Text by Kage Gozun and Photos by Pat Mateo & Diwata Kage
Last year saw Congressman Pichay's promise to promote local surfing come to fruition. The Philippine Surfing Federation (PSF), launched the first ever surf circuit in the country in February of 2005. The circuit traveled to some of the country's choicest surf spots, uplifting the image of Philippine surfing both locally and internationally. In the end, the top twelve Filipino surfers were named based on a point system that was used throughout the year.
Each leg of last year's tour brought new adventures and experiences to everyone involved. There were some contest upsets as top surfers fell to dark horses in their heats. There were also hallmark moments and unbelievable heats as the level of the local surfers kept rising throughout the year.
If you missed the action and excitement of last year's tour, make up for it this year! Buoyed by the success of the 2005 Philippine Surf Circuit, the Philippine Surf Federation is gearing up once again to bring the surf, sun and stoke to the country's surf spots.
It begins on February in Baler, Aurora known as one of the first surf communities in the country. Past the scenic Sierra Madre Mountains, lies Cemento Reef, a reef break known to challenge even the best local surfers.
Afterwards the circuit will take a very short break. Not to worry, it will resume in May with a special All Women's Competition held at the famous Cloud 9 break of Siargao. Last year saw the first-ever women's competition, a landmark event in the local surf scene. The success of last year's contest hinted at the promise of more participants coming from various countries for this year's summer fest.
PSF will sit out the rainy months of June and July, as surfers from all over the Philippines get ready to paddle into the mostly-alien waters of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte in August. This addition to the circuit adds to the adventure of surfing's subculture – that of traveling to new spots in the hopes of scoring perfect waves and surf sessions.
Late September brings the tour back to Siargao Island. The now infamous break of Cloud 9 is expected to draw a myriad of surfers from not only the Philippines but all over the world. This is the longest-running competition in the country and has always attracted its fair share of surfers, spectators and media.
The circuit keeps its momentum going in October as it takes the tour back to Eastern Samar. There were more than few grumbles as this previously secret spot was exposed to the surf scene. But what was unfamiliar territory last year has proven to be the perfect spot to nurture a surf community along Eastern Samar's pristine coastline. PSF returns this year for the second Eastern Samar Surfing Crown.
The fourth Catanduanes Governor's Surfing Cup is the next stop of the Philippine Surf Circuit. The heavy waves and strong current of the Majestics in Catanduanes will once again test the mettle of our local surfers in late October.
November sends the crew and fellow waveriders to Lanuza in Surigao del Sur. The left and right-hander waves of Doot Poktoy seem to roll on endlessly and have gained popularity with both shortboarders and longboarders alike. The fourth Lanuza surfing festival brims with the potential for yet another successful leg on the Philippine Surf Federation's schedule of events.
At the end of the year, Manila surfers' favored spot of San Juan, La Union, will once again be the last stop in the year-long circuit. The finale of the circuit will culminate with the revelation of who among the local surfers on tour has ranked among the top twelve local surfers of the year.
Join the surfing crew around the archipelago’s choice destinations with their usual fair of beach events and a taste of the tropical lifestyle that will surely create a more exciting Philippine Surf Circuit 2006. The Philippine Surf Federation invites surfers, surf enthusiasts, non-surfers, and beach lovers, to be part of the upcoming legs of the tour.
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