“Surfing is very much like making love.
It always feels good, no matter how many times you’ve done it”
I am a storyteller – writing stories is my life, my career, and my vocation. It is the source of my income, and the reason of my existence.
But I do not invent stories, I look for them. I scout the far corners of this world in search for the narrative, the characters, and the plot that inspire my soul and fire my imagination.
I must admit that sometimes I search for them too aggressively to the point of sacrificing my sanity. I lived with a cancer survivor for three months just to get the story that was published in a book called Abundance. I once spent six months scouring the Burnham Park in Baguio at night – talking to, eating and drinking with, and yes, sleeping with the teenage callboys to get the story which was published in Penishunting! For five months, I stayed almost twenty hours per day with Lucio Tan’s daughter Vivienne just to perfect the script of a documentary about her life.
Last year, I drunk, slept with, and toured around Mindanao with a group of young drug addicts just to get my story which will soon be published.
Mostly, I write about the culture of today’s youth. Ever since I wrote a thesis on Generation X ten years ago, I moved from a researcher to a story writer. I wanted to be the chronicler of the lives and adventures of the young people today.
To do that, I have to live their lives.
But there is one narrative which always evades me. My dream story is something that always slipped from my grasp: the life of the wave tribe: surfers, skimmers, and sea dwellers. I searched for that story for almost five years now: I went to La Union and stayed there for two weeks; I stayed for a weekend in Cloud 9 in Siargao, and I camped for almost a month in Baler, Aurora talking and drinking with surfers.
I always went home empty-handed.
But as they say, if the writer is ready, the story will come. I did not search for this story this time; the story found me — in a remote village in Northern Mindanao, a village called Bayabas.
If this was a love story, this could have been a story about a guy named Dwayne. But since this is not a love story, let us just say that this story is about the waves of the sea – and about the guys and girls who love and wait for them.
But we will start with Dwayne, because his story is a good place to start. And also because I like him a lot.
Turn to Chapter One