As legend goes, surfing in the Philippines began in 1977, and owes it’s birth to the crew of the Legendary American Film – Apocalypse now (Who starred Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall & Harrison Ford).
Philippine surfing was born purely by chance, but like all births, a beautiful it day it was. Upon arrival in Baler, Aurora, Philippines (the shoot localtion of the movie), which at the time was bare forest and beach, the crew discovered that there was a beautiful virgin surf break nearby with 6ft swells (later to be named Charlie’s Point), they sent over their surfboards and surfed at every opportunity. Later ‘Charlie’s Point’ would comprise one the greatest scenes of the entire movie.
The locals were enchanted by what they saw but they couldn’t fathom the thought of what surfing was. To them, it appeared that these men were walking on water. The crew later taught a few of the local guys how to surf and in true surf culture kindness, they shared their love and left their surfboards behind as they packed up and returned to Hollywood.
And surfing was born in the Philippines.
Here’s the scene from Apocalypse Now (1977)