Borongan City surfer Quitorio or “Eboy