Burgos Born Boardshaper Pido Osares
Born in 1987 and raised in Burgos, Siargao Island, Pido Osares has had a long love affair with surfing waves and shaping boards. Unbeknownst to many, there is a Filipino board shaper working out of his shop in the little town of Burgos, a few hours away from its famous sister town of General Luna, home to world-class reef break Cloud 9.
He started surfing because he loved to be in the ocean. “When I was in 5th grade, we had a neighbour with styrofoam who would rent it out to us for two pesos a day. In first year high school, there was an Australian at the time who shaped surfboards, he gave our neighbour one and I would just borrow it. By 2000, I was able to buy my classmate’s surfboard for 65 pesos, and I surfed on it so much eventually it broke.”
Early on, he met someone who would turn out to be his mentor and introduce him to board shaping. “An Australian who was building bamboo boards here in Burgos saw my broken board and offered to fix it in his shop, so I brought it to him. Because I didn’t have money to pay him, I worked off what I owed by cleaning his house, until I was helping him shape boards.
His hard work paid off, but it was not without its own share of troubles. “After working with him so much, he gave me a board and I was always surfing after work. My mom was so mad at me because I was always surfing that she cut my board in half. Then I learned to make my own, and my mentor went home to Australia.”
Eventually, he went to General Luna and joined the Siargao surf team, Siargao Island Surf Company, along with Piso Alcala and a few other local surfers. “By then I stopped attending school because my mentor returned to Siargao. In 2005 they took me along to Lanuza, and we would make bamboo surfboards there, always joining surf competitions. I joined the Catanduanes competition and became the Junior’s Division Champion.”
The road to setting up his own surf shop was beginning to be clear. “In 2007 I was working in Cebu with Driftwood, also making boards. From there, I began to think that maybe I could have my own surf shop in Burgos. By 2008, I had already put up my own surf shop and my dreams had come true.” He dreams further, however, for his own community. “I would really love to make surfboards for the kids, so their dreams of having surfboards can also come true, but materials are so expensive.”
Photos and Interview by Sabs Bengzon