Everyone is familiar with the follies of midlife, and they keep coming.
After roller skating took its turn on TikTok, thousands of Filipinos began to embrace the hobby as well.
The Skatebomb Girls, one of Metro Manila’s premier roller skating teams, is a group of women who skate, dance and learn tricks together, all in colorful outfits. Made up of eight members — Saku, Shara, Ari, Mica, Polly, Raqs, Ayumi, and Steffi — they “roll through the streets of Manila,” showing that it’s never too late to learn something new and learn something new. have fun with, especially when your friends are by your side.
The group has drawn attention to TikTok and Instagram not only for their skating skills, but also for the light and sparkling energy they bring wherever they go. In an interview with Lifestyle, the women of Skatebomb talk about their friendship, their experiences skating in bustling metropolis of Manila, and what the hobby means to them during the pandemic.
Although the group appeared to be longtime friends, they only met during the lockdown in early 2020. They all joined a Facebook inline skating community called Everywhere We Skate PH (EWSPH), which hosted a “Deployment” for skaters from different cities in Metro Manila. The eight future Skatebomb members were the only ones to make it to one of the deployments, and the rest is history.
Despite their differences in age and origin, the two have been friends ever since, skating together on weekends, if quarantine protocols allow. “It was’ supposed to be ‘talaga,’ said Saku.
As their friendship grew stronger, their collective outlook grew stronger as well. Shara said that due to their mutual love for cute clothes, they have outfit themes every time they skate.
For the Skatebomb Girls, rollerblading is not just a sport, but something bigger than themselves. “[What I like most about roller skating] is the feeling of belonging, ”explained Steffi. “When we rollerblade [became popular], I found a sense of motivation. Can lead na ako to actually [have] fun and becoming a kid again, and a big part of that comes from these girls.
Ari agreed, saying, “I would have quit roller skating if I hadn’t met [Skatebomb]. “
As work and family life converged into one space during the lockdown, skating has become a real breath of fresh air for many. With the helpful and welcoming skating community, especially in EWSPH, it’s no wonder the sport has spread like wildfire.
While skating may seem like the perfect pastime during the lockdown, the Skatebomb Girls have had a few issues behind the scenes. Since Metro Manila is car-centric in design, it was anticipated that some difficulties may arise. Public skateboarding spaces are scarce in the Philippines. Raqs said that apart from uneven roads and safety concerns, their group is often warned by security guards to stay off the bike path when they skate, but are also reprimanded when they skate on the sidewalk. . “Standard Hindi Kapag ‘yung [rules], saan kami lulugar? Members said they don’t mind if they aren’t allowed to skate in certain areas, they just want the rules to be consistent. They note that they always make sure to respect the space and those around them.
“We hope people don’t see us as a threat, but simply [as friends] vibrate, skate, look cute, ”Saku said. They hope that more spaces that can accommodate skating will open up to encourage others to join the sport.
Women have also experienced sexism. People think the Skatebomb Girls are just cute women, but in reality they are a fierce bunch who love park skating and want to venture into aggressive skating. “Other predominantly male skating communities think roller skating is just pambabae,” Mica explained.
Break the stereotype
Polly said they wanted to break this stereotype. “There’s nothing wrong with being pa-cute, but there’s that stigma that if you look cute, doon ka lang.” You can [be] the two [cute and a good skater]. “
Skatebomb does not tolerate such sexist remarks, especially when they are together. Shara explained that she experiences screaming while skating, but when they are together in a group, they feel comfortable and confident enough to challenge the caller. “We are not afraid to dress cute because we support each other.”
In cities built just for automobiles, skaters across the country are now urging cities to adapt to other modes of transportation. The Skatebomb Girls hope that as the popularity of skating increases in the Philippines, so does the support and encouragement within the community and public spaces.
Skatebomb not only embodies the joy of roller skating, but makes a statement of empowering women simply by challenging sexism and skating in the clothes they want to wear. The group also shows that you can always go back to your childhood hobbies and have fun, even as an adult.
Although they fight misogynistic remarks and face other obstacles, they never fail to roam the streets in style. What’s most special about the group is the way their vibrant friendship and love for skating shines through in their videos.
When asked to describe the Skatebomb Girls, Polly put it best: “We’re not trying to hide [who we are] or be someone else. We are genuine and we just want to have fun.