Postcards from the Philippines ft. Raviane Cordial

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Today we hear from Raviane as she shares her skateboarding experience with Isabell Kittell.

“Raviane is a skatergirl from the Philippines and is training her trickboarding with her friends in Baler. She is as well a member of the TAGA-BALER SKATEBOARDING COMMUNITY INC.

“Ako po si Raviane Bihasa Cordial from Baler, Aurora. Ngayon po, nagwwork ako sa isang motor-financing as accounting associate.

I am Raviane Bihasa Cordial from Baler, Aurora. Now I am working as an accounting associate for a motor financing company.

What is your preferred skate style and how did you get into skating?

“[I prefer] Skateboarding or trickboard, kasi since high school parang nagging friends kami at malapit kasi yung pinag-iiskatean nila sa school namin nun, so yung mga kasama kong babae yung mga kaibigan ko, tumatakas kame pagminsan. Umaakyat kami ng beam para lang makapag skate. Yun po, since 2010. Third year high school po ako nun; 15 years ako nag start at 10 years ako nag sskate. Pero, minsan active minsan hindi pero [nung highschool] tuloy tuloy po yun. highschool hanggang college kasi tropa ko din na din halos lahat ng skater, kasama na talaga sila sa lifestyle ko hanggang ngayon.”

I prefer skateboarding or trick boarding because since high school, we all became friends and where they were skating was usually near our school, so my girl friends and I would escape sometimes. We would climb beams just to be able to skate. This was since 2010. I was third-year high school at that time and I was around 15 years old. However, it was on and off but it was really during high school until college because the skaters became my friends and they are part of my lifestyle until now.

What would you consider your personal biggest success in skating?

“Nung one time, kasi dumadayo kami sa Manila, Pampanga. Kami lahat nag organize kami ng, kasi hindi lang kame isang grupo ng skaters, ano rin po kame, naka register na din po kami. May mga sponsor kami pati yung mga ‘ahead’ samin dito, yung mga matatanda na nag sskate so suportado sila sa amin. Ang biggest [success] ko po noon, nung nagpunta kame ng Manila which is papanoorin lang naming si Mak Feliciano, pasikat pa lang siya noon. So, dun laglaro kami sa Quezon City sa skatepark doon. Di namin alam may competition pala doon na pambabae lang. “Skate Jam” lang o mini skate jam. Tapos pinipilit nila ako na sumali daw ako kasi ako lang yung nagiisang babae. Tapos sumali ako at di ko naeexpect pero nakatapos ako ng 3rd noon. Yun yung biggest “success” ko. Kaya ngayon pag may competition, sumasali nalang po ako.”

One time, because sometimes we would travel to Manila or Pampanga, we would organize skate trips. We aren’t just a group of skaters, we are also registered and we have sponsors such as the older skaters who used to skate before us, they support us when we organize trips. My biggest success was when we went to Manila to watch Mak Feliciano (he was only beginning to get recognized) compete. So, we skated in a skate park in Quezon City and we didn’t know that there was an “only girls” category or an “only girls skate jam”. They kept pushing me to join since I was the only girl [in the team]. Then I joined and I didn’t expect it but I ended up in 3rd place. That was my biggest success. That’s why now when there are competitions, I join.

What is your biggest fear?

“Biggest fear? Syempre pag mapilayan, pero parte na po yun ai. Part na siya [ng skating]. Yung one time, dun talaga yung talagang natakot ako, yung sa ramp. Talagang bumaldag po ako. Ano pa naman yun, event po ng Converse diyan sa plaza. Nung nangyari yun, di talaga ako nakapaghinga. “Water, water” sinasabi ko sa mga kasama ko. Tapos one month akong hindi makahiga ng maayos. Kaya medyo na-trauma po ako sa ganyan [ramp]. Kaya medyo takot ako.”

Biggest fear? Of course to break bones, but that’s part of it. It’s part of skateboarding. One time, where I really got scared, was on the ramp. I really fell hard and it was even an event of Converse here in the plaza. When that happened, I couldn’t even catch my breath. “Water, water” I would say as I was asking for help from my peers. Then, for one whole month I couldn’t lay down properly. So I was a little traumatized with that that’s why I’m a little scared on the ramp.

How was the lockdown for you and how did you adjust to the new normal?

“Nung una po nahirapan kasi di ka makalabas, yung mga dati mong ginagawa di mo na nagagawa ngayun. Di mo na din makasama friends mo, na-lessen yung mga events, birthdays. Pero ngayun naman, onti onti nakaka-adjust na, and alam na din naman ng lahat na new normal na tayo.”

At first it was hard because we couldn’t go out and the things we were so used to doing we couldn’t do anymore. You couldn’t see your friends, less events and birthdays happened. But now, slowly slowly people are able to adjust and everyone knows that we are in the new normal.

