[img_assist|nid=1103|title=|desc=|link=popup|align=left|width=150|height=156]Mira Mesa, CA is a region in North County San Diego that is also nicknamed "Manila Mesa" for its visible and largely Pilipina/o population. Mira Mesa is also home to one of the first professional Pinoy skateboarders, Willy Santos. 32-year-old Santos has been skating for about 20 years now. He has been featured on various community blogs and entertainment websites as someone who proudly reps his Pilipino culture and has been recognized in the professional skating world as a street skater and a serious competitor in competitions like the Xbox World Championships. Santos is also sponsored by Birdhouse Skateboards (Tony Hawk's brand) and clothing companies like The Elm Company.
Willy Santos in "The Beginning Birdhouse"
Willy Santos is also an entrepeneur who owns Tiki Hut Island Grill in San Diego's Sorrento Valley neighborhood and two Willy's Workshop stores located in Rancho Penasquitos and Mira Mesa regions in San Diego.
Have you seen the Philippines flag stylings on his boards? Or the events that he publicizes on his blog that showcase up-and-coming Pilipinas/os like So Real Cru from American's Best Dance Crew? Perhaps you own a Crosshammer hat or Crosshammer T-Shirt from Willy's Workshop?
Around Mira Mesa, the kids on skateboards are earnest about this craft. After having interviewed a few local Mira Mesa youth, it's been noted that Willy Santos has inspired a younger generation to get on their boards to ride. Some of them know someone who knows someone who's sessioned with Santos. Some youth go to Willy's Workshop to kick it. Despite the clamps on public park or school benches to prevent wear and tear, there is an increasing amount of visible skaters and skater culture while you drive along Mira Mesa Boulevard. Don't doubt the power of what seems like a hobby or activity to pass the time and don't overlook the next kid that passes you by - they might just be the next Willy Santos.
Stop by willysantos.com to learn more.