Day One of the La Union Pro Opens with Non-stop Longboard Action
by Ferina Santos
La Union—the surfing capital of the north and home of longboarding in the Philippines, has its shores graced once again by the country’s top surfers. The Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) kicked off the La Union Pro 2019 with a total of 141 surfers from 11 provinces all over the Philippines.
Sunny skies and glassy two-foot waves perfect for longboarding paved the way for back-to-back heats for the Men’s and Women’s Open Longboard divisions. Round One of the Men’s Open Longboard saw one of La Union’s established local surfer, Christopher Par, with the highest total heat score of 10.00 points.
Roger Casugay, who won the championship for the Men’s Open Longboard in the recently concluded Guiuan Odyssey Waves in Calicoan, had the highest total heat score of 12.85 points in the second round.
The afternoon was the women’s turn to show off their longboarding prowess. Siargao’s rising longboarder Jevy Mae “Ikit” Agudo posted the highest scores for the Women’s Open Longboard quarterfinals with the highest heat total of 10.70 points and a single-wave score of 6.25 points.
“I’m so thrilled!” a speechless Agudo responds after hearing about her scores. “The waves weren’t exactly ideal, but I did my best out there.” Competing in the longboard division since 2017, Agudo hopes to continue her momentum up until finals day.
“What I love about La Union is the quality and skills of the longboarders are so admirable. I always learn something new whenever I surf here.” Agudo says.
The clincher for the afternoon came in the fifth heat of Round Three of the Men’s Open Longboard. Twenty-one-year-old Rico Dumaguin posted the highest total heat and single-wave score of 13.00 points and 7.25 points respectively.
“I was thrilled when I heard those scores during my heat earlier.” says the jolly La Union local. “It feels so good to get a score like that here in my home break,” Dumaguin adds.
“Even with the pressure of competing, it’s great to compete against my friends who are equally great surfers”. Professionally competing since the start of PSCT in 2017, Dumaguin’s goal is to make it to the country’s top four. “I’m in the top 9, and it’s my goal to make it to the Philippine Team,” Dumaguin adds.
This year’s stop in La Union is a special one as the competition pays tribute to the late Ronnie “Poks” Esquivel. The country’s one-legged surfer gained popularity through his inspiring life story.
Born with one leg, Poks became an icon to surfers and non-surfers alike by his passion, zeal and distinct surfing style. Poks placed La Union on the surfing map when he successfully competed here and abroad. He inspired a lot—most notably, his younger brother, Jay-r Esquivel, the country’s top-performing surfer.
“He taught me how to surf when I was younger. We always surfed together, and I’m sure if he were still here, we’d be travelling and competing together. He’s my biggest inspiration, and I’m glad he inspired a lot more people during his lifetime.” Jay-r says.
The La Union Pro 2019 is presented by the provincial government unit of La Union, Funky Quarters, Gwapitos, and Mad Monkeys. With the support of Kudo Surf, Cebu Pacific, Havaianas Philippines, Fat Lips Surf Shop, ABS-CBN Sports and Action, CNN Philippines, ANCx, Inquirer.net, Metro Channel, Tagpuan sa San Juan, Clean Beach, Olas Banditos, Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Seabuds La Union, Inq Pop, Fluidsurf, Be Siargao, PAGCOR, VANS Philippines, Maui and Sons, Beach Hut, DWIZ, My Life on Board, Fluidsurf, Heineken, and Surftown La Union.
The Philippine Surfing Championship Tour is the premier professional surfing competition where top surfers from all over the Philippines compete in multiple locations around the country, vying for a spot in the national surfing team.
Already on its third year, PSCT celebrates Filipino surfers, passionate fans, and dedicated partners that together grow the Philippine surfing community to what it is today and what it was envisioned to be.
PSCT exists to set the stage and act as a platform for professional surfing in the Philippines, promoting Filipino surfers as world-class athletes and uniting the surfing community and fans by sharing the story and adventure of Philippine surfing one tour at a time.
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