Of the many surfers from Mati City, Davao Oriental, Rodel Patawi took the long trip to Borongan City in Eastern Samar with high hopes of winning gold in the 2021 Surf in the City.
“I want to be a champion in the PSCT (Philippine Surfing Championship Tour). That’s my goal in going here. I want to win,” said Patawi, who is competing in the Men’s Short Board category.
Surf in the City, the first nationwide surfing event since the pandemic, will serve as the first leg of the 2022 Philippine Surfing Championship Tour.
“I feel excited because I enjoy seeing people who are also riding the waves with me. The people in Borongan are nice and very humble. The locals here will give you whatever you need. I’m having fun so far,” Patawi said.
Patawi started skimboarding at the age of 10. Eventually surfing piqued his interest and his coach Jun Plaza taught him how to surf.
Being in the surfing industry for 12 years, he has joined numerous surfing competitions in Cabugao, La Union, Lanuza, and Ilocos Norte. The highlight of his career, however, was competing in the World Surfing League held in Siargao Island just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like many surfers, the pandemic greatly affected Patawi’s career. There were no surfing competitions for two years. Despite the shutdown, he continued training in his hometown to make sure that he is ready when surf competitions resume.
For Surf in the City 2021 chair Rupert Ambil, the competition hopes to rekindle the passion of surfers who have not been able to compete during the pandemic.
“The pandemic really halted the careers of many of our surfers. Surf in the City hopes to help this sport recover, give athletes better opportunities, and inspire a new generation of surfing champions. After the success of this event, we hope to help other local government units organize sporting events in a COVID-safe way,” said Ambil.