Can’t remember the first time I heard Willy’s name and i’m no skate expert. But I always remember him being around. Riding. I remember hearing his name. Willy was born in the Philippines in 1975. He moved to the US with his family in the early ’80s. When he got to the US he was inspired by some local guys in San Diego to start skating at the age of 10 or 11. By 15, he was a professional skater being sponsored by companies who made skate decks, wheels, shoes, etc. He began to skate with Tony Hawk’s company Birdhouse and has been with them for two decades. Willy also owns several skate shops in San Diego called Willy’s Workshop. Willy is not only a huge inspiration for young Filipino Americans and all kids here in the states, but he also goes back to the Philippines often to support the emerging skating culture there.
Sources: HBO-East of Main St series (video, Wikipedia, WillySantos.com