Women Empowerment: The Aliya Wahine Cup 2017

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In the world of male-dominated sports such as surfing, it is refreshing to have events such as the Aliya Wahine Cup 2017 which was held last November 17 to 18 2017. The Aliya Wahine Cup was an all female surfing event which aims to empower and inspire female surfers of all ages.

We were privileged to interview some of the surfers, their mentors, and parents during this event and they shared their thoughts about their inspiration, how they prepared for this competition and what they can share to other girls who want to try surfing.

My Life on Board was able to interview Daisy Valdez (29 years old) with Tonet Valdez (11 years old) and Ashley Lopez (12 years old).

It’s Tonet and Ashley’s first time to join the competition, and they explained that they were happy because they won even if they were extremely nervous. Daisy explained how positive reinforcement works for the girls. She said, “Syempre, I’m very proud. We’re not expecting that they will be part of the finals. So I encouraged them to come, para ma-expose sila. Hindi lang waves ng La Union ang alam nila. Ngayon, it’s very different yung alon ng Baler. Masaya ako na nasa finals sila!” As part of the preparation for the competition, Daisy mentioned that it focus is important. But she also reminds the girls that it is equally important that you are enjoying what you do such as surfing.

Vea Estrellado (14 years old from Sorsogon) mentioned that she also felt nervous because the competitors are all good surfers. For her preparation, she practiced different maneuvers such as cut back turns and snaps. In the future, she will add hang 10s in her practice. Her message to other girls who want to try surfing is, “Ang masasabi ko lang sa mga girls na gusto po mag-surfing, mag-try lang po kayo mag surf tapos wag po kayo matakot.”

Vea Estrellado

It’s been a tradition for both Guam-based Menami Kramer (14 years old) who joined twice already, while Angel Lea Aguilar (also 14 years old) has joined three times this annual event. When asked how they felt about competing, Menami said that, “It feels great ‘coz you’re learning from the girls and it’s nice to compete with them.” Angela Lea added that, “It is also nerve-wrecking being 14 and competing with 25 to 30 year olds but at the same time you learn a lot because they have been competing for a while.” They mentioned that they keep on coming back because of the great waves, great people, and great environment.

Menami’s message to other girls is to “Just keep surfing, going for it and most importantly have fun!” Angel Lea on the other hand, said that “Just don’t give up on yourself. It’s a very challenging sport but you just keep going! Keep surfing as long as you’re having fun!”

It was definitely a fun and energetic weekend for everyone – both the competitors and the guests who watched! Thank you Aliya Surf Resort for organizing this event.

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