We raised $450 from our last event from food and art sales. This year we’re going big, expanding operations in the Philippines and the USA and targeting to raise $20k.
Come by for some food, friends and take home some new art priced to go. Learn more about our organization and how you can help. Planning to go to the Philippines? Come with us later this year on a trip to our surf locations to do some volunteer work and surf with our kids. We’ll be updating you on our next surfboard repair parties. We’ve had a long break to wait out the cold weather but we’re ready to get back to work.
***If you are interested in performing or donating some art for the fundraiser, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Jinan is working on a painting on this beautiful 9’0 longboard crafted by Dave Veal – who learned glassing from Doug Haut and went on to shape for Johnny Rice. We are excited for this wonderful donation. It will be auctioned off at an event to be announced. Photos will come when it’s done. Can’t wait to see the final product!
Balikbayod is looking for some volunteers to help us out either on a regular basis or on projects.
Web Designer / Drupal Person – We are looking for someone to help us get our website blog onto Drupal. We are looking for someone who has experience working in blogging platforms, can build the main links on Drupal and would like to try playing Drupal.
Video Editor – We have tons of footage that we need edited. If you would like to help us cut and edit a teaser, mini documentary, we would love to work with you!
Event Organizer – Not only do you get to organize delicious food and hang cool art, but you can also goof around with the Balikbayod crew.
Email lynnbryant@ gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering. We love to meet new people!
What you get for volunteering:
We surf almost every weekend. If you want to learn to surf, we teach surfing for exchange of volunteer hours. Jinan has several different sizes of wetsuits that you use and we also have beginner boards. Contact us for more information.
During a stopover in Manila to see friends and family before heading to Siargao Island, I met up with my good friend and travel writer Nyx Martinez, who now writes for Mabuhay Magazine, Philippines Airlines inflight magazine. Over chilled red wine (yes folks, it’s so hot in the Philippines that a glass of cool red wine is indeed acceptable), here is the fruit of our labors and kuwentohan. East Gate Publishing If you’re in Manila, see if you can find a February issue of Mabuhay Magazine at a bookstore. We’re in it!
You’re Invited! Equnox Art Sale and Garden Party, 3/18, Sunday, 5pm
At Jinan’s garage, we will be having a Sunday afternoon party on Sunday March 18th. We will be chilling out, selling surf art and Filipino pulutan (appetizers). Come hang out and stand around the bonfire – talk story and all that good stuff. We are also looking out for leashes and fin donations, so bring your used parts if you have any! Hope to see you there!
What’s the big surprise? What does a bunch of fearless kids and world class waves equal? A bunch of banged up surfboards! We can’t get too upset. Jinan lost a fin that got loose off a longboard. Mercy did as well. We joked with the kids that we were subject to suspension as well!
Well, I’ll explain in detail..there was a finless long board in great condition in Siargao that we happened to have matched with one of our donated fins. However, with the original glassed in fin broken off the board, we decided to duct tape the donated fin on the longboard for a quick sunset session. Waves were great until the duct tape became weak, so Jinan unpeeled the fin off the board rode a wave back in with the fin in his mouth. He must have been getting barrelled because his jaw dropped some where along his ride and lost the fin.
Another incident involved me riding a shortboard at a very shallow reef break. It was Saturday and everyone was out. And the waves decided to join everyone too. It was a pitching day and I ended up in the impact zone with a fresh clean set headed towards me. The water was so shallow that when i duck dived, the board must have hit the reef because i was missing a fin when i reached the surface.
So from two months after we left, you can imagine the damage that could have been done to our boards by our groms. We have gotten reports from our friends at La Luna Resort, who are overseeing the program, that surf librarian Balong has ran out of repair materials. As of now, the program is on hiatus until we can fixed a healthy amount of the quiver to cut our losses.
With that said, we need some help from our fellow Filipino surfers – anyone know of a shop in Manila/ Cebu/ Surigao that sells surfboard resin, catalyst, or fiberglass cloth? We are looking for a quick fix before our hefty shipment of repair supplies arrives. We are hoping to do business with these guys.
If anyone knows of how to buy surf supplies in the PH, please email me at email@example.com
Hanggang sa muli!
Balkbayod would like to thank all of those who have supported us during our trip to the Philippines in November 2011. The three weeks on Siargao Island was a memorable experience. We had a Balikbayod unit travelling strong with us and with everyone’s hands in the mix, we were able to accomplish more than what we anticipated – from conducting meetings with teachers to exchanging waves with the kids.
