Confessions of a Bagasbas surfing dude
The following are excerpts from an interview with veteran surfer Cisco Sebanes on the joys of surfing in Bagasbas beach, Daet, Camarines Norte.
How long have you been surfing?
I’ve been Bodyboarding for 25 years. Way back 1980.I got into it because surfboards were impossible to have then, and got stuck, and love doing it.
How did you get into surfing?
I got into surfing because I’ve seen it on TV. The first time we went to Bagasbas, we saw and rode the waves, like two of us, on an inflatable raft like the one used in pools. Two years later I saw Owen (Andrade, another professional surfer) learning to surf. That’s what confirmed to me that you can surf here in Bagasbas. I don’t teach surfing but can. I want newbies to learn the way I did. It’s commitment (hehe).
Please describe surfing conditions in Bagasbas.
Surfing in Bagasbas is strange. It’s awesome today. Then flat after a few days. We don’t get much waves so most of us are dreamers in a way, yes? Yes we do get awesome waves. Our dream waves.
What makes Bagasbas a favorite among surfers? Can you compare it with other surfing beaches in the country?
Our beach is excellent for beginners because of its sand bottom – less injury, more fun. Small wave season is longer, giving beginners time to learn before it gets to big wave season, which happens mid august till April. We got a long shoreline so being crowd is impossible. Besides, Bicol’s got a lot of shoreline, Pacific side! Yeah!!!
What other beaches in Bicol are ideal for surfing?
Catanduanes? Sorsogon? In Camarines Norte alone, a lot of beaches are waiting to be surfed! Even we haven’t gotten that far. But trust me Bicol’s got a lot. Super secret muna.
Do you get a lot of visitors surfing in the area?
Average visitors we get in a month is 5-10 so not much. Why? It’s a long drive sister! In a way it’s sad. In a way, it’s also great because that way we don’t get too crowded and have the beach all by ourselves (hehe).
How are accommodations in the area? Are there shops that cater to surfers?
We have cheap (from P220) accommodations here. For big spenders, we can take them to P1000+ aircon room right on the beach. To those who really have nothing, go to the surfshak (surf shack). I take care of you. Right now, we don’t have shops yet. Maybe pretty soon. But we’ve got surfboards and boogie boards and skim boards and askate boards and skate bowl to rent and let.
Do you have any surfing organizations in Daet?
We’ve got an org – the Camarines Norte Surfers Association (CNSA).
What precautions should they take if they want to surf in the area?
Anyone who wants to try surfing must be a good swimmer and don’t care being burned by the sun. And, don’t just dive into the water without knowing what and how the water goes. We’ve got an advocacy on water safety and understanding ocean currents every Saturday on the beach at 7pm. It’s essential. Anyone interested can come. Magayon para sa indo. Tips ba.
Do you think there is a future for surfing as a possible tourist must-do in Daet?
Future? Definitely! Maybe we should put more attention to it. It’s a wonderful sport. Trust me, I’m still and will always be into it…..Surf on! God give us more waves.