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This Soul Surfer Tells Us About the Paradise She Calls Home

by Maia Marquez

While Siargao is a well-known destination for surfers and beach lovers alike, there’s still so much more to love about the island.

For Philippine Surfing Championship Tour finisher Ikit Agudo, it's a place she calls home.

In this exclusive interview with DG Traveler, she shares her story on surfing and how visitors can appreciate her hometown.

Describe a day in the life of Ikit Agudo.

Ikit: I usually wake up at around 4 in the morning, and drink a cup of chocolate milk as I wait for the others to get ready for surfing. We stay in the ocean for 2-4 hours, depending on how clean or messy the waves are. Then, I get a good rest to prepare myself for another surf in the afternoon.

In between surfing and sleeping, I work in Buddha’s Surf Resort. I also teach surfing and chill at Cocosurf Café with my friends. I also make sure to spend time with my family and what I love most (next to surfing), which is looking after my nieces and nephews.

Tell us your story on how you started surfing.

Ikit: I rode my first wave when I was 12 years old. It was my tatay who invited me to join them in the ocean, and I’m grateful that I did. Like everyone else surfing for the first time, I needed someone to push my board to catch a wave, and I was just so blessed to have my tatay and brothers to do that for me.

I wasn’t hooked on to surfing as much as I am now until I turned 18. Since then, I practiced every day—I started with a shortboard but ended up falling in love with the longboard.

(NOTE: Shortboards give the surfer more freedom and maneuverability, but are harder to use. Longboards offer more stability, but have less mobility.)

Tell us about your involvement with Cocosurf and what inspired you to be a part of it.

Ikit: Cocosurf is a Siargao custom surfboard company. Din, the shaper, is also a Siargao local. Cocosurf helps a number of local surfers with sponsorships—giving boards and helping them get to competitions. They offered me a sponsorship in 2016 and I jumped at the opportunity. I’m happy to support a local business and I love what they are doing for the community.

How can travelers help out in preserving the beauty of Siargao?

Ikit: As locals, we are happy to see travelers enjoy our paradise too. The only thing that we would always remind them to do is clean up and pick up any trash they see.

What makes Siargao home?

Ikit: A saying goes, “Home is a place your feet may leave, but your heart will always be.”

I have been to different surf spots in the Philippines, but my heart will always be in Siargao.

People who know me know that I am a happy person. The island is full of smiles, happiness, and good vibes. This is where I belong.

If you can describe the island in just one word, what would it be and why?

Ikit: Paradise. It’s a bit cliché, but it’s the only word I can think of to describe the island. The surf breaks, white sand beaches, fresh seafood, fresh coconuts, sunny days, good vibes, and definitely the sweet smiles of the locals… What more can I ask for? This is paradise!

What’s your message to anyone traveling to or has plans of visiting Siargao?

Ikit: Siargao is undeniably a paradise not just for tourists who seek to explore what our island can offer, but also a home to us.

I hope they take care of the island you call paradise, and the place we call home.

Be responsible for your own trash. A simple gesture can make a huge difference in keeping Siargao as it is—a paradise.

Ikit had a cameo in last year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF)'s 2nd Best Picture, Siargao. The film shed light on the importance of environmental awareness and sustainable practices to help #PreserveSiargao.

Photo credits: Ashley Charles, Bren Fuentes, Jayden Morrison, Lea Ann Duhaylungsod, @marijarathe, and @leagoeson.

Read our exclusive interview with 2017 MMFF Best Supporting Actress Jasmine Curtis-Smith here.

Traveling to Siargao soon? Check out our travel guide here.

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About Maia
Maia’s passions in life are to travel and tell stories. Born in the States, raised in Manila, while having studied in France for a while, her ultimate goal is to travel all countries of the world. Her idea of a perfect trip is a mix of the beach, a little of the city, some shopping, and delicious eats. While she’s not traveling, she spends quality time with her 10 dogs.

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