Borongan City, Philippines – Borongan City is bustling with activity as it hosts the Surf City Masters 2023, the fourth leg of the NextGen Pilipinas Surfing National Tour, with ninety-four surfers from across the Philippines participating.
According to Philippines News Agency, the competition, which began in August in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, and continued through Calicoan, Guiuan in September and Baler, Aurora earlier this month, has now reached Borongan. Competitors hail from various regions, including Aurora, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Eastern Samar, Ilocos Sur, Leyte, La Union, Northern Samar, Palawan, Sorsogon, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Zambales. The event is a significant step in putting Borongan City on the map as a prominent surfing site in the Visayas and, potentially, on an international scale.
Mayor Agda emphasized the event's positive impact on the local community, particularly for those in tourism-related businesses. The competition is not just beneficial for surfers and contestants but also for the entire community of Borongan and the province of Eastern Samar. The event also fosters a sense of pride in the region.
Rupert Ambil, Surf City chairman and the city information office chief, highlighted the comprehensive community involvement in the event, creating opportunities beyond surfing. The city government has organized a trade fair to showcase Eastern Samar's famous food and non-food products.
The national surfing competition is held at Baybay beach along Baybay Boulevard, a location featuring the City Park, skatepark, tourism office, hotels, restaurants, and food stalls, earning the moniker 'Surf City.' The Surf City Borongan Masters 2023 is sponsored by the City Government of Borongan, Tingog Partylist, the Department of Tourism, Philippine Airlines, the Provincial Government of Eastern Samar, the Lone District of Eastern Samar, and Congressman Marcelino Libanan of 4Ps Partylist, with support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The event is sanctioned by the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA).
In addition to the tournament, Borongan will host the second national surfing summit on December 1, aiming to unite all surfing stakeholders in the country to leverage the sport as a major tourism attraction and recognize its status as an Olympic sport.