Martina Audrey Vicencio
Years Surfing: This year month of June
Fave Board: Chilli Boards
What is your philosophy on surfing? I love how the ocean has the magic to heal – physically, mentally and emotionally, I can go to the beach and drag an invisible baggage of hurt and distress and I would leave the place changed and a better version of myself. I have been through a lot before I started surfing – I was deeply depressed and completely lost with my life. I was stress, bitter and angry when I was diagnosed with an incurable skin disease, it was my breaking point and left me crying almost every night. Imagine for someone who loves the ocean so much being told to avoid the sun because the vitiligo might worsen over her body. The thought to never go back to the beach never crossed my mind not even once and it lead me to surf at San Juan, La Union. Surfing saved me. Surfing gave me the peace and control I needed in my life, every wipe out I have taken felt like a cleanse to my soul and mind. Every wave I was able to ride felt like an accomplishment and every bruise I got seem like battle scars from my past. Your mind and body is ultimately different in the water, you learn to listen to what matters and focus to what is about to come. You learn how to read people at the line up and observe their style and grace, you learn to be patient, you learn to respect the waves – it gives and takes. You learn to accept the present like how I accepted the truth about my skin and finally stopped buying concealers that are three times darker than my skin color to cover up my white patches. The ocean taught me to become appreciative and give out more even if we do not receive anything at all. It taught me to love the most important person to love, myself.
Where do you see women’s surfing in the future, say 10 years out? Diversity, style and beauty. Women are all of those. There are women in my soul tribe and their souls are my favorite. I love it how we don’t have to pretend and hide our true selves from one another, Dani, whom I first met inspired me how she devoted herself to the things she truly loves. Maesue, I am in awe of how she sees feminism and her stand regards a women’s body. Medz, whom I just recently met inspired me how brave she is to take risks from moving one place to another and not knowing what is next. These women who I look up to when it comes to life and riding the waves are brave and vocal of the things they want in life. Women, not only in surfing must be able to have a voice to whatever it is that they want with their life.They should have a stand, and they should be furious to anyone who has grip around their growth. They must have this energy that they share to the people they meet. Women, have a place in whatever matter it is in this world. I, myself take climate change and ocean pollution seriously. Every time I would paddle out and see trash floating around I would always make sure to pick it up back to the shore and throw it properly. Everyday I put an effort to eliminate my plastic use – these things that we prioritize, let us make people hear this, let us make them see this. Let us allow women to break boundaries and reverse norms. Let us put a “what the f” expression on people’s face. Let us be who we want to be doing what we want to do. A mother, sister, friend, cousin, stepmom, not a mom, single, daughter, married, widowed, traveler, boss, employee and a surfer. To my mom who I owe her the most, is the bravest of them all.
How has your surfing life in the water affected the rest of your life on land? When I came back after surfing, there is this energy I felt within me. I was happier, contented and driven. I kept on sharing how surfing changed me so much other than just the tanned skin and few bruises it gave me so much peace and drive to do better in life. To be healthier, to listen to my body when it says no and the biggest, was to love my skin with its white patches as well. It was more than just a sport, it was a lifestyle change on how you see things and perform in life. How I want others to succeed and do well with their lives. It is how I want to inspire others and push them to pursue what warms their heart. It was a way to appreciate and vibe with the ocean.