SURFING IN SIARGAO WITH JOSIE PRENDERGAST AND IKIT AGUDO
Sisters made in the sea.
For Ikit and team rider Josie Prendergast the tiny island Siargao nested within the scattered islands of the Philippines is where these two created a friendship bound together by their love of surf.
With renowned surfing wave Cloud 9 (or Jacking Horse, where they both met) as their homebreak and an unmeasurable love for their small community, it’s fair to say that life is so intertwined with the ocean, it’s indistinguishable.
Read more about what makes these two ‘surf sisters’ and how they’re seeking to make an impact for future Filipino youth and young women within their community…
Meet Josie Prendergast and read her Q&A below.
What is your favorite thing that makes you happy to call Siargao home? My favorite thing would for sure be my family and friends of course. the whole island itself, the loving and caring community and the lifestyle. Siargao is home to me because everyone there makes me happy and fills my heart with never ending love.
How do you girls meet? I cannot quite remember the exact moment I met Ikit but for sure it would have been through the closeness of the local community and/ or surfing.
Have you always been surf sisters? since we started surfing together, yes!
When did you both start surfing? I started surfing when I was around 8 but when I was 11 I got really in to it.
Was your first wave caught in Siargao? I wish! but my first wave was caught in my other home; Byron Bay!
How do you think surfing has played a role in your life? Surfing has brought me so much joy and has not only connected me to the ocean and nature itself, but to a community of surfers who also share the same passion as me. surfing has opened my eyes to the world through travelling and given me the opportunity to enjoy such beauty, with so many people.
Are there a lot of female surfers in Siargao? Who inspired you to surf or are you leading the charge? There never use to be, but now there are a lot!! the amount of female surfers in Siargao is increasing which is amazing to see, especially in Filipino culture! My dad has inspired to me to surf and those who surround me always. I have so many people who inspire me and I hope young girls and females can take inspiration from me, through this sport that is changing lives!
How would you describe the surf culture in Siargao? Is it prominent for the girls to get in the water as well? In general, it is quite male dominated but the females who surf there are the queens. More girls are surfing in general, especially the younger ones! I love viewing that and seeing how happy surfing makes everyone feel. after all the sport can be literally done in your front yard over there! the surf scene in Siargao is big! it is known for the laid-back lifestyle filled with easy going surfers.
Where is your favorite spot to surf at home in Siargao? Jacking Horse :) to the left of Cloud Nine.
Warm or cold water are you still out there regardless? I prefer warm water for sure! but depends on the waves also. i really do love the warmth.
If you aren’t surfing where can we find you! Hanging at the beach with my friends, going around town, with my island kids!
Favorite local pre/post surf food? Pandecoco. It's a freshly baked bread with caramelized coconut inside. Truly so good!
Okay, so home is incredible, but where is next on your bucket list? Sri Lanka!
If you girls could have a girl’s surf adventure anywhere in the world where would it be? I'd love to take Ikit to home in Byron Bay. Just because I'm so familiar with the place so it wouldn't be hard to me to show her around and we have some of the most amazing longboard waves in the world, which of course she would love!
Do you both longboard? yes.
What is it that makes you drawn to the sea? Everything! the beauty, the comfort, happiness, the community who also love it as much as i do. the waves. everything.
and read her Q&A below.
What is your favorite thing that makes you happy to call Siargao home? I’ve lived in Siargao my whole life. Just recently, I was able to travel around...and being away from the island made me realize that home is where the heart is. My family, friends, the surf and the island is where my heart belongs.
How do you girls meet? I’ve known Josie since she was very little and we both lived in the same town but we weren’t that close during that time since she’s based in Australia. But was this one day that she was surfing in Jacking Horse surf break and I was surfing as well, so we both smiled and said hi. After that, we’ve surf almost every day. So basically, it’s surfing that brought us together like sisters.
Have you always been surf sisters? Yes. I can’t wait for her to come back so we could surf again. She’s one of my inspirations also.
When did you both start surfing? I started when I was 12yo. I surfed once a month when I was a kid but it wasn’t until I graduated that I got hooked to surfing.
Was your first wave caught in Siargao? Yes, my first wave was caught in Siargao.
How do you think surfing has played a role in your life? I don’t have a definite or an isolated answer for that since surfing for me is the definition of life.
Are there a lot of female surfers in Siargao?Who inspired you to surf or are you leading the charge? Nowadays — yes, there are a lot of female surfers in the island but years ago I rarely saw women in the water. Most of them, or not all of them, were on shortboards including myself. It was my father and brothers who pushed me to surf everyday, but it was my older sister, Aping, who I first saw gracing the longboard and I quickly made a change of heart. With the girls in the island and even in the Philippines, I want to lead the change in being confident with our own skin...to love our own color and be proud of the beauty of a Filipina.
How would you describe the surf culture in Siargao?Is it prominent for the girls to get in the water as well? Before, it was dominated by men, not because women didn’twant to surf but because of the culture we have. Firstly, is the love for fair white skin...being under the sun brings out our natural brown skin which was not [considered] beautiful for most people. Secondly, the elders think that surfing is not for women, wearing bikinis are taboo. But thankfully now it has all changed...
Where is your favorite spot to surf at home in Siargao? My favorite surf spot is Cemetery.
Warm or cold water are you still out there regardless? Yes! Especially when the weather condition is nearly perfect — no wind, shoulder-head high sets, and glassy waves. But I would still prefer the warm weather!
If you aren’t surfing where can we find you! If I’m not surfing you can find me in Cocosurf Cafe or just at home playing with my nieces/nephews and spending time with family.
Favorite local pre/post surf food? Fried fish, Tortang Talong (grilled eggplant soaked in a beaten egg mixture and fried) and rice with spicy coconut vinegar soy sauce.
Okay so home is incredible, but where is next on your bucket list? Hawaii for sure.
If you girls could have a girl’s surf adventure anywhere in the world where would it be? Maldives or Hawaii.
Do you both longboard? Yes, I do. It’s been 3yrs that I’ve been longboarding.
What is it that makes you drawn to the sea? I’m drawn to how limitless the sea can be, by its depth and how selfless it is — to live life with hope, with a purpose and a heart for others. There’s this feeling of freedom that comes with being in the water. Nothing makes me happier than being in the sun/rain catching waves. It feels so real. And it makes life even more meaningful, sweeter and better! Without the SEA, I am nothing. SEA is my life.