With only a few days to spare, we had several tasks that need to be completed, yet working beachside underneath the shade of palm leaves didn’t lure us away from our responsibilities.
We were fortunate to have a strong attendance from the teachers that were in support of our program. Their concerns were very real and sincere: how were they going to keep the children in school? The teachers that attended our meetings taught elementary school and their enthusiasm for the project stemmed from the idea of providing tutoring programs that coincided with surf schedules. They hope to train children to think about their future goals with the help of surfing as an incentive. Lastly, they were very concerned for the high school students and were interested in providing a work-trade program that will help the older ones prepare for the job market.
We also held an orientation meeting for new and returning Balikbayod members. It seemed like the children were really excited and eager to be a part of something, to join a club of some sort considering they came in groups leading their friends by the hand – or they just wanted one a
Balikbayod t-shirt. Through word of mouth, the announcement of the meeting spread through the neighboring barangays of Pang Pang (where we were staying), easily bringing over 70 children. Lynn’s cousin, Boyet Gravino from Cebu, translated the meeting in Visayan, the regional dialect, while each rule was read aloud by a Balikbayod member.
The children were so ecstatic when the 40+ boards arrived; they practically slept on the lawn hugging their pre-chosen surfboards. We issued “library cards” for each child to check out the surfboards twice a week, but these cards needed a signature by their teacher that they were in good standing at school. If they weren’t, they were not allowed to borrow the surfboards.
Surfing has become more than a trendy movement on Siargao, it has become a possible means of making income or getting ahead. One of our older Balikbayod members, Remar, can pick up any surfboard – longboard, shortboard, one fin or the nose is ripped off and he can pull any trick out of the book. A natural born leader, Remar recruited boys around his age to join Balikbayod. His surfing has gained him attention all the way to Manila, where a donor is sponsoring the surgery of this cleft lip palate. Remar is part of ALS, the Alternative Learning System, a education program that helps children earn their high school diploma outside of the formal school system. Those enrolled in ALS have access to our surfboards once a week if he/she continues to attend their weekly ALS sessions.
One of our older members, Ikit Agudo is a genuine soul surfer. Everyday, she gets home from high school and immediately finds out where it’s breaking. The youngest of a large brood of surfers, she learned how to surf from all her brothers right outside their compound. She is a huge help to Balikbayod, volunteering her time to check in and out the surfboards everyday after her surf session. She has also recruited her girlfriends to get more girls in the line up. She hopes to attend college in Surigao City or Cebu and study Hotel and Restaurant Management. Asking her why she doesn’t want to go to Manila for college, she says, “I want to be close to home because it’s paradise.”
With several committed and talented volunteers and the generous amount of surfboard donations, we creatively and successfully worked in a couple major turning points for Balikbayod. We added a new location on Siargao Island for a second chapter in the small northern town of Burgos, about 1 ½ hours away from Cloud 9. We brought about 7 surfboards to Burgos and enrolled about fifteen students. Jinan Wong, our surfboard repair leader and art instructor, taught a few art classes at a local elementary school, where the children learned color theory and how to draw Spongebob Squarepants. In addition, we used some of our monetary donations to bring pastels, pencils, erasers and a wall mounted pencil sharpener, their first one!
The children of Siargao dream of catching waves, far from a reality fathomed by their parents and elders who have feared the ocean. Watching traveling surfers and the few daring locals ride such pristine waves has the local youth hooked on trying the sport, and now with the donated surfboards, they have the opportunity to explore their oceanic playground right outside their homes. Waves break all around the island and they also surf on the on outlying smaller islands, travelling by motorized outriggers called bancas, which we filled to full-tilt with groms and the donated surfboards.
Our best memories on Siargao Island is surfing with the kids and learning about how it is for them to grow up on this amazing island. It’s a different life than what we have here in the states, a much more simple life with probably not the same opportunities we have here… But we hope to make a difference through surfing and education. We hope that through education, the kids then expand the possibilities of their future to help them make a difference on their beautiful island, anything from entreprenueruship through coastal awareness.
We have a lot more to accomplish and work on as this is a work in progress as we are in the beginning stages of implementing our program on a larger scale. Again, thanks for all your support! We couldn’t have done this without you! Best wishes from the Balikbayod team.
***YEAR OF THE DRAGON 2012
NEW YEAR’S GARDEN PARTY****
SUNDAY FEB.5, 2012
3pm-6pm: Food & Art Show
6:30pm: Fire Ceremony
7:30pm: Surf Films & Balikbayod Presentation
Please RSVP to attend here.
If interested in volunteering or donating art to the sale, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org