Continuing our Isabell Kittel interviews all the way from the Philippines.
“Interviewing Josh when going on another downhill skating trip to Diteki, it was pretty straight forward. Josh is not discriminatory on the skating style – as long as he has fun. Check out down below how he fared during lockdown.
“Ako ay si Josh [I am Josh], I am originally from Manila. Pero lumipat na po ako dito sa Baler [But I moved here to Baler]. I’ve been here for siguro [maybe] around 3 or 4 years. Currently I am working as a content manager for an online learning platform but before that I’ve been working in publishing and content management, English textbooks, history textbooks, learning generally.”
What type of skating do you prefer, and where do you like to go?
“All kinds! Downhill, street, transition. Everything. They’re all four wheels anyway, haha! Ooh and my favourite skating place around here? Maybe like the mountains or the roads or the ramps. Basically, everywhere haha! Anywhere I can skate. Been doing this ** for way too long.”
What do you consider your biggest success as well as biggest fear?
“ I guess just winning a race before [in downhill racing]. The one I won in was in Bicol [Southeast Luzon], I think? Then there were other competitions, sliding competitions and what not. This was around 2010? When thinking about what my fear could be, that’s breaking bones. I’ve had a lot of injuries in my life. The most painful might have been wiping out at about 90 or 100 kph? I wasn’t wearing a shirt so, you know. Haha! And also you know, breaking some bones is an issue cause it takes a while to heal up so that sucks.”
What was the lockdown period like for you, and what happened when outdoor sports was allowed again?
“The first few weeks of lockdown were scary because of course because you don’t know what is happening. And it’s mahirap [hard] because it’s something new, no one has experienced it or no one knew what to do. But I am very thankful though because with the LGU’s here, we’re definitely doing way better than other people that I’ve been talking to and with what their local government units are doing, the response here is like way better. Their system is good, in terms of scale, it’s way more manageable with the amount of people here. Props, major props to LGU Aurora. However, I am not used to the new normal yet like 100% but, it IS the new normal so you gotta do what you gotta do. Facemask, social distancing. Here it’s a bit more lenient.
Before the lockdown, man, I was supposed to go to Bali. Land of the lefts! It was supposed to be May to August I think? I wanted to do like remote work and then go back here when the waves are good again.
When we finally got to surf here in Aurora, it felt less restricted. Haha! Man, just seeing people in the water around May? So psyched seeing people like “Heeeey!! How are you??” stuff like that. And I am NOT a very sociable person.
Getting together for skating again was feeling pretty mellow and laidback. I think it was when I was trying to look for this ramp kinda lurking around whispering to people “Where’s the skate ramp?” – haha.”
When I ask how Josh would like to see the skate community develop, he answers that he hopes the skate communities would get more exposure and opportunities. “Especially here in Baler, we have a lot of talented skaters and board riders. I mean, surfing, Baler is already famous for that. It’s a given; we have a lot of known surfers. I feel like there’s a lot of potential here. Maybe more support from the government and LGU for more competitions.”
Whats your message to your fellow co-skaters?
“Just keep skating and learning new things all the time.”
Thank you Josh! See you on the asphalt!
Thanks to Alex Giorgetti for transcription of this interview!”