Name: Rachel Feng
Living in: El Nido, Phillipines
Describe yourself in three sentences:
I love to laugh out loud, I love the ocean, and I love to live a simple life.
What is your favorite sentece or quote?
My favorite quote is : “Think of this world like a big fun park. You only live once, so enjoy more and live well.”
What do you like about SurfAce Bikinis?
At first, it was the bikini bottoms that I fell in love with! Back in 2011, when I started living an island life at the beach, my essential piece of clothing was bikinis. I tried a variety of bikinis from various imported brands, but nothing fit. Either the top was too small or the bottom was too big, granny panties style… As soon as I found Eileen’s bikinis, I immediately followed her and looked into her designs. SurfAce’s bikini bottoms completely solved my problems! She tailored them according to the asian size and shape, the bottoms aren’t too big or wide, and fit most taiwanese girls just perfectly!! They’re also designed for water sports, so no matter what kind of beach action you go for, they won’t slip or expose anything you don’t want to be exposed. That’s great and let’s me feel more confident in the water!
Can you tell us more about your background and your story?
I have a lot of stories, um… Let me pick it up from college, that’s more relevant to the life I am living now.
After finishing college, I was very upset, I didn’t know what kind of life I wanted, I didn’t know what I like. So I rode my bicygle around the island for two months, went to Orchid Island for three months and then to Hengchun for two weeks. I just didn’t know what to do so that’s how I started looking for it. Finally a job opportunity popped up: Tour guide! “Become a tour guide? Why not, sounds fun!”
I moved to Palau and fell in love with the sea. My life started changing, and I found a lifestyle I liked. I like to be surrounded by summer all year round. After living at the beach for 5 years, I found out that I can’t live without the sea, I realized that I don’t belong to the city at all. Not seing the sun was depressing for me.
After moving to Cebu for 2 years, I moved to El Nido for more than a year now too. Wherever I will be in future? I’ll hand that to God ☺
What was your biggest set back in life, and how did you adjust yourself?
I think the biggest setbacks in life I had were in relationships haha..! I am really not good at relationships. I’m very emotional and therefor it’s easy for me to get caught in feelings. I’m still learning..
What is the luckiest thing in the life, or the person that you thank the most?
I think I’m grateful for different people during different stages in life. While I walk through life, there’s always some angels appearing along the way, they come and leave.
My family had an irreplaceable place in my heart, they always got my back and let me have less worries about life.
Beside my family, I really value the friendship with Xiao You, she is the one who brought me to the ocean and is always there to support me when I need help. Whenever I feel helpless, she’ll know how to treat me, and what kind of advice or tool to give me to keep going, she is just awesome!
What’s your favorite part of being a sea and travel guide, and what’s the tiring part of it?
It’s physically tiring to be out at sea all the time, I think everyone who has experience with this kind of work knows that. In particular, we also go out with guests that can’t swim, and while we show the how to swim, we gotta make sure that everyone is safe. The physical energy is spent very fast.
I think the toughest part is when you’re sick or when you’re on the period, needing to work during these times is just painful.
But on the other hand, my favorite part is being by the sea everyday of course, I never get tired of that. Also I love when guests smile and are happy!
What kind of opportunity or thought made you want to become a guide?
I actually really didn’t think much before doing it, it was just destiny, and my door was open.
Can you explain your typical daily schedule?
Actually every day is very simple (because I spend most of the time in water :D )
7:30 get up, wash the face, brush my teeth, drink a cup of milk tea, answer guests messages.
8:30 go out and pick up customers.
9:00-16:30 in the ocean
17:30 go home, take a shower.
18:30 eat dinner
21:00 drink a beer or some wine
23:00-24:00 sleep or read a bit before sleeping.
What’s your favorite sea creature?
The most impressive memory was an encounter with a wild whale shark in the Maledives!
The first time I saw this huge sea creature, I was swimming less than five meters away from our ship. We took a mask and flippers and jumped into the water to have a look. My heartbeat was sky high. I was so happy and wanted to get closer to her. She was elegant and gentle, like a bus in the sea, carrying a lot of small fishes around her, her huge tail fin gently swaying, then slowly disappearing into the depths of the sea, I will never forget that scene .
Which of the island countries you’ve lived in is your favorite one by now?
The first place in my heart is still Palau. After living there for five years, it was the beginning of my inseparable relationship with the ocean. The hustle and bustle of the ocean taught me a lot about the sea, and she always brought me different surprises. I also appreciate the local residents' consensus on marine conservation, which I have seen in many island countries.
Every island has its own characteristics. If you want to snorkel and dive all day long, never getting dry, Palau is definitely your place. If you like island life mixed with city, Cebu and Bohol are suitable. If you like to play in the water but want to relax too, come to El Nido and find me!! :D
How do you avoid getting sunburned?
Coconut Oil!! This is the easiest question hehe!
Coconut oil is the most natural sunscreen and an easy item for every island. During my work I’m exposed to the sun all day, skin care is very important. I will always rub in some coconut oil before drying myself. How ever if you want to be tanned but still have very white skin, I advise you to use some environmental friendly sunscreen first. Remember, for the skin to become dark and beautiful, it takes some time! It’s easy to make the mistake of not using proper sun protection and get roasted like a lobster ! In this case though, use aloe vera, there’s no need to use lotion!
Would you like to share a secret that others don’t know about you?
There is one thing I seem to have rarely mentioned to others… That is, "I love to bathe."
Taking a shower is the favorite part of my day.
I like to take a shower, not because I love to be super clean, but because it has a deeper effect on me. After a long day, this is the moment I can spend with only myself, nobody there, no need to be bothered about what other people think. Just naked me, the mirror and my real thoughts.
I can digest what happened during the day, get inspiration or new ideas…
I remember when I was in sixth grade and had a lot of disputes with my parents, I once took a shower after a big argument and came out, changing my mind completely and promised my parents to follow their advices. They were shocked haha.. I haven’t changed since then, my favorite moment is still showering. (I already know my future home is going to have a great bathroom haha!)
Which cool projects do you have for this year? Which goals are you looking forward to?
I plan to take a course fo becoming an AIDA free diving instructor.
The depth of 40 meters is scary for me, I don’t know if I can make it, but… If I don’t try, who knows? Therefore I’m planning to go to Gili Island and enroll in the coaching class to see if I can break through my own barrier.
Also I plan to go to skiing! I only went once, but loved it a lot. Everyday I was very excited to change in to my gear and see the coach to learn new skills! I have no exact plans yet, but it’s something to look forward to :)
Anything else you’d like to share with other SurfAce Babes?
Don't be afraid to try.
New life and new worlds are to be discovered after the first steps.
The first step is always the hardest. But after taking the first step, the obstacles will be less difficult.
If you have any dream in your heart, or something you want to accomplish, hurry up and go do it, time will not wait for you!