BORONGAN CITY, Philippines – As Borongan City Mayor Jose Dayan Agda broke the ceremonial surfboard, the first-ever Surf in the City officially opened on Sunday, December 15 at Baybay Beach.
Drawing 103 surfers from across the Philippines who will compete from December 16 to 20, Surf in the City is the biggest tourism event of the year for Borongan.
“We are very proud of this event and it deserves the support of each and every resident of Borongan. This is a truly Boronganon event. This is also the first big event that was completely organized by a local organization,” Borongan Mayor Agda told hundreds of residents during the opening ceremony.
The event was organized by the Surfriders Club Eastern Samar (SCES), in cooperation with the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT), and the Department of Tourism. Surf in the City is the last leg of the PSCT for 2019.
Community Building Event
Borongan City offers a unique surfing experience in that it is the only surfing destination located within a city. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the waves are strong and perfect for the sport all day long.
For SCES President Rupert Ambil, Surf in the City is a community-building exercise.
“It takes our collective efforts to organize and make this event successful. Our hope is not only to put Borongan on the map as a surfing destination but also to develop the talent of our local surfers. We’re hoping that our first Olympic gold medal will come from our surfing athletes,” Ambil noted.
Organizing Surf in the City was nostalgic for Ambil and many older members of the SCES. The first-ever surfing competition in Borongan was the Eastern Samar Inaugural Surfing Crown held in 2000. Back then, Borongan was a laid-back municipality known only by a few surfing enthusiasts. Now, the city is hosting the country’s premier surfers.
Among the surfers competing in the event are medalists of the Philippine team from the recently concluded Southeast Asian Games. These include gold medalists Nilbie Blancada and Roger Casugay, silver medalists Ikit Agudo and Jay-r Esquivel, bronze medalists Daisy Valdez and John Mark Tokong, and Piso Alcala.
As part of the continued support of the Department of Tourism, Ambil announced that the government agency is launching a Visayas surfing circuit to be supervised by the PSCT. This is an important step in developing local talent and promoting surf destinations across the Visayas.
Agda hopes 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,” he noted.
According to PSCT President Luke Landrigan, the team has felt the warm Borongan welcome even before the competition started.
“Along the PSCT circuit, this is the only time we experienced an opening like this. We really feel special,” Landrigan noted.
He added: “We hope you continue to support our organization and our athletes. In time, we hope to discover the Manny Pacquiao of surfing.”
Written by David Lozada (contact: email@example.com || 09289214151).
The Surf in the City Festival is brought to you by the City Government of Borongan, the Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar, and the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour. This will not be possible without the support of following sponsors: the Department of Tourism, Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc.