FHM (Philippines) - - Buddies We Love - WORDS RIA ESGUERRA

The ocean is a force of na­ture. It is its own mas­ter. It is vast, pow­er­ful, and ever-rolling. To be able to play in it, more than ap­pre­ci­at­ing its beauty and majesty, you need to learn to re­spect it and the life it holds. The waves are its heartbeat—and be­com­ing one with it lets you stand on wa­ter.

As some­one who’s been surf­ing since she was a kid, Mara Lopez rec­og­nizes this and has lived by it pretty much her whole life. The 26-year-old daugh­ter of for­mer Bb. Pilip­inas Uni­verse Maria Is­abel Lopez got her first taste of con­quer­ing waves thanks to her fa­ther.

“Surf­ing is my first love—i’ve been do­ing it since I was six. It was in­tro­duced to me by my fa­ther Hiroshi Yoko­hama who also pi­o­neered the first surf­ing school in the Philip­pines in the ‘90s. For us, it was def­i­nitely not just a sport. It was a fa­ther-daugh­ter bond­ing thing,” shares Mara.

Although she’d com­peted when she was only 11, Mara con­fesses that she may have taken surf­ing for granted a bit back when she was young. Think the kind of love that’s al­ways been there you tend to over­look it at times. That’s how it was for Mara.

“I only took be­ing a surfer se­ri­ously around four years ago. My surf­ing jour­ney kasi started as some­thing I

would do with my dad, then it evolved into some­thing that I would do on my own and I even­tu­ally found my own path in it,” Mara ex­plains fur­ther.

Her love for the sea has never once waned though, and it has only gone on to in­flu­ence her life choices.

“So­brang laki ng re­spect ko para sa da­gat eh. ‘Dun lumal­abas ‘yung

pagka-en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist ko and I guess nagha­halo ‘yung rea­sons why I be­came ve­gan and a surfer,” con­tin­ues Mara.

The learn­ings she’s picked up from the sport over the years have also come in handy in her cho­sen ca­reer path as an ac­tress. “As in surf­ing, in life there are go­ing to be tri­als—there are a lot of wipe­outs. Ako, I au­di­tioned a

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