Sports Unlimited: Surf’s Up from Aurora to Eastern Samar
Baler’s Surf and Music Festival
The municipality of Baler, Aurora is already synonymous to barreling waves, the great Pacific and the beach. It is indeed the perfect getaway for a vacation.
The first ever Surf and Music Festival made sure that surfers and music lovers bask the most of their three-day long weekend with a one-of-a-kind feast right at Baler’s renowned Sabang Beach. With over six hundred surfers lining up the long coastline, the festival surely looked like one big fiesta.
The pro-riders weren’t the only ones who got their fills of adrenaline rush. Even beginners experienced the pacific swells with free surf clinics held during day one of the festival.
Beach lovers also camped their playgrounds with non-stop poi dancing, ultimate Frisbee, swimming and skimboarding.
Come day two, the main attraction was the surfvivor challenge, where beginner surfers tested their skills with an exciting surfing competition. These surfers may have just started surfing but they all showed their ease with their board tricks. The comp was judged none other than the famous surfing tandem of the Aloha Boardsports Team-- Nikki dela Paz and Buji Libarnes, who both had a hard time picking the best of the best.
The finals for the mixed tandem category was intense as the three Sayoc sisters, who have been surfing in just eight months, all got into finals. Juliette Sayoc took home the top plum for the mixed tandem category while Enrico Manrique ruled the great swells for the mixed solo category.
These riders all hang out at the beach during day time but come night time, everybody knew how to party, have fun and groove with the country’s best bands.
The successful Surf and Music Festival proved that surfing and jamming make a perfect blend. After all, the great swells and the great beats jive well with what surfing is all about!
Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition
Each year, over 150 surfers from all over the country paddle their boards and troop to the coast of Eastern Samar for the Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition.
The small municipality of Guiuan, the easternmost tip of the country, is more than a surfing mecca but is also an island paradise where guests can enjoy the freshest seafood and the great island way of living!
For the surfers, their boards, tents, and the vast coast of the Pacific are pretty much what they need. They come here to surf and Calicoan island has got the right stoke for riding.
At the shore, surfers from La Union, Baler, Pagudpud, Manila, Siargao, Lanuza, Leyte, Borongan and Guiuan bond as brothers and sisters. But once they paddle to the ocean, these surfers show their finesse and fire the intense competition like rivals in every heat.
This year saw the largest number of surfers competing for the shortboard and longboard crowns. Most of the participants are the top surfers of their respective provinces, that’s why each heat was a showdown of exciting tricks and intense maneuvers.
During the final day of competition, these boarders made sure that they tamed the waves from morning ‘til evening.
Nineteen year old Nelvie Blancada of Siargao toppled last year’s champion and Guiuan’s homegrown Cindy Balbuena in the Wahine Shortboard category, giving the Siargao contingent the most number of crowns this year.
It was another victory for the Surigaonons with the young Peter Paul Alipayo winning the Junior Shortboard category.
Meanwhile, La Union proved that they’re the rightful masters of the longboard as Daisy Valdez clinched the Wahine Longboard title and as birthday boy Marven Abat secured the Men’s Open Longboard crown.
The 7th Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition proved that surfing is not just about riding the waves but it is also a celebration of their love for sand, sea and their big tight-knit surfing community. November 12, 2011