Injured surfer wins 19th Siargao Surfing Cup

Siargao surfing king Philmar Alipayo in action during the 19th Siargao National Surfing Cup held at Cloud Nine in General Luna, Siargao Island during the finals on Thursday (Sept. 21, 2017).  Photo courtesy of GAPS SABUERO/ Philippine Surfing Championship Tour

GENERAL LUNA, Siargao Island (MindaNews/22 September) — A homegrown talent bucked an injury in his lower back to reign supreme in the 19th Siargao Surfing Cup Thursday.

“I’m really glad to win this competition. My preparation and training helped me a lot to capture the championship crown,” Philmar Alipayo told MindaNews Friday.

“I have an injury in my lower back. It’s really hard to compete with injury because it prevents you from doing what you wanted to do,” he said.

He said he got the injury during practice a few years ago.

But Alipayo said he remained confident of winning despite the handicap.

“I don’t want to give up. I gave all the best I could. I fought hard because this is my passion,” he added.

In 2016, Alipayo won the West Sumbawa Pro despite suffering from severe lower back pain.

“I can’t thank enough my friends and sponsors for their unwavering support,” he said.

Alipayo squared off with townmate Piso Alcala for the championship.

Defending champion John Mark Tokong and Jay-R Esquivel from La Union shared the third place honors.

Alipayo and other top-rank Filipino suffers will be gunning for the biggest surfing event in the country — the 23rd Siargao International Surfing Competition — where they will compete with surfers from other countries.

The six-day 19th Siargao National Surfing Cup sanctioned by the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) was participated in by 186 surfing enthusiasts from different regions across the country, the highest number ever in a Philippine surfing competition.

PCST chair Luke Ladringan said this is the country’s first ever and only professional surfing tournament. Patterned after the Word Surf League, surfers from all over the Philippines tour around different surf spots to battle for the top spot in the national rankings.

“PSCT’s vision is to be the venue for professional surfing in the Philippines that follows International Surfing Association standards of competition, preparing Filipino athletes for the international stage while promoting camaraderie and unity of the surfing community,” he said. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)