Jericho Rosales and Rafael Rossel: Riding the waves

Surfing has since become the water sports of choice for some showbiz personalities. Nineteen years ago, there were but a couple of names that are into this thrilling sports and one of them is the Norway-born and raised Rafael Rosell, who picked up the sport while vacationing in Bali, Indonesia, one summer. 

Even earlier than Rosell’s discovery of the sport, actor Jericho Rosales has been into it, first as a hobby but later on as an advocate of water sports.

Jericho Rosales and his board

Jericho Rosales and his board

“Surfing has really changed me,” the 32-year-old actor said in one interview. “It’s the lifestyle and culture [of surfing] na relaxed lang talaga lahat [ng bagay].”

Rafael recalls, “The natives there (in Bali) taught me how to surf. Since then, I’ve been into this sport. During my showbiz break, you can find me surfing either in La Union or Zambales where the waves are incredible.” 

The actor said that one thing surfing has taught him was to have patience in life.

“Patience is acquired as you practice it. In surfing, you really have to wait for a good wave. You’re just sitting there, in solitude, waiting for the perfect wave.”

The actor also finds the water sport a good way to commune with nature and to achieve the much-needed adrenalin rush.

“It’s a different kind of high. The connection you form with nature. It’s as if you are one with the ocean. With the pounding waves, You’d be paddling for dear life, so that you could reach the exact spot at the right time. You need to have impeccable timing. But once you catch the wave, the sense of fulfillment you get is incomparable. While in the sea, I would say a prayer. In soul surfing, you’re all alone. It’s just you and the waves. You’re able to connect with the ocean, find your soul and commune with nature.”

Born to Filipino parents in Norway, Rafael always makes sure that when he takes a vacation in his birthplace, he surfs despite freezing temperature.

“There’s one great beach near my hometown Stavanger. The only thing is that the water there is cold. But Norway has one of the best surf spots in the world. Because of the freezing weather, you’d have to wear a wet suit and take special lessons. That’s why surfing in Europe can be quite expensive.”

When the actor is on the beach, he literally shuts himself out from the real world.

“I want to disconnect whenever I go surfing – disconnect from technology, from people, from society – so I don’t take my cellphone or any gadget at all. I take my guitar instead. One time, I had the beach all to myself. No other surfers were there. So whenI was done surfing, I just grabbed my guitar, sat on the beach, played a tune and enjoyed nature.”

Rafael Rosell ready to hit the waters

Rafael Rosell ready to hit the waters

Meanwhile, Rosell, after seven years as Kapuso, returns to his home network as Kapamilya. He was reintroduced in an episode of Ipaglaban Mo with JM de Guzman and Maalaala Mo Kaya with Yen Santos.

“Work hard, surf hard” is Rosales’ principle when it comes to juggling commitments and finding some time for rest and relaxation. Admittedly, though, he says there are instances when the waves call to him and it becomes too difficult to ignore. “Dati, hindi naiintindihan ng mga manager ko bakit ako nag-tu-turn down ng project kapag may alon,” Rosales says. 

Now that Rosales is really turning away from soap operas, he has more time to surf.

It may seem irresponsible, he has his reasons. “When you’re there sitting and waiting for a wave, you’re close to nature and you get to appreciate what has been created for you. And when you get to ride a wave, [even if] you keep doing the same thing over and over again for the whole day, you never get tired of it.” 

Out there in the waters, Rafael finds peace and connection with nature

Out there in the waters, Rafael finds peace and connection with nature

Rosales and his surfer buddies started a movement to celebrate the 1960s, considered the sport’s golden age. “It’s called Coast Thru Life,” he says. “We’re slowly building it pa lang.” Armed with a “sariling galaw” spirit, they tweet and upload pictures of the destinations they visit and initiate online discussions on why being environmental conscious is necessary. With a vision toward putting together a multi-dimensional brand, Coast Thru Life also features throwback fashion pieces and vintage-designed surfboards. Rosales is looking to invest much of his life into something that began as a casual hobby.

From his point of view, this beloved activity is simply part of who he is, and nothing’s ever going to change that. When the time to bid farewell to showbiz, he knows exactly how and where he’ll spend his retirement. 

Surfing, Jericho knows, is indeed a dangerous sport. There are hazards that can happen in an instant when a surfer threads the pipeline. Rosales knows this all to well. “I tore this,” he says, pointing to the area of his left rotator cuff injured in a bad wipeout. But that’s only one of the many injuries he suffered over the years. 

Two surfing dudes local showbiz is proud to have. They have inspired younger actors to pick up the sport, and their tribe is steadily growing each day, month and year. It’s sure good to ride the waves, huh!