MANILA, Philippines - It's that time of the year again, when we look forward to the blazing heat of summer despite the rain showers that we've been having lately.
Summer used to be my favorite time as a kid. And it continues to be so now that I'm a father. Fatherhood has not stopped my childlike enthusiasm for the outdoors, which summer allows us to enjoy more. The season is all about tan lines, the beach, the pool, Visita Iglesia, adventures and road trips to the provinces.
I'm fortunate to have been in so many places in the country because of my father, my work, and now, my daughter. As a young boy, my brothers, sister and I would spend our summer vacations with our Dad wherever he was assigned. It was not the usual vacation. More often than not, we would find ourselves in places without electricity or a swimming pool.
But trust kids to always find something to do when bored - from flying kites to making mischief. We were not as fortunate as kids these days who have Facebook, PSP and other game consoles. My work, however, has given me the opportunity to travel to places where there are new stories to tell.
I go around the country with my family in the hope of making our daughter appreciate the beauty of the Philippines and our culture. I want my daughter to look beyond what she sees on the tube, that Filipinos are good people despite the stories on crime and corruption that hog the headlines.
We want her to have a fun and learning experience.
Make way for plans
Like in every travel, planning makes all the difference - from mapping out a travel route using an app on your iPhone, to attaching a schedule and managing a budget.
In the past, magazines and tour guides were the only references available. But thanks to the Internet, social media now plays a key role in the way we plan our travels (and our lives). The Philippines' must-visit places are just a click away.
The Web provides users with a preview of places and moments that they want to see and experience. Adventures as told first-hand by travelers are captured in words or images. Technology has made our lives easier, and in chronicling our experiences, it does not dictate the "fun-ness" or excitement of the same.
Ultimately, it is what you do and the people you share your experiences with that will reward you with that much sought-after "stoke."
Stoke is a word that gets thrown around by surfers and boarding enthusiasts.
One can be stoked by facing challenges or by revving up an engine to accomplish what one desires. The urban dictionary defines "stoked" as to be completely and intensely enthusiastic, exhilarated, or excited about something.
Those who are stoked all the time know this: being stoked is the epitomé of it all. When one is stoked, there is no limit to what one can do.
Before our daughter was born my stoke was different. It was self-centered. I got stoked catching big waves. Now that she surfs, I get stoked every time she catches a wave. It evolves. It's not specific. It is relative to who gets it.
I'm not a professional surfer, and I'm not at a level that competes. I do not intend to. I just love riding waves, big or small.
In life as in surfing, the "stoke" is a continuous search.
Surfing does not have a patent to it because a "stoke" is different for every activity or thrill - whether it's diving, white water rafting, biking, or hiking.
As we begin Rappler's series on surfing, we encourage people to share their experiences with us. (Read about Eastern Samar's surfing spots here)
We are not limiting this section to surfing, because we hope to build a community of contributors who will share their own stories about our 7,107 islands.
Share your "stoke" with us. (Send your stories to email@example.com or post your photos and video on Rappler's Facebook page) - Rappler.com
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