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Carla Rowland-Zamora: A Surfer on a Mission

for the Best pinoy at heart category

“I’ve always believed in spreading goodwill when I travel.”

Carla Rowland-Zamora, a pro surfer from Southern California, lived almost all of her life riding the waves of Malibu, but it is in the waters of the Philippines that she was able to fulfill her mission of helping others.

Married to Filipino-born Ian Zamora, the Philippines served as the second home for Carla, and its towering waves have become her playground.

Her visit in Baler, Aurora was an eye-opener for the California native wherein she witnessed the lack of access of the locals to potable water.

In 2011, together with other surfers from all over the world, Carla formed “MISSION: cleanWater- Philippines” which aimed to bring filters and offer safe drinking water, as they searched and traveled the world for awesome waves, especially in third-world countries, like the Philippines.

“When we went to Baler and saw the lack of access to potable water, we felt compelled to continue our efforts. Since 2011, we have returned every year and have distributed filters throughout Luzon,” said Carla.

During one of the most difficult times in Philippine history, the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, Carla and her group distributed filters to hard-hit areas in Central Visayas where there was scarcity of clean drinking water.

“We were also fortunate enough to be on Philippine soil when Super Typhoon Yolanda struck the Central Visayas. At that time, we happened to have 100 filters on hand. While my husband and a few friends headed to Eastern Samar to deliver filters, I headed to Cebu to give the remaining filters to W4W team, who were able to provide clean water to many rural regions throughout the area. People from all over the world have shown their support for our efforts,” she narrated.

Since the initiation of MISSION:cleanWATER-Philippines, Carla, some of her friends, and supporters have donated filters to schools in Baler and La Union, and in different communities in Eastern Samar and Cebu.

For Carla, she found her “little slice of solo surf heaven” in the Philippines.


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Thank you for celebrating the many wonders of our country with us! Together, let us keep inspiring the world to Choose Philippines!

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