I had been googling for the next surf spot to visit when I saw an image of this perfectly formed barrel wave on a long, white and empty shore. I was not surprised to find out that the Europeans had christened the place "Majestics" and helped  put this rugged island on the world tourist map.

And with that, my heart was set. I was going to surf this wave for the love of stoke!


A few months later, I had the perfect opportunity. I was invited to attend the Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup last October 19-23, 2012 as a media partner for Sole Sisters. It was not my first time to witness a surfing competition but I found this one exceptional for 2 reasons:

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup surfer1

Reason #1: These were the most beautiful waves I've seen. And we all know that with beauty comes the surety of danger. The gnarly waters created heavy, overhead waves that could pound surfers into the sharp, dangerous reef underneath. Most of the competing surfers agreed that the curls along with the strong winds of the Tropical Depression OFEL made this competition very challenging.

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012 competitors

Reason #2: Some of the most advanced surfers from all over the Philippines flocked to Puraran Beach in quest for a different level of stoke and some awesome prizes. There were competitors from La Union, Baler, Daet, Sorsogon, even from far-flung Siargao and of course Puraran.

I met a handful of surfers from my homebreak Baler, including stellar surfer Jeff dela Torre. I jokingly asked him "You're going to win again, aren't you?". He had just finished 1st place during the Longboard Open in the recently concluded Guiuan Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition. He just smiled that boyish smile of his and shrugged. It was nothing short of prophetic when I attended the awards ceremony on October 23rd. Jeff had won the Championship for the Men’s Open Division (Shortboard)!

Jefferson Dela Torre from Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012

Here are the Official Results:

1. Men’s Open Division (Shortboard)

Champion - JEFF DE LA TORRE- -Baler/La Union
1st Runner-up - DODO ESPEJON -Siargao
2nd Runner-up - MARTIN TANIEGRA -Puraran
3rd Runner-up - EDMOND MENDOZA -Baler

2. Junior Men Division (Shortboard)
(15-19 years of age)

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012 surfer2

Champion - PJ ALIPAYO -Siargao
1st Runner-up - JOHN MARK TOKONG -Siargao
2nd Runner-up - ROBINSON DE LA TORRE -Baler
3rd Runner-up - CHRIS TANAEL -Baler
3. Grommet Division
(Boys 14 years of age and below)

Champion - NEIL SANCHEZ -Baler
1st Runner-up - EMERTON LEGAZPI -Puraran
2nd Runner-up - ZOREN TANAEL -Puraran
3rd Runner-up - BRYLLE ENDRACA -Sorsogon

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012 winners

Congratulations to all the winners! 

And of course I didn't want to leave Puraran without surfing the Majestics myself. There were a few things working against me: 1 These waves were vicious. The day after the competition, we had bigger than overhead waves in about 4 feet of shallow water. You could clearly see the inviting reef underneath the glassy surface! 2 I had recently been diagnosed with eye ulcers which meant I had to stop wearing contact lenses. I had to risk surfing semi-blind or stay on the shore and leave the surfing to the big boys!

But I didn't go all this way just to sunbathe. 

So I grabbed my 6'6 fish surfboard Fuego and paddled out with a couple of new friends. Ryan Soria of Puraran Surf Resort and Brett Hembrough of Surf Quest Travel. They quickly charged and rode those heavy waves but I had to be more selective. I knew that making a mistake could mean going home with "souvenirs" carved into my skin. A handful of waves and even more wipe outs later, I had gotten comfortable in the water.  

Puraran Waves

Ryan and I even started chatting. Until we heard some shouts in a distance. Enormous waves were coming at us so fast that we didn't have time to realize we had drifted into the impact zone. We paddled for our lives, but all of us got caught inside.

I realized that these were the kind of waves that made you aware of your own mortality.

But it gave an adrenaline rush like no other! I paddled out with a small cut on my lip and a few scratches on my leg. I still wanted to surf but I knew I had to wait another day when the Majestics were kinder and my vision was better. These waves challenged me and I vowed to come back. 

Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012 Team

I'm coming back for the surf but more so for these warm, wonderful people from Puraran Surf Beach Resort. Honey, Ezra, Ryan and Brett, thank you for making my short stay nothing short of awesome! Puraran not only boasts of world class surf but also of the warmest, kindest of people! 

How to Make This Majestic Trip Happen:

Puraran Surf Beach resort is on the island of Catanduanes and is accessible by land, air, and sea.

BY LAND: Airconditioned and ordinary buses travel daily from Manila to Tabaco City (10 hrs.) where ferry boats (3 hrs.) can take you across to this island province. RSL Bus has daily Manila to Virac trips, which will save you the hassle of stopping over in Tabaco City. From Tabaco City pier, your bus will go onboard a ferry boat to take you across the island.

BY AIR: Cebu Pacific has flights to Virac on Mondays, Wednesdays and the entire weekend. Please check their website as their schedule may vary from time to time.

BY SEA: From Tabaco City, a ferry boat can take you to Virac or to San Andres Port. Trips are available daily. A Virac-bound ferry leaves Tabaco at 7 am and arrives by 11 am. San Andres-bound ferries leaves at 5 am, 7 am, and 1 pm and arrives at 9 am, 10 am, and 3 pm respectively.

Full location details can be found here.

Puraran Surf Beach Resort also provides room and cottage accommodations perfect for solo travelers, couples, and families. The rooms and nipa hut cottages are sparse and rustic but they offer what every practical traveler is looking for - comfortable beds, clean bathrooms, good ventilation and of course, a great surfing experience at affordable costs! Check out their budget friendly options here.

*Majestic Puraran Surfing Cup 2012 is presented by the Municipality of Baras, Catanduanes, Province of Catanduanes and the Department of Tourism. Sponsored by Quiksilver, Roxy, Fluidsurf, Puraran Surf, DTI, Majestic Puraran Beach Resort. Media support by We are Sole Sisters (Wearesolesisters.com), Lokal Soul (Lokalsoul.com) and My Life on Board (Mylifeonboard.net)

All photos courtesy of Puraran Surf Beach Resort. Check out full event details and images on their facebook page

In Search of Stoke in the Philippines,
Sole Sister Lois 
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9 Responses so far.

  1. glad you're ok... nakaka-miss ang Puraran... this is one surfing destination na gusto kong balikan... soon! :)

  2. har4mony says:

    yo!the majestic cup is over already

    book me for 2013

  3. weRsolesisters says:

    Be sure to check in with them at http://www.puraransurf.com/ or email them at info@puraransurf.com!

  4. weRsolesisters says:

    Yeah it was pretty scary but so worth the rides. Yes, hope we bump into each other in Puraran soon Mervz!

  5. Paula O says:

    I miss surfing na waaaaah! :-)

  6. Hello! I covered the Majestics for Living Asia Channel; I was hoping to finally meet you, but I got too busy with the video interviews for the docu. Anyway, I hope to connect with you soon, one way or another =) By the way, I'm Carla of http://thekayumanggitrails.org, we were "batchmates" at the blog awards 2011 :D

    Puraran has such a charm, aye? :)

  7. jefferson dela torre says:

    meron ba akong kuhang nag susurf ?

  8. weRsolesisters says:

    Yeah it was pretty scary but so worth the rides. Yes, hope we bump into each other in Puraran soon Mervz!

  9. weRsolesisters says:

    Be sure to check in with them at http://www.puraransurf.com/ or email them at info@puraransurf.com!

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