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Our mission is to promote education for youth through the love of surfing. Balikbayod is a project of the 501-c3 non-profit, The San Francisco Filipino Cultural Center.

We are a group of people who love the Philippines, love traveling, and would like to see surfing available to anyone who wants to try it, regardless of economic background. Have you ever traveled to surf in other countries and noticed the local children have an interest in surfing but don’t have access to surf boards? We did notice, and we began our program in the Philippines by bringing donated surfboards to the youth of the Siargao Cloud 9 area. Named the ‘Surfing Capital of the Philippines,’ Siargao is a popular destination for traveling surfers, but local youth had limited or no access to surfboards. Balikbayod—Returning Wave, promotes ‘giving back’ to the local community by donating surfboards and donating time surfing with the kids. Learn more about our mission ->

Local surf leaders manage the board borrowing program for the kids while our home base in the California Bay Area recycles surfboards and organizes Philippines surf trips to bring the boards you donate. Jin An Wong was our surf repair and lesson kahuna in San Francisco, seeking volunteers to lead surf repair. Help us repair surfboards and exchange your work hours for some surf lessons or practice. Contact us to volunteer, contribute or collaborate.


  1. jazzper says:

    good idea for siargaonon surfer…

  2. lagity_or madel says:

    ayos kau…its very nice habit and exercise for the sairgaonon surfers…..

  3. icy says:

    Excellent! What you are doing is great and beyond this world. I hope to see more of this cause.

  4. arlene says:

    if everybody had a great idea like this that came into action, we would surely create peace! education + compassion = JUSTICE, one love!

  5. roji oyama says:

    i found out about balikbayod through arne wong, contributing artist and friend from high school…it is indeed a noble project. similar projects are going on in jamaica, tahiti, costa rica, brasil and south africa…probably more that i do not know of…i think it’s time to “crank it up” so the movement can support more full-time staff to teach academics and surfing…

  6. Bernie says:

    sorry i missed any event regarding this. I’m not an american pilipino. I’m born in PI and grew half of my life here. Its very confusing to understand which way who u are since i am not Americanized here. I want to help, and i want to give myself a try to come back home. This is really really cool of you guys doing this. I want to be in. MAHALO. ❤

  7. Charmaine says:

    I love it. I will forward to all my surfing buddies.

  8. ken says:

    where is siargao??

  9. Had the most awesome time today. Hoping The Wahine Project will be able collaborate with what you are doing. So excited about the possibilities.

  10. you guys have the lokal soul…

  11. […] BE A BOARD COURIER: So you bit the bullet. You booked a flight to some far away land and hopefully have made peace with the fact that you’ll have to pay an arm and leg to lug your favorite board around with you. Boohoo man. Might as well make that fee worthwhile and become a board courier. There are many existing charities around the world that work hard to improve the lives of communities through the sport of surfing. Many of these charities work on donating surfboards to either support their own programs abroad or to aid those already in existence. Either way, they are constantly looking for methods to transport equipment and you can be of great help. Most high-end board bags (which you probably already have) can carry multiple boards. Unless you’re John John Florence heading to Fiji, you’ll most likely have some slots left open. Be warned though, flying with boards will take some planning on your part. Some airlines will charge “per board” fees, which can cripple you if you are not careful. Take this into consideration before reaching out to a charity asking for boards. However, with the proper use of “surfer friendly” airlines, this shouldn’t really be an issue. (Check out this super helpful article on board bag fees. I use it every time.)One example, which I am working on collaborating with in the near future, is an organization called Returning Wave. Based in San Francisco, Returning Wave fixes worn out surfboards in the states and sends them to support their surf school for kids in the Philippines. Their mission of promoting education through surf is a great cause and something I can definitely get behind! Check out what they are all about at […]

    • Lynn says:

      Thank you for this link! It is indeed important to plan your airline hopping to the final surf destination. The oversized equipment fees vary greatly from free to $200+. Also make sure you check EVERY airline you have to switch planes because paying last minute at the counter vs. prepaying excess baggage fees is always higher.

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