Inspiration, Luzon, Travel Stories

Paoay Sand Dunes – Falling Face First While Sandboarding!

The problem is, we give so much f**k about what others think about us.

This way of thinking is so deep…so severe, we’ve become trapped, a victim of an unknown nemesis.

“Am I gonna say this? Do I have to do this? They might laugh at me.”

“Am I sure about this? They might think I’m crazy.”

Those are just some of the things that run through our minds whenever we want to do something. We always think and worse, seek of others approval.

I remember when I travelled to the captivating sand dunes of Paoay, Ilocos Norte. I’ve found myself asking the inner me, “Am I gonna do this? What If I fall? They might laugh at me.”

That was the time when I decided to try sandboarding. In a very steep slope of sand, I positioned myself standing on a long board.

It was my first time to try this adventure. The safe way to do it is by sitting. It was definitely the easier way of enjoying this activity. Again, trying this might just be so easy for anyone, but for me who has some kinda fear of heights (yeah pity me) LOL, this is a huge feat!

I decided to do the more thrilling way, slide on the sand while I stand and try my best to balance the heavy me. LOL!

But there was just a small problem.

My mind was telling me not to do it, that I might just fall hard and everybody would laugh at me. I would look dumb, pitiful.

Most of the time, we tend to choose to do the less exciting, to stay within our comfort zones because we’re afraid to fall and fail. We never dare to try something different nor even have the courage to risk. We just want to be safe, and avoid a possible shame.

We always think about what others would think. But have you ever told yourself, who cares?!

In life, we have to try the less travelled, and even the challenging ones because we would learn something from it.

And just like in Sandboarding, standing on board while sliding down is definitely harder to do but it is more challenging and more exciting!

So just risk it. Do it.

Ilocos Norte

It was terrifying at first, considering the steep and high location.

But you just need to trust. So by the time the guy released me and I glided down the sand, I just enjoyed the moment and let it go.

Let go of the fear to fall, to look dumb, funny. Just enjoy.

And since it was my first time to try it, true enough, just a few meters down the slope, I lost balance.

And then I fell… LOL!

Ilocos Norte

But you know. The fight was not over yet. I stood up and tried again. That’s the spirit!

Paoay Ilocos Norte
Just Stand Up

And then I fell again.

I fell harder, and to make it worse – face first.

Then I rolled down where a lot of people were standing. LOL!

Sandboarding Ilocos Norte
Ouch. LOL!


Did people laugh at me? Yes.

Did I enjoy the moment? Hell Yeah!

And that’s the most important. I truly enjoyed it that I even laughed at myself. My laugh was even bigger than the people watching me roll down the sand. LOL!

Sandboarding Ilocos Norte

I didn’t feel embarrassed or anything. Surprisingly, it felt good.

I think it would always feel good when you decided to do what you want and learned to let go of others thinking and reactions.

Their laugh had a different meaning for me. It wasn’t a laugh of condemnation, but a laugh of support for a big man who was brave to try sandboarding while standing even though he was pretty much sure he was about to roll down the sand. LOL!

It was fun.

I’ve learned to discard that little voice in me telling me not to do this because of what others would think and react.

It’s simple. Learn how to not give a f*#k about others thinking, and you’ll be happier.

Because at the end of the day, your own enjoyment – your own happiness is what really matters.




Travel Guide to Paoay Sand Dunes – How to get there

You can travel by land (bus) to Laoag City for about 10 hours (Bus companies are Partas, Dominion, Philippine Rabbit, Farinas)  or via plane for about an hour travel time.

Once you’re in Laoag City proper, you can take a tricyle to Paoay Sand Dunes. There you can ride the 4×4 or try the exciting, Sandboarding.

Another tourist spot in Paoay is the St. agustine Church of Paoay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Other Information – Paoay Sand Dunes

Address: Paoay, Paoay, Luzon 2902, Philippines

Expenses (Rates): This adventure (4×4 price) costs Php 2,500 for maximum of 5 persons.

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (including holidays) 6AM to 6PM

Contact Number/Details: Paoay Off-Roaders and Adventure Group
Gilbert Santos (0928) 947-3518

More of Paoay, visit this website/blog: Paoay Kumakaway Page!


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