Fiona Patricia S. Escandor
IT IS said that skateboarding was started by Californian surfers back in the 1950s.
When the waves weren’t that great, surfers would use wooden boards with wheels, then “surf” on the streets instead.
Time went on and the world witnessed the rise of “skateboarding”. Better boards were being developed, skate parks were being put up, and of course, there was a growing number of hobbyists who saw it as a craft and a sport, where they can unite physical stamina and creativity.
Perhaps it would be safe to say that it is still a relatively young sport in Cebu. It has only been in recent years that skate parks have been constructed, local competitions have been held, and skating groups have been formed.
One of the well-known skating groups in Cebu is the DC Flow Riders that is composed of talented Cebuano skaters who have a tie-up with international brand DC. According to member Ian Vincent Bacalla, there are presently six riders in the group; all have been personally handpicked by one of Cebu’s pioneering skaters Dr. Eugene Neri.
The group facilitates DC’s yearly skating events, as well as promotes the sport around the country. Ian said: “We just had the Make or Break 2012 last May; we had competitions for the Highest Ollie, Best and Cleanest Trick Down and King of Skate…”
“We’re also doing FUN4SK8, a video of short clips focusing on the fun side of skating,” he said. “Then we will also go on tour. This year, we’re targeting Singapore or Thailand and we want to make a skating video there.”
This is Ian’s third year with the group. He is definitely not a newbie to the skateboarding culture though, as he has been skating for over thirteen years.
“I started practicing it when I was in third year high school, but I got interested with skateboarding when I was still in Grade 1,” he shared.
“At that time, on the magazines, white guys usually ang skateboarders,” he said. “Then I saw a page with Willie Santos, a well-respected Pinoy pro-skater up to now, and I wondered why was he there? So I asked my mom and she said: he’s there because he’s good at what he’s doing. And that was when I decided that when I grow up, I want to be a skater.”
Ian admits there was a “sense of struggle” when he started learning it, because 1) there were no formal skate parks yet, and 2) only a few instructional materials were available locally at that time.
“But I was lucky that there were already older skaters and I saw them how to execute the tricks,” he said. “It’s really different seeing them do the tricks compared to reading about in the magazines.”
Now at 27-years-old, working professionally as a software developer, Ian still makes it a point to have time for his sport. You would be sure find him either in the skate parks, out on the streets—or as he disclosed, in the park below the Marcelo Fernan bridge—skateboarding like a pro. Bumps and falls won’t stop this guy.
He said: “Even if some people think of it so little, it’s all about doing what you love, the friends you will have along the way, and being yourself.”