THE last time I was this fat was when I was 10 years old, days when I could get along just fine playing slide alone at the playground because nobody wanted to play with a “fat boy” like me. I was too fat, I couldn’t catch up with my childhood friends when we played tag, so that I would stand there panting: “Time first! Time first!” Worse, I was too fat, I would often either get bruises from a bad fall or accidentally bang my shin on the slide’s iron. There was even a time I slid real hard—“Woooo-hoooo!”—that my butt hurt from too much friction, only to realize later when I touched it that I had a gaping slit on the rear of my short.
With the waterslide concept integrated to most swim-pool play facilities then yet alien to me, I thought that if only I could invent a waterslide, fat boys who want to play slide would never get a slit on the rear ever again.
Twelve years later, I stumbled upon Flow House Manila, the first-ever flow-boarding facility in the Philippines, and I realized that there’s more to an inclined plane with a robust gush of water than the thrill of a wet and slick descent. For flow boarding is, well, a “board sport,” which means it makes fat people avoid slit shorts not by preventing friction, but by working out the physicals—and, eventually, makes you lose weight—because flow boarding involves just about every part of your bod.
In a flow house, there’s a flow rider, a trampoline-ish inclined plane with a pool of water, which, blowing 60° at 40 kilometers per hour, is strong enough to make you levitate on your board on the water one moment, and send you tumbling violently to the other pole on a wipeout the very next. When flowboarding, one can either plank (body boarding) supinely or stand (standup boarding) on the board. It’s in every inch a simulation of water surfing, except that the ride is different in that you exert the pressure on your surf board against the front, while you lean back on a flow board (which is also thinner and lighter), against the force of the water.
If you’ve got enough of a boring beer bong back-dropped with lousy singing and dancing, FlowHouse Manila is also the place-to-be for ambient eating and drinking, as it also integrated a bar-slash-restaurant devoid of tropical songstresses, but with the flow boarders flipping and bucking as amusements.
Having opened only in April last year, Flow House Manila has also formed a precocious ensemble of national representatives to international flow-boarding competitions abroad, most recently in Thailand.
Flow House Manila is in Seasons Molino, Molino Boulevard corner Masaito Drive, Bacoor, Cavite.