Laoag’s festival in the desert

Ericke was imagining a Coachella vibe when we were brainstorming for the Laoag La Paz Sandboarding Competition to the point of saying “fauxchella” everytime we were discussing details. It wasn’t hard to relate, Laoag is also known as “The Sunshine City” while Coachella, the “City of Eternal Sunshine.” If Coachella has the Coachella Music and Arts Festival, we dared dream of staging Laoag’s very own sandboarding event in the desert:)

Sandboarding is relatively new in the Philippines. Innovated by the LEAD (Laoag Eco-Adventure Development) Movement in August 2009, it is the latest attraction in the Ilocos Region. To put it to the next level, LEAD partnered with the City Government of Laoag, headed by Mayor Michael V. Fariñas through the City Tourism and Social Concerns Office chaired  by Mrs. Chevylle V. Fariñas, and Havaianas, in organizing the first ever sandboarding event in the country.

The scorching heat did not deter the stoked 49 participants from the towns of Vintar, Bacarra, San Nicolas, Laoag City and Barangay La Paz to sign in for the Freestyle Category and Time Trial Race of the competition.

Corona impeachment trial prosecutor Ilocos Norte Rep. Rudy Fariñas and his family went dune bashing around the dunes. His eldest son Carlos, a certified triathlon athlete, was there to act as chairman of the the board of judges. Members of the board were extreme downhill biker/chef/restaurateur Jackie de la Cruz, Red Dot’s Data and Operations Manager Bernard Macaraeg and all the way from the country’s fashion capital, Manila, fashion stylist/illustrator/multimedia artist/travel junkie Julie Villaseca and Anthology Shoes Creative Director Karrots Nazareno.

GMA News 11 I Love, Pinas! host Carlo Lorenzo and production staff shot portions of the sandboarding competition.

Pretty emcee, Miss Laoag ABC 2009 Joyce Ann Red Custodio.

Fab Ilocanas Me-Ann Cua-Macaraeg (second from left), Angel Alvarez Lao, Mary Ann Liu Ang, and Ilocana by heart Batangueña Teenie Umali-Fariñas.

San Beda Law student/dirt biker RJ Fariñas.

Kapuluan Vista Resort owners Mike and Alma Oida, daughter Bo and new baby.

Cousins Sean and Carlos Fariñas

Gorgeous-looking couple Raffy and Teenie Fariñas.

Flanked by two Ilocos Times journos:)

And then branding Ajo passed the cold water:)

{Judges: clockwise, Carlos Fariñas, Bernard Macaraeg, Karrots Nazareno, Jackie de la Cruz and Julie “Ishii’ Villaseca.}

La Paz Barangay Association President Barangay Captain Jeff Fariñas (in white) with older brother EJ and cousins Sean, Carlos and cousin-in-law Janina Medina-Fariñas and co..

To be continued.

For additional read about the event, visit

Photography by Marianne G. Pasion for LEAD Movement. Visit Marianne’s blog.
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

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