Wayback 2006, Gianni Grifoni, a Swiss-Italian man with a Filipino heart fell in love with a little island called Siargao. Charmed by its tropical weather, unlimited supply of coconuts and the ‘no wetsuits necessary’ waves to ride all year long, he knew he had found his new home.
In this friendly neighborhood, Gianni met Marama, a local surfer who was born and raised in Siargao. Don’t be fooled by this laid-back guy standing less than five feet tall with curly hair because he’s been riding the tides since the age of 6! Every time he’s off for a ride, he’s quick and amped as he slices through the paradise’s barrel-ing waves always like a champ — he can’t be contained! Well-liked. Well-respected.
He is the island’s local hero.
Marama is the kind of guy who’s easy to be with and always has his heart when it comes to his family may it be by blood or not. He always lives in the moment and keeps his feet on the ground, which was one of the many reasons why him and Gianni became such good friends. Marama always looked up to this 6-foot tall foreigner with an outgoing personality who has built a strong bond with the local community. Gianni later on earned the local nickname “Gwapito”, a filipino slang for a handsome fella. Gianni was a big fan of the kid. He saw Marama’s potential and wanted to have his full support in paddling his way for a chance to represent the Philippines.
In 2016, he decided to sell a couple of shirts as a way to fund Marama’s dreams to surf international waters and called it Gwapitos—just for the laughs. Unexpectedly, a lot of people turned out to like the shirts, and Gwapitos grew as a name that stuck and had greatly captured what the brand is all about. Locally made. Full of stoke.
Looking at the brighter side of life. Always in the moment. In other words, the lifestyle we all yearn to live for.