EASTERN Visayas will see its biggest sporting event this year with the groundbreaking ceremony of the first “Surf in the City” festival at Baybay Boulevard, Borongan City, Eastern Samar Saturday, November 9.
Rupert Ambil, chairman of “Surf in the City” 2019, said the groundbreaking ceremony for the lifeguard station and competition judging tower kicks off the “Surf in the City” on December 15 to 20 which is expected to draw around 200 competitors around the country.
“The 5-day Surf in the City will host some of the best surfers in the country, and will have one of the biggest prize money categories in the history of the sport in the Philippines,” said Ambil.
“It’s a good idea to build tourism structures like this lifeguard tower. It creates a symbol that people can remember,” said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles who was the guest of honor during the ceremony.
In his speech, Nograles said that the national government is willing to support the rise of surfing spots in the Visayas as an addition to other famous surfing go-to places like Baler, Aurora and San Juan, La Union in Luzon, and Siargao in Mindanao.
Organized by the Surf Riders Club of Eastern Samar, “Surf in the City” festival is also in partnership with the City Government of Borongan which will host the last leg of the national surfing competition of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT).
“It is a little known fact that Borongan City is the birthplace of surfing in the Visayas. Unlike other surf spots in the country, Borongan City’s seas offer different types of waves that suit all ages and skill levels. Borongan City is also unique in that its surf spots are located within the city, making it easily accessible to everyone,” added Ambil, president of Surf Riders Club of Eastern Samar.
In a statement, Ambil said they are organizing the event to open Borongan City to potential local and international surfer-tourists.
“The Surf in the City will hone local talents to produce home-grown surfing champions, introduce responsible tourism among locals, give business opportunities to locals and farmers to fairs and trade centers around the venue, and boost tourism capacities for local government,” he said.
According to Ambil, visitors can enjoy five days of different beach sports and five nights of community entertainment while shopping for Christmas gifts and pasalubong in the city.
“Surf in the City is also about uniting the Borongan City community, and opening the province to the limitless potentials of sports tourism and eco-tourism,” he said.