I once read in a book:

Our actions are important, it’s just that we can’t stop there. Unless personal action happens everywhere through policy mandates on a global scale, we’re rescuing one teaspoon from the Titanic. What matters less is what you personally do to cut emissions; what matters more is ensuring that everyone on the planet is also doing what you do. Both actions are meaningful, but the bigger picture is more important and should be our primary focus.

– Auden Schendler, Getting Green Done

I was challenged by these words, and continue to be. I believe that small steps are very important, but I also understand the need for large scale efforts to make a difference; that what I can do within my limited scope, should be spread more widely. And this is where I thought about a social venture – something that will be sustainable, will reach more people, and will go a long way. I have come to a point where I don’t see my personal actions towards sustainability as an endpoint, but rather as a vehicle to create a movement of more people who will ‘walk the talk.’

A crossroads where my advocacies and passions meet.

I have decided to create a social enterprise start-up that will serve as a platform where my advocacies (peace, environmental sustainability, ocean care, holistic wellbeing, healing and empowerment) and passions (surfing, yoga, capoeira) meet. While I continue to improve my own practice of sustainability (in all senses), it has become important for me to be able to share the same, in a message that will be easily understood by others.

Back in September 2017, after a conversation with a local surfer in Pacifico, Siargao Island, who shared about his aspirations as a surf instructor, and the needs of the local surfing community, I started Pacifico Surf Shack. We started small – with 2 second-hand longboards that I bought from Manila and transported with me to Siargao on that same month. I can still remember the excitement of the local surfers (including our wahine and Philippine’s #2, Jolina Uriarte), as they watched us unpack the two single-fin longboards on the side street that day. After 3 months, I brought another set of good-condition, second hand soft-top surfboards. From 2 longboards in September 2017, to 6 surfboards in March 2018 – Pacifico Surf Shack has given opportunities to local surfers to earn a living through surf lessons. As of the writing of this article, local surf instructors in Pacifico are being trained in basic surf instruction and basic water safety, so that they can all earn their Surf Instructor ID (identification), an accreditation process of the local government of Siargao Island.

My social commitment to Pacifico and beyond.

Pacifico Surf Shack is committed to support local surfing in Pacifico, Siargao Island. We are in the last stretch of paying-off our capital, and once we start earning small profit, our profit would go towards sponsoring local surfers to compete in local, national, and eventually, international competitions. Part of our profits would also be used to sponsor basic surfing kits for local surf instructors in Pacifico (quality rash guards, natural sunscreen, fin key, natural surf wax and basic first aid kit). We will also partner with existing organisations giving English lessons to local surf instructors. By giving possibilities to earn a living and improve surf instruction in the northern part of the island, Pacifico Surf Shack’s mission is to empower the locals to also give back to their community.

To learn more about Pacifico Surf Shack and what we offer, click here.

Other social ventures.

Linked to Pacifico Surf Shack are other ventures that promote holistic wellbeing, healthy eating, and an earth-conscious lifestyle. We find local ways to promote environmental sustainability, especially for cleaner oceans and beaches. We are joining the campaign to ban single-use-plastics from our island, and I am slowly launching a line of bamboo utensils that will be readily available in the island. As a first step, I have just put these cute utensils set together. Finding suppliers and producers who can make quality products using locally sourced materials has been tough, and so we would like to launch this pilot set in the hopes of inspiring more interest towards production and manufacturing at the local level. My goal is to mobilize the residents to become a collaborative community with a shared vision of developing Pacifico through sound and environmentally-conscious practices.

We are looking for local suppliers and producers for the following:
bamboo straws, bamboo utensils, bowls made of coconut husks.

If ever you know of local suppliers, we would appreciate if you could contact us at meg@366daysofgratitude.com

Mahalo! (Thank You in Hawaiian)

P.S. We are a newly registered business name with the DTI, and in the process of registering as a social enterprise with the Bureau of Internal Revenue.