Editor's Note: The one-and-only Pat Panakos (a.k.a. Projects Pat, Pancakes) is currently in the middle of a three-month trip to the Philippines where he is helping to design and expand the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC: www.camsurwatersportscomplex.com). Pat decided to write a little journal and shoot some photos during his trip for alliancewake.com. This is the first installment of those journal entries. Stay tuned over the next couple weeks to see what Pat has been up to and what's going down on the other side of the world.
Friday, October 26th:
We came over a week earlier to help Lray and Shawn Perry from the WWA judge the Philippine nationals, which are tomorrow. Today Lray said he has a little treat for us and that it would arrive around lunchtime. So the five of us killed time until our surprise came. Soon enough a big white bus pulled up and out came 30 girls, all of whom were semifinalists in the 2007 Miss Earth competition. I was not very excited since I just got married to Miss Universe in August. My surprise would come at 2pm. You see, during my 1pm meeting with the Gov., I had explained I have to start scoping possible jibs and drops for the Billabong Team who were coming over to shoot for their new wakeboard video. Lray being the extraordinary host he is, told me we should take his helicopter to search out possible locations. Wow, Kyle Walton would freak out if he found out. It was an unbelievable experience. We found about fifteen spots (spill ways, rivers, fish ponds, bridges and surf breaks). I have to ask myself, can this trip get any better?
When I came back I saw the guys standing there and it reminded me of a 6th grade game of kickball ready to begin, everyone calling dibbs on which girl they want. We were a part of the panel of judges along with Sam Collins and Christin Bauer from Australia that were supposed to judge the semi finals. We decided to jump in the ladies bus a catch a ride to the main stage where the contest was to be held. Courtney and I sat in the front of the bus while the boys ventured to the back to party with the contestants. After about five minutes on the bus I heard a lot of yelling followed by the words skul, skul, skul over and over again coming from the back. It was the Australian drinking chant. You shout it at someone to get him or her to chug his or her beer. It’s a great way to start off a prestigious model contest. I think one of the ladies that worked for the organization hosting the event, told the guys to stop because they were horrifying the girls. The contest was delayed because of heavy wind and rains, sometimes feeling like gusts of 50+ mph. We were ok with that because they kept the San Miguel (local beer) flowing and BT and Shawn Perry had a drum off on stage. The storm started getting really bad so we headed back to the cabanas, but not before Lidberg gave one last attempt. He jumped back on the girls bus and yelled out “The contest is over but that doesn’t mean we can’t party.” There were three faint “woohoos” and the rest were, “get the f#%* off our bus” he high tailed it before they started throwing their 6” heels.
Saturday, October 27th
Saturday and Sunday is the Philippine cable nationals. Shawn Perry from the WWA came over to assist in the judging and to help organize the competition. Keith Lidberg, Brian Grubb, Brandon Thomas, Sam Collins, and myself were the judges. I was surprised to see there were some real talented riders in the cable comp. It’s cool to see other countries stepping up their ridding level.
After the competition I was so beat from jet lag that I passed out around 4pm. The rumor is that night; Brian Grubb, Shawn Perry and Miguel Villafuerte partied till 5am with some of the contestants. It must have been a good night because Miss Ecuador and Miss Guacamole’s phone numbers showed up on Grubbs cell the next day.
Monday, October 29th
Ruben decided to take us on a little adventure into Naga city. Instead of us all piling into buses, he said we would travel by railways. Man, were we in for a surprise. When he said railways, I was thinking a train. The best way for me to describe it would be those rail carts you see on the cartoons that you pump the handle up and down to get speed. Except there was no handle in the middle to move the cart, they use a 6 hp Honda lawn mower engine. The flooring was bamboo laid upon a rust steal under frame. The seats were not attached and just set upon the bamboo floor moving every so slightly with every bump on the railway. They were so sketchy. Little 4 foot by 6 foot death traps flying down prehistoric rail ways. It’s like a train ride at Disney on acid. We finally managed to get to Naga city. Wow, what an experience. It was a mix of old torn down buildings and markets and new malls and shopping centers. The crazy part of the city is the electrical wires hanging from the street poles. There are millions of them all intertwined. Like one huge electrical spider web. The guys who get up there and fix these wires should be on the Discovery show ‘Hazard pay’.