Day 1 – June 2, 2012: After a hearty breakfast of hangover, noodles, and the always-present corned beef, our journey to the North began. We met the camera crew from Grupo Nopo in the town of Tabuelan. Present were Ering, Mic-Mic, Ordep and Jericho. The Tabuelan road was clean, smooth and skate-ready. Locals constantly cheering and curious, we pushed from the town proper to the outer barangay and back. This was our first taste of the roadtrip.
We hopped back into the van and went onto our second spot which we discovered by chance on our way to a local spring. It was in the town of Tuburan. We were hungry but the hill was just too damn hard to resist. It was perfect for beginners, with two forked roads at the receiving end. Ashley, Titay and Kat were the first-timers in this roadtrip. The hill itself had a decent slope, not too steep and but not too sassy either, just perfect for them. Clau Laspiñas was the most experienced one among us and was always the first one to try the spots. As she bombed that hill, the rest of the women followed.
The girls teaching Ashley the proper way to tuck.
Stopping for late lunch, we finally reached the local spring, Molo Bolo. Still stoked from the session, we changed onto our beachwear and shared a good laugh or two while we were there. Sharon “Syanut” Diocera was the comic relief in the group. (Don’t be fooled by her cheekiness, this girl can bomb a hill like there’s no tomorrow. Her battle scars are proof.)
The girls being themselves at Molo Bolo Spring. Mic-mic looked impressed.
Onto the third spot, it was in the town of Lugo. This spot was pretty technical for the girls. Accompanied by the Nopo boys, the girls slowly made their way to the end and back. A brief but fun slide session took place led by Clau and Syanut.
This 1.2 kilometer spot has clean asphalt, with winding roads all the way to the end. From the van, the spot seemingly had a flat surface, but to our surprise we slowly gained speed after the second turn all the way to the invisible receiver (just kidding, the ride ends where the new asphalt meets the old one, too rough to continue). Advisable for women who are either pros, sliders, or wear heavy-duty skate shoes for footbrakes.
Jescel Regner and Syanut bombing the hill at the Town of Lugo. Let’s call it Holy Moly Hill for now.
Just before dusk we went on our way to the last spot at Cansaga Bay Bridge, more famously known as NRP. A brief clinic was held by Clau and Syanut with slides and speed check on the agenda. Titay, Jescel, Kat and Ah-sej were the fast learners in the group. MJ and Cristine were the most determined ones. We stayed a good hour or two at the spot before Girls Gone North finally adjourned.
Contrary to what the end of the skate tour meant, this trip was only the beginning of the rise of lady longboarders in Cebu. After the trip, we discussed more skate trips and bringing even more girls with us, and they don’t even have to be Cebuanas. Everyone is welcome. We meet every weekend for skate sessions, and invite other girls to skate with us, exchanging contact numbers for updates on skate sessions and events.
Currently, Clau plans to hold a downhill competition in Argao exclusively for girls. And for the cherry on top, we are currently negotiating with Longboard Girls Crew (LGC – Madrid) to put up our own Longboard Girls Crew – Philippines. Initially, our plan was just to put up Longboard Girls Crew – Cebu but the women in LGC – Madrid encouraged us to go for the bigger fish and name it Longboard Girls Crew – Philippines altogether. After negotiations, a fan page shall be established; more skate clinics & skate trips on the horizon and hopefully even more girls are to join the longboard community.
There are a lot of girls out there who are slowly paying attention to longboarding but are too hesitant to try just because we lack a strong base in a community which are mostly dominated by men. Most of us in Girls Gone North have always tagged along with men before we joined the crew. On this journey, we finally understood that as women, skating with other women is a very crucial part in improving ones skills.
There are various moves and tricks that only a lady longboarder can explain to another lady longboarder. Most importanly, this journey taught us an old boardriders’ proverb, to spread the stoke. What matters most is that as you improve your skill, you take a buddy with you so as to improve your skills together. Friendly is the new steezy! We encourage all the Filipina longboarders out there to form your own groups in your cities or towns and develop your longboarding skills together, hold clinics and skate trips. Don’t forget to encourage other girls, even strangers you come across and invite them to your next sessions. See you at the next spot, ladies!