BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar – Aptly dubbed Surfing in the City, the five-day, final leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship opened here Sunday night with confirmed 103 participants led by 30th SEA Games gold medalists Nilbie Blancada and Roger Casugay.
Aside from the gold medal, Casugay was also hailed Fair Play Athlete of the Games after rescuing an Indonesian rival Arip Nurhidayat from drowning.
Not less than Indonesian President Joko Widodo thanked him for his heroic act that also netted an accolade from the Philippines Senate.
Silver medalists Ikit Agudo and JR Esquievel, bronze medalists Daisy Valdez and John Mark Tokong, and Piso Alcala are also on the list of the
first national competition that promotes the city’s long coastline situated within the commercial district as a venue for the surfing event.
This final leg of the PSCT circuit will determine who will be the top surfer in the country for 2019.
In cooperation with the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT), and the Department of Tourism, the Surfriders Club Eastern Samar (SCES), organized the event, the last leg of the PSCT circuit this year.
“We decided to go national because it is timely after the country hosted the SEA (Southeast Asian) Games,” SCES President Rupert Ambil said.
He said Borongan is unique among surfing destinations in the country because the surfing spot is located within the city proper.
“This is maybe the right time to promote surfing and at the same time our city and the province,” Ambil said.
Hosting the surfing competition this year is “nostalgic” for him and older members of SCES, he added.
The first-ever surfing competition in Borongan was held in 2000, dubbed as Eastern Samar Inaugural Surfing Crown. Borongan was then a laid-back municipality known only by a few surfing enthusiasts. Now, the city is hosting the country’s premier surfers.
Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda is upbeat that Surf in the City will be the first of many locally-organized events that will highlight Borongan as a tourist destination.
“We want to promote this practice in Borongan — local organizations proposing and organizing activities that will put our city on the map. We invite local organizations to propose events. Just approach us and we will make sure to support you,” Agda told reporters.
“Our dream is to make Borongan an alternative spot for surfers. We hope to find our next champion from this event,” he added.
Meanwhile, PSCT president Luke Landrigan described the opening of Surfing in the City as special.
“Along the PSCT circuit, this is the only time we experienced an opening like this. We really feel special,” Landrigan said. (IAMIGO/CNS)