Philippine Steez – Manoy Bazar Mini Movie
by Arlene Grace Nonato
The Philippines has been getting a lot of infamous press lately. I shouldn’t be putting the incident into words in the fear of it being never forgotten. But you, the ever-updated, intellectual mad-hatter-of-a-skimboarder might have heard it in your tea parties. Laugh about it, cry about it. Our SWAT and Miss Philippines have just exemplified what we Filipinos really are – relaxed – to the point of mishap.
It shows in the skill, and in the tropical surroundings — the steez is easy, original, and never imposing. We let our relaxed, carefree character speak for our game.
Look at Roderick “Manoy” Bazar. Manoy means “elder brother” in the Waray dialect. The dude hails from Borongan, Samar, the island of waves in Visayas. He acts as the leader of skimboarders from his province who are mostly composed of teenagers. He is the guide they look up to. In a province where there aren’t any skate parks or parties to go to, and where families depend on fishing and coconuts to earn money, skimboarding has been a hobby to keep the idle minds from doing evil deeds and sometimes, to also forget about one’s problems. The same reason why all of us started skimboarding too, remember?
Manoy is recognized as one of the best skimboarders in the country, as seen in his undeniably sick riding skills. He is the skimboarder who makes surfers in the line up curse out loud “it’s a skimboard he’s riding, dude!”. But you will not find him boasting about his mad aerials, 360’s and big spins. His humility is a symbol of the ultimate Pinoy, relaxed, always giving the credit to the surrounding, the waves and the high above. His smile, his simple living, and the happy outlook he has on life is the personality we Filipinos all have in common.
There have been a considerable amount of stories that have come out of the Philippine skim scene. Our groms ripping with wood skimboards, the skimboard donation project, Dane Clark and Kyle Lynch with our Boracay skimboarders, and the Jasmine Joy and Austin Keen experience. Small news out there, but big news here. Imagine what a Bill Bryan or Paulo Prietto visit would do.
In the Philippines, there are 7,107 islands but the three main islands are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Luzon is where the capital is, and where metropolitan kids commute for 4 hours to get to Zambales, the favorite spot of most skimboarders. Then there’s our friends from Visayas — most of whom grew up near the beach — gnarly skimmers who have been shredding since they learned to walk. And then there’s Mindanao, where there are dozens of undiscovered skim spots that you might mistake for the Garden of Eden, if Adam and Eve were skimboarders.
Skimboarding in the Philippines started a few decades back, but it’s only this year that young, income-generating, active Filipinos are taking interest. With back-to-back local competitions happening around the country, and the clubs that continue to promote the sport, people are taking notice. Local brands and surf shops are paying attention and are now becoming more involved in sponsorships.
The future of skimboarding here in our islands has never looked this bright. You don’t hear anybody bragging because we let our skimboarding do the talking. In the Philppines, we might be separate islands away but we know we belong to one skim crew – our community of relaxed, tropical, sunburned skins who rip it the only way we know how – Filipino Style.
We use woodies, and plenty of skimmers here don’t have their own boards. It’s not a sob story. Truth is, we’re just going with the flow. We keep the pressure out, so we can all be free to ride the wave. And if it’s mishap ahead, we’re ready to get up and try again. It is what it is. Welcome to the Pinoy steez, our Manoys.