You may not be aware, but the Philippines also known as the Pearl of the Orient Seas, have surf. As a matter of fact, the archipelagic country has been included in our list of surfing countries to add to your bucket list. CNN Travel has also named Cloud Nine in Siargao Island, Philippines the ninth of the Top 50 Surfing Destinations in the world.
The country has been known for having 7107 islands which bumped up to 7641, as new islands were recently discovered. Having good swell sources from the Pacific Ocean in the east and from the southwest winds hitting the western part of the country plus ranking 4th in the world with 36,289 kilometers of coastline, you sure bet there is surf in the Philippines. So news of the Philippines having its very own Four-Stop Championship Tour doesn’t come as a surprise if you are someone who’s familiar with the surfing scene in the country.
The Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) is considered as the country’s premier professional surfing league. They have recently wrapped up their maiden event at the world-famous Cloud Nine surf break. There is no better place to kick off a professional surfing tour in the country than the powerful right-hand reef break, with a notorious reputation for the number nine shaped hollow barrels, breaking right above a shallow razor-sharp coral that can rip skin and bone to pieces for anyone unlucky to get a bad wipe-out.
Patterned after the World Surf League (WSL), the PSCT’s goal is to create a professional surfing platform that follows the International Surfing Association (ISA) standards to prepare Filipino athletes for the world stage while promoting the surfing culture in the country. The PSCT’s four-legged tour gathers surfers from all over the Philippines this year to compete in Siargao (September 15-21), Lanuza (November 5-11), Baler (November 29-December 3), and San Juan La Union (December 5-9), to accumulate points and crown whoever emerges at the top of the rankings by the end of the tour as the champion.
Philmar Alipayo currently holds the top spot in the PSCT rankings earning 250 points after he defeated last year’s Siargao National Surfing Cup champion Piso Alcala in a tightly contested final heat matchup at the Siargao leg of the tour. There is still no way to tell who will emerge as this year’s first Philippine Surfing Championship Tour Champion, but the vibe of excitement throughout the Filipino surfing community resonates as the waiting period for the three other stops of the tour are fast approaching.
It is but the right time that the Philippines establish its own professional surfing league. If it were to join the world stage, there has to be an environment that consistently prepares the surfers for professional surfing. For the longest time, only the annual World Surf League sanctioned Siargao Surfing Cup, a Qualifying Series (QS) 1500 event, provides such professional surfing experience for the Filipino surfers. So this new development brings about positive change that will surely take the Philippine surfing to a higher level.
By establishing a professional surfing league in the Philippines, there will be more opportunities to attract sponsors who will help develop the sport of surfing in the country as more talented Filipinos are given the chance to fuel their passion for surfing.
With a breed of young and talented Filipinos gaining a newfound passion for surfing and a newly organized pro surfing league that is guided by the WSL, being part of the international surfing scene is not far from reality for Philippine surfing. It may take some time before the Filipinos take the spotlight on the world stage, but it is bound to happen if they consistently find ways to empower the surfing culture in the country.
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