In Between Sets
GRID tries to keep up with some of the Philippines’ top surfers.
We arrived on location, surfboards in tow, hoping to shoot them catching some waves.
“What I love most about surfing is the work–reward ratio: 95 percent paddling, 5 percent actual riding. The juice is worth the squeeze, and that has really helped me in tough times.” Ziggie is more than your average surfer dude: co-founder of the Circle Hostel chain, he has big dreams and ambitions for local beaches and travel. He is also an advocate for environmental conservation, among other things. His beachside habits include picking up trash and loose plastic, and then stung them into soda bottles, whether he’s in or out of
A GRID Fashion Editorial with Mark Mabang, Elaine Abonal, Ziggie Gonzales, & Bea Vega.
As one of the top surf videographers and photographers in the country, Mark Mabanag is used to being on the other side of the camera—in fact, he had a hard time putting the camera away for the most part of the shoot. He started surfing more than a decade ago, although he notes that his love of board shorts preceded his love of surfing. On the week that he decided to give surfing a try, he hopped on a bus to La Union, and it sealed his fate. His second surf film, Days of Filth, premiered last April 28. His next project is going to be a film on Philippine surf history.
Surfer and model Bea Vega is out on the beach every weekend. With her mermaid-inspired tattoos and infectious energy, it’s easy to tell when she’s hit the scene. “[I love] the feeling I get from riding a wave, the feeling of getting stoked. It’s like a conversation between me and sea.” Bea is a familiar face to the local surf community in Zambales, and during the shoot, she served as our personal tour guide to the area, exhibiting comfort and familiarity in San Felipe, pillow in hand (“I always bring a pillow when I travel, even if people stare. At least I’m hella comfy!”), bikini on, and Snapchat always ready.
Elaine Abonal (“Surfista” to her fellow models and surfers) is famous for her coveted surfing and yoga tours on Surfista Travels. A genuine island girl and fish out of water, even though she’s based in the city, she finds herself hopping between the beaches of La Union and Siargao for the most part of the year. Having just returned from a month-long volunteer stint working on ocean conservation in the remote Babuyan Islands, Elaine is still happily fascinated by the simple things, like a cup of Starbucks or cement roads.
But thanks to the less-than-ideal weather conditions, they showed us that surf is more than just sport: it’s style, and it’s life.