Riding the waves in Calicoan Island-A A +A
Thursday, September 30, 2010
GUIUAN, Eastern Samar – Calicoan Island of this town has once again proven that it is a premier surfing destination in the country.
The island, with its good scenery, 3-kilometer long white beach and great swells, has again lured 60 surfing enthusiasts to join this year’s 6th Odyssey Waves Surfing Competition held in Calicoan on Sept. 25-27.
Paolo Soler, the 31-year-old president of the Surfing Academy of the Philippines, informed that the surfers vied for the open division, wahine or women’s division and juniors division of the competition. The competitors, he said, came from Guiuan, Borongan, Cebu and Manila, among others.
What had been attracting surfers to Calicoan Island are its waves. Calicoan is said to have two kinds of waves -- the right-hander and the left-hander, which allow a surfer to move in to ride a wave from its left or right side.
Soler said the waves in Calicoan are consistent and are suitable to both the “high professional advanced surfers to the absolute beginners.”
“Even if the waves are very big here, there’s a section in the beach that’s always perfect for beginners,” he added.
According to Soler, if a place has good waves, it can produce good surfers.
According to Au-au Delos Reyes, Guiuan tourism officer, the winners of this year’s surfing competition in Calicoan Island were from Eastern Samar.
She identified them as Carlos Aga of Borongan town for the open division; Alvin Marquito of Barangay Sulangan in Guiuan town for the junior division; and Cindy Balbuena, also of Barangay Sulangan, for the wahine or women’s division. Lorraine Lapuz of Manila was the first runner-up in the women’s division.
Balbuena, a 16-year-old fourth year high school student of the Academy of the Immaculate Coception in Guiuan town, has been surfing since she was in first year high school. She was enticed to learn the sports by an older friend who was attending the surf clinic of the Surfing Academy of the Philippines.
With a borrowed surf board, Balbuena said she would practice surfing during weekends and when they have no classes.
Balbuena and Marquito were also given each the Dangie Lace Special Award.
Dangie Lace was the young boy who was good in surfing even at the young age of 13.
A native of Barangay Sulangan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Lace was already joining surfing competitions in Calicoan. Unfortunately, he recently died after being hit by a speeding van.
Some young boys from Guiuan are also following the steps of Lace, particularly of being a surfing enthusiast. Among them is El Padullon, a 10-year-old Grade IV pupil from Barangay Sulangan. He said he was lured into the sport by an older friend.
Padullon emphasized though that he only goes surfing during Saturdays when there are no classes. He confessed that he would go surfing on a borrowed surf board.
Mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan was very proud that local surfers had emerged as champions in the competition, and that many of the locals are already into surfing, among them her own young daughter, Nikka, who said she was managing Balbuena, the present wahine class champ.
Mayor Kwan promised that by next year, it would be a bigger and better surfing competition in Calicoan Island, which has been dubbed as a “surfing paradise.”
Surfing months in Calicoan are from April to November. The summer months are ideal for learners, when the waves are still gentle.
But in latter months, the waves, courtesy of the vast Pacific Ocean, would go bigger, more challenging as if inviting surfing enthusiasts in the country and from abroad to try to ride the waves of Calicoan Island. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)