SIARGAO — Around 100 local and foreign surfers are taking part in the 26th Siargao International Surfing Cup, which started Saturday, Oct. 15, at the iconic spot Cloud 9.

Pinky Alipayo rides the waves during the 26th Siargao International Surfing Cup.

The tournament is part of the local government unit’s “Bangon Siargao” program as the province continues its rebuilding process following the ongoing pandemic, as well as the devastation brought by typhoon Odette last December.

“Many of you may know that this event is two years in the making,” said Surigao del Norte First District Representative Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas during the press briefing Friday, Oct. 14.

“It has taken a whole community to keep Bangon Siargao going. Now, surfers from all over the Philippines and all over the world are part of Siargao… We hope to inspire Filipinos to ride the waves again with us.”

Around 36 local male and 14 local female participants are competing in the tournament that serves as a World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series 1000 event that will help decide the regional rankings ahead of the 2023 WSL Challenger Series.

The rest of the foreign entries came from Japan, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, Great Britain and Thailand.

John Mark Tokong, more famously known as Maramar, banners the local crew as he tries to duplicate his feat in 2019. The tournament was scrapped for two years due to the pandemic.

“I’m excited for myself and for all the participants as well because this event will show to the world that Siargao is starting to recover. More than anything else, it’s good to be competing in Siargao again,” Tokong said.

WSL Asia Regional QS rankings leader Kian Martin of Sweden is also excited at the prospect of getting barreled at Cloud 9 again.

“This is my second time here and it’s so good to be back,” Martin said.

At presstime, participants are competing in the Round of 56 in the men’s division and Round of 24 in the women’s side.

Tokong and Martin, along with Philmar Alipayo and Rogelio Esquievel are seeded in the Round of 32.

Barging into the Round of 48 were Robert Magaluna, who tallied the highest score in the round with 10.15, Mike Canon (9.85), Jabi Arjona (9.75), Troy Esperon (9.20)and Clarence Saavedra (9.15), to name a few.

Source: Manila Bulletin (