In Gubat, Sorsogon, Find New Purpose In A Local Surfing Community
Choose Philippines | August 22, 2019
Story by Thea Omelan
Photo credits: Stan dela Cerna, Honey Federio, Krizia Aldina Cruz, and John Espinol
White sand beach, big waves and tranquil place to rest: this is how 34-year old Jim Flores describes Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp in the town of Gubat in Sorsogon province. It was in 2015 when he first visited the place and fell in love with it. A surfer and a wanderer, Jim found Gubat as a place he can go back to every now and then. Since then, Jim has been a regular visitor of Lola Sayong until he decided to settle in the area last year.
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A former BPO employee, Jim couldn’t take the heavy and stressful traffic in the Metro anymore. He left his good-paying job, packed his bags and traveled 562 kilometers to Gubat. One year after his move, Jim feels he is in the right place, that he found a higher purpose.
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Jim met and became friends with Jovi Estera and Dano Fresnoza. They are young local surfers who wish to compete in national surfing competitions. Sadly, one thing hinders them to achieve this dream: the lack of money. Wanting to help these dreamers, Jim, along with some other sympathetic friends in Lola Sayong, created a lifestyle brand to help raise funds for Jovi, Dano, and other young surfers. They sell comfortable t-shirts where 100 percent of the proceeds are allotted for Jovi and Dano’s expenses in Siargao in Surigao del Norte as funding for their very first national surfing competition next month. Jovi and Dano are grateful. Never did they imagine that someone like Jim will do this for them. A dream come true, they said.
Lola Sayong Eco-Surf Camp is not just an ordinary place for surfing and adventure: the place binds people from different walks of life. A bond to help one another and a bond that will surely last a lifetime.