Postcards from the Philippines ft. Botch

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Today’s postcard is from Botch who tells us about his #lockdownstory and longboarding experience, as told to Isabell Kittell.

Introduce yourself: who are you and what do you do?

“Ako si Botch, 3rd year mechanical engineering student ako sa Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT). 

Una akong nagkainteres sa longboarding nung  nakapanood ako sa youtube ng mga nagiiskate pababa ng bundok, napabilib ako sa skills at confidence niila kaya nung time na iyon nagipon ako ng pakontikonti mula sa baon ko para makabili ng board until magfirst year ako, nabuo o na sarili kong and nagstart ako magpraktis pakonti konti at ang mentor ko lang ay mga tutorial videos ng mga pro skater sa youtube and nafeel ko naman na nagporogress ako salamat sa kanila.

My name is Botch, 3rd year mechanical engineering student in ASCOT. I started taking interest in longboarding when i saw video of people skating downhill on youtube, I was impressed by their skills and confidence and on that day, i started saving up so i can buy my own board until i was 1st college when i was able to get my own board, since then i started practicing on my own with the help of youtube tutorials of pro skater on youtube and i feel like i’m progressing thanks to them. 

How were the first few weeks of lockdown for you?

“Nastop lahat ng outdoor activites ng almost two months. Young first two weeks napakaboring kasi wala kang ginagawa sa bahay nandun ka lang talaga nakakulong sa kwarto. Bawal lumabas tas sayang yung time nakatingin lang sa Cellphone. Pinagpatuoy parin namin yung klase namin online kasi di pa namin tapos yung buong semester, kaya ang ginawaa nila ay nagbigay sila ng assignments para makumpleto ng mga prof rades namin.”

All outdoor activities stopped for two months. The first two weeks of lockdown were really boring because you’re locked up in your room and you can’t go out and you’re just staring at your phone the whole day. 

How did you feel when all your plans stopped?

“Siguro nadisappoint na ang daming nahinto na plans, pero para di naman sa ikakabuti ng lahat yung pagsunod sa protocols. Pero yun talaga dapat kasi, tapos parang komportable naman dito sa province kasi yun nga kabilang tayo sa almost 0 case at nagnegative kaya di ganun kahirap magadjust. Kasi kampante ka, di katulad sa ibang lugar na strict yung pagimplement ng rules.”

Maybe a little disappointed because everything stopped, but then again it’s for the welfare of everyone when you strictly follow the protocols. And it also helps that we’re in the province so it’s a bit more comfortable compared to other places where there are a lot of cases of COVID and you can’t really move as much.

What was the first skate get-together like? 

Yung una naming punta ulit diyan sa diteki,masaya at nakalabas ulit at nakalari pero pagkatapos non sobrang nakakapagod kasi hirap kami maglaro lahat.Yung first run namin siguro nasundan yun parang nabigla yung katawan namin. Parang nabiglay yung katawan namin, sakit ng mga binti namin di kami makalaro ulit kahit gusto namin. Nahirapan kami parang yung inilaro namin, naubos lahat ng lakas namin. Masaya yung part na nagiiskate ka pa eh, yung aftershock dun sa katawan mo parang ang bigat ayaw mo bumangon sa umaga.”

The first time we were allowed to skate again, we went to Diteki. We were happy that we got to skate again but we immediately felt the cramps in our legs during the first few runs and knew that we were definitely out of shape. Even if we still wanted to skate, our muscles were saying NO. The skating was the fun part, but the body aches the day after left you bedridden for a bit.

What is your favorite skating spot?

“Diteki, pero alam ko madami pang kalsada dito na maganda. Yung sa diteki lang kasi aspaltado kaya malinis yung daan. Di tulad ng concrete na pavement ramdam mo yung lubak sa kalsada. Solid din kasi puro liko yung diteki pati matulin din nasa mga 58km/h ”

Diteki, but we still have other good roads here in Aurora. The good thing about Diteki is that it’s asphalt which makes for smooth riding and it has a lot of turns with speeds of up to 58km/h. As compared to concrete which has bumps and cracks.

What do you think of the skate community here? How do you want to see it grow or develop?

“Di naman uso dito yung pagkadivide ng longboard sa skating, kasi sa iba kasi di sila into sa isa’t-isa. Ang gusto ko mangyari ay magkaroong ng solid na samahan ang skating at longboarding, pati na din yung ibang recreational sports magkaron ng magandang foundation.”

Luckily, the longboard skating and street skating groups here aren’t divided as compared to other places. I would definitely want it to grow and have a really solid community of skaters both going down hills, park, or street plus the recreational sports in general and have a really good foundation overall.

Any message to your fellow skaters or those who are just starting out?

“Kung gusto talaga nila ipursue yung sport, magtake ng time para magimprove sa gusto nila. Kasi pag nagimprove ka dun mo marerealize na maganda yung nadudulot ng sport kesa sa pagtambay. Kumbaga may malaki siya na impact sa buhay natin di lang sa physical ability at sa mental state din.”

If you really want to pursue the sport, take the time to learn and improve. Because when you see the benefits of your training and preparation, you’d realize that it’s way better than just hanging out and being unproductive all day. Plus, not only is it good physically, it also has a good effect on our mental state especially during this lockdown.”

Once again, many thanks to the longboarding skateboarding community over in the Philippines for taking the time and effort to share with with us!

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