across the middle of the beach where the water is shallow (up to my waist line)  then ride it the moment a swell comes along. I’ve done this before countless of times as evidenced by thisthis,  this and this. But for some reason, even before I  realized it (and I realized it too late) I was already being  dragged farther and farther away from the beach, to the right side of the ocean where the water was too deep, waves were too fierce and the undercurrent was too strong. Wave after wave, it kept crashing onto me. I was just trying to hold on to my surfboard as a means of a flotation device and I tried my best to shout "HELP" in spite of the fact that I couldn’t properly breathe anymore. I tried calling Peter, even waving at him from his location on the shore. But maybe he thought I was just saying hi or asking him to take my picture. Until I frantically waved, gasped for air and yelled his name as best I can. In a flash, I couldn’t see him anymore. Good thing, one surfer came rushing to me. He was a strong swimmer, thank God. When he got to where I was, he dragged my surfboard onto the shallower part of the sea,as I was holding on to it tightly for dear life. Then he suddenly asked for my board, saying that Peter jumped into the water in order to save me but is now getting drowned himself.  Oh my God! I told him about my fear of the very strong undercurrent and he assured me that I can already swim back to the shore on my own. But because of extreme panic I felt, having learned that Peter was being pounded by the waves too, I lost my focus and was again pulled by the mean undercurrent. This time, without any flotation device at hand. If I didn’t fight hard enough, I knew I would definitely drown into the abyss. It was like deja vu. I again cried for help. Rea was nearest to me but even she couldn’t get to where I was because I was again getting pulled farther and farther away from the shore. I saw panic in her eyes. But I fought. I swam. I cried. My voice was much fainter this time, having swallowed a lot of seawater. I saw another surfer just looking at me, maybe weighing his capability if he could save me or not. Then out of the blue, one local surfer with his own board, swam to me and immediately helped me climb his board. That was when pain hit me … because I still didn’t know how Peter was, if he made it (Oh, I hoped he did!) and because that was when I again breathed in more air than water. The local surfer took time in getting me to shore. But at last, I saw Peter and we were both saved. Hallelujah!

Skim boarding na lang  tayo! Di pa ko mlulunod!

  "Wala talagang kadala-dala ang batang ire! E kung masubsob ka sa buhangen?"

But I guess, God had a purpose for making that almost tragic accident happen. And I am very thankful for the two brave surfers who saved us. When Peter and I were safely brought back to the shore, the locals there were  telling us that a week or so ago, someone died from the waves. Nobody dared save the foreign woman because the undercurrent was just too strong. My! My! Thank you, God, for letting me and Peter live and have a second chance at life.
Emotionally and physically tired, we called it a day and pondered more about the meaning of our lives…

That was why come Monday after that trip, I immediately filed for resignation, promising God and myself that I will live a better, happier, and a more fulfilled life. Life is too short for us to worry about all the little details all the time, anyway.  Since then, I vowed to live in the NOW and make each moment count.

For things to do when visiting La Union, here's an awesome list of La Union Things to Do. 

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