[PH Travel] The Ilongga sports star
MANILA, Philippines - It was amazing when famous Ilongga sports star Nicole Wuthrich gamely responded to my emailed Q&A interview for the March-April 2011 issue of the now defunct Mezzo Magazine. The interview made me realize how cool her surf story is — for she embraces the sea under the scorching heat of the sun.
As summer continues to heat up, it's high time to retell her story. She is one of the empowered women making names and rounds in the male-dominated world of sports, thus giving the guys a run for the ocean. Read on as she shares her stokes:
Romancing the allure of the seas is just getting better and better.
Riding the crest of tide and making waves is a sweet escape for twenty-something events organizer, the smart and lovely Nicole Wuthrich, who not only excels in sports; in college, she finished Cum Laude in UP Diliman.
“It was in 2004 when my Human Kinetics Class in UP was brought to La Union for a field trip. The place is known as a surf spot, and since I didn't know how to surf then, it seemed like an exciting new sport to try,” begins Nicole.
“The first time I learned to surf was also the first time I was able to ride a wave. I got so stoked that I just wanted to surf and surf,” she continues.
From then on, Nicole started surfing with her friends. Not religiously, though, because she also had school, taekwondo, climbing, and frisbee. It was after she graduated that she started surfing again. "Usually every weekend if I don’t have work,” says Nicole.
Surfing: More fun in the Philippines
Even if surfing requires that Nicole make time to head to the beach, she says she doesn't mind. The beaches and the waves have won over her heart.
“The thrill that I get from surfing and longboarding is unimaginably great; the rush and the stoke are totally different from other sports!," she enthuses. "You really have to try and experience it. It’s all about sharing the stoke that you have."
Nicole says that surfing not only keeps her physically fit and healthy. It also develops her endurance, muscle tone, and — most of all — it relieves her stress.
“I've garnered a lot of sports awards because of the hard work that I put in. I was even nominated for the Gawad Chancellor Award in UP because of all the sports I’ve tried and excelled in," Nicole posits. "One thing that I’m really proud of being able to represent."
Nicole adds that her success in sports is also due her family, who have been supportive of her all the way. “They are into sports, too ... and they support whatever sport I get myself into," she says.
And of course, as a working girl, Nicole is able to do all these with excellent time management. This helps her not overlook or take any thing for granted.
"It is very essential in everything that I do," she says. "It’s a matter of being responsible of my time at work and in my activities."
“To be honest, I’m really grateful that I’m into sports — it led me to the right path," Nicole avers. "It helped me travel, paid for my education, instilled discipline in me, and shaped my over all character."
She adds that her family benefits from sports as well — financially. "I’m happy that I’m endorsing Billabong Girls, Sector 9 from Aloha Boardsports, Freesurf Inc., and DC Shoes,” she adds.
“Putting your mind to something that you are passionate about will surely get you far and help you become successful,” says Nicole.
Speaking of success, Nicole sees her skills in sports dominated by men as a big part of it. “I started with longboarding in 2008. You would mostly see guys doing it then," she recalls. "I just wanted to try it and do what they can do. After nailing some tricks on the board, the same feeling of wanting to know more and to get even better set in me. I couldn’t stop,” Nicole adds.
And speaking of male-dominated sports, Nicole is also into Muay Thai and jiujitsu.
Longboarding is now growing in popularity in Iloilo, according to Nicole. Last January for Dinagyang, a national downhill and push race competition was held, and the response was better than they ever expected.
“It was a successful event. In fact, people in Manila are asking for more competitions in Iloilo because of the great course!," Nicole says happily. "I can say that it’s pretty much picking up. Iloilo is becoming a tourist spot for longboarders because of the 'roads' and 'hills' (in the ocean) that they can ride on,” she declares.
To get started with longboarding, the requirement is simple: have a board 35 inches or longer.
“Always wear a helmet and pads. It is important to be safe at all times," Nicole says with a serious tone. "Riding a longboard requires balance. If you have centered in already, you can ride it, do tricks, and even go downhill if you like."
“The greatest pleasure in life is doing the things that people say you cannot do," asserts Nicole. "I always hear people say that I can’t do this or that, but instead of making those comments affect me, they make me strive even more to become better, to prove them wrong."
On a final note, the Ilongga sports star declares: "No one should dictate what I can’t and can do.” - Rappler.com
(What sport are YOU conquering, and where in the PHilippines? Tell us about it! RAPPLER wants to hear about your travels and adventures around the Philippines. Email your story and photos with subject heading PH Travel to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Click on the links below for more.
- Bagasbas: A beginner's surf spot
- Eastern Samar: Surfing's last frontier
- Surfing in the city
- Catching the golden waves
- Skimboarding: more fun in Iloilo