How was your skate community during lockdown?

“Mas naging okay po yung skate community namin kasi nagkaroon kami ng indoor park katulad ng ramp na nakikita niyo. Buti nalang bago mag lockdown natapos agad itong ramp. Bale dalawa na po ganyan [ramp] namin, ito tapos yung sa Buhangin. Nagtulong-tulong kami, yung pondo naming ginastos naming doon tapos syempre suportado pa rin kami nung mga mas matatanda na nagiiskate.”

I think the skate community improved a lot because we were able to build indoor and outdoor parks just like the ramp that you see. We were so fortunate to have the ramp finished before the lockdown started. This is actually our second ramp, the other one is in Baranggay Buhangin. We helped each other out using our own funds and of course from our sponsors who helped support our skating.

How was your first skate-get together like after ease of restrictions?

“Sobrang saya nung nagkita-kita kami ulit and mas madaming na-reminisce na dati. At one time, nangyari din po sa amin sa mga indoor skate parang, “makamiss na mag skate!” tapos gumagawa kame nagsskate kame sa salas o kaya pag sa labas, sa batuhan, maglalagay kami ng plywood tapos magiiskate lang kami.”

It was so fun when we all saw each other and we had lots to reminisce about. One time, we were so eager to skate while being stuck at home that we would make our living rooms into skate parks or outside we would put plywood on some cement and skate on that.

What are your plans and goals in skating?

Madagdagan yung skills ko sa skateboarding kasi nga nagkaroon kame ng mga mini-ramp kasi noon, 10 years simula pa lang, wala kaming naging ganito. So ngayon, diyan po kame nagffocus kasi lagi lang kami puro land tricks o sa mga ledge lang kaya ngayon ganyan na [ang mga plano].”

To add more skills in my skateboarding now that there is this mini-ramp. 10 years ago when it all started, there was never anything like this. So now, we are going to focus on that instead of just land tricks or ledge tricks; those are our plans.

How are you adjusting to the new normal?

“Sa nagyon po, may halong takot kasi syempre di natin alam kung sino yung mga nakakasalamuha natin minsan. Nagiging aware ka sa sarili mo. Hindi lang para sa iba at sa pamilya mo at friends. Okay naman po ang new normal ngayon kaya, nakakaraos pa naman hanggang ngayon.”

Now, there’s a mix of fear because we never know who we will make contact with nowadays. We became more aware of ourselves, not just our families and friends. The new normal is okay and we are surviving until now.

How would you like the skate community evolve through the pandemic?

“Katulad dito, gusto ko po magkaroon ng mga workshops, madagdagan ang mga skate competitions. More on women din po sana kasi ako lang yung nagiisang babae dito. Dati, madami kami kaso nga lang yung iba nagkapamilya na, nagtatrabaho na sa ibang lugar and busy na sa mga ginagawa nila ngayon. Kami noon, as in yung tropa ko noon, 7 kami. Ako lang yung natira ngayon. Siguro po, in total, 12 lang kame?”

Just like here, I wish there would be more workshops and more skate competitions; and more on women too hopefully because I am the only girl skateboarder here. We used to be more however most of them have families now, others are working in different places and busy with the things they are doing now. Before, we used to be 7. Now I am the only remaining girl. In my group now, we are around 12 skaters? Male and one female.

“Sa ngayon po, may pinaplano po yung government dito na magkakaroon kami ng skate park, kasi isa rin yun na pinush naming sa government kasi si Mak Feliciano nandito, so gusto naming masundan si Mak. Gusto naming meron pang ibang makarating from Baler sa SEA Games, pang mga international or national. So ang gusto namin na skate park, more on plants, tapos pwede ka din mag business. Ganun po yung gusto namin na skate park. Sana matuloy po ito.”

For now, the local government is planning to make a skate park, that was one project we really pushed the government to do because Mak Feliciano is from here, we want to follow his legacy. We want more skaters from Baler to make it to the SEA Games or even international or national competitions. So what we want is a skate park with many features, also some stalls where people can set up their businesses. That’s our dream for our skate park. Hopefully this pushes through.

Ravine also has a message to her fellow co-skaters in Baler and around the world:

“Sana ipagpatuloy natin yung pagiging skater hindi lang basta skater, kasi pamilya na po kami ngayon. Kahit saan ka po makapunta, basta skater ka, welcome na welcome ka. Yun yung gusto ko ipagpatuloy na mangyari.”

Hopefully we will continue our strife to be skaters and not just skaters, but also a family. Wherever you come from, as long as you skate, you are always welcome.”

Thank you Raviane for this awesome interview, and thank you Alex Giorgetti for your help in transcribing and translating it into English!

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