SIARGAO – The 19th Siargao National Surfing Cup kicked off over the weekend with a record-breaking total of 186 surfers from different regions in the country attending the event.
Competitors came from La Union, Baler, Zambales, Catanduanes, Pagudpud, Cebu, Lanuza, Davao and Siargao. Forty-nine of them were 18 years old and below, prompting organizers to set up an 18-and-under qualifying tournament.
The event served as the first leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT), the country’s first-ever and only professional surfing tournament.
The first day was spent qualifying 18-and-under surfers, the top 12 of which advanced to the main Men’s Open division. With one-to-two feet waves on offer, the day’s action began when crowd favorite Kaikai Alcala, the youngest competitor at eight years old, showed everyone that he shouldn’t be underestimated because of his size as he competed against surfers twice as big as him.
Alcala nabbed a clean overhead head wave during the last minute of his heat, posting a 5.25 score. He snatched second place from 17-year-old Brent Carlo Manegdeg, while Wawa Delamide put up a dominating performance and easily secured his first place spot.
Siargao native Mike Canon displayed an impressive performance during the first round of the contest, posting the highest single wave score of 8.00 against fellow Siargaonon surfers Jomar Saavedra, Jimmy Gultian and Thark Alipayo.
The intensity was felt at the Cloud 9 tower when Canon showed his prowess in the second round by putting together powerful combinations of turns to seal his victory. Canon earned the highest combined score of 12.25 (out of a possible 20 points) of the day’s competition.
Gabriel Lerog and John Carlos Nogalo shook the competition when they put on an outstanding show, exchanging snaps and cut backs during their first round heat. The spectators at the tower went crazy when Lerog landed an air reverse, the only completed aerial of the day. The judges rewarded him with a 7.25 score, which gave him the lead against John Carlos Nogalo to win the heat.
“Medyo kinabahan din ako sa heat ako pero inisip ko na experience din para sa amin to kaya nag enjoy lang kami sa heat namin. Salamat ng marami sa PSCT para sa ganitong competition,” said Lerog who also gave an outstanding performance at last year’s national surfing cup, earning him a spot in the WSL Qualifying Series international event.
Unfortunately, Nogalo came up short against Gabriel Lerog and Kent Brian Solloso during Round 2, failing to advance. Nogalo was in the lead for the majority of the heat, but Solloso’s consistent performance with huge combinations of snaps and cutbacks got him into the lead and earned him the heat win.
“Okay lang hindi na rin ako nag-alala. Kumuha na lang ako ng magandang alon para mapaganda yung sitwasyon ko para hindi na maagaw yung second place,” Nogalo said.
With a swell forecast of one-to-two feet on the second day, PSCT officials decided to commence Round One at 6:00 am.
It was a battle of home break supremacy on the next day as Siargao locals Mark Canon and Glenn Figuron went head-to-head in a very entertaining matchup. They exchanged powerful snaps, cutbacks and even the lead several times during the heat, with Canon coming away with the heat win and both surfers advancing to Round 2.
Juramz Ariate from Lanuza, Surigao Del Sur was also one of the day’s top performers as he made it in and out of one of the few barrel opportunities offered up on the day during his heat against Siargao local surfers Timothy Febra, Mondy Delamide and William Saavedra. The judges rewarded Ariate with a 6.50 score, which earned him a spot in Round 2.
“Masaya ako kasi nakakuha ako ng alon na maganda. Salamat sa Panginoon, binigay Niya sakin yung alon na yun.” (I’m happy because I got a good wave. I thank God for giving me that wave.), Ariate said.
Miguel Paez, as the only representative from Cagayan De Oro City, put on an impressive performance. Needing only a 1.1 score to advance, he was lucky enough to catch a wave in the dying seconds and completed a powerful snap before the buzzer to take the second place spot from Elven Antipasado.
“Akala ko talo na ‘ko. Mabuti na lang may nakita akong alon na pakaliwa. Sabi ko ‘Eto na, baka sakali makuha ko and makapasok pa ko sa Round 2.’ Salamat sa Diyos! Salamat din sainyo sa PSCT at saka sa lahat ng nag sponsor sakin. Ang sarap ng feeling!” Paez said.
The 19th Siargao National Surfing Cup, a PSCT Grade 2 Sanctioned event, was made possible by the following sponsors and media partners: The Municipality of General Luna, Province of Surigao Del Norte, Department of Tourism, SkyJet Air (Official Airline Partner), Solar Sports (Official TV Partner), Reef, Oakley, Kermit Surf Resort, Gwapitos, Fluidsurf, BackBurn, Greenhouse, Kudo Surf, Inquirer.net, INQPop, InterAksyon, The Manila Bulletin, Edge Davao, Going Places Magazine, Blunt Magazine and My Life on Board.
Watch the video highlights of the event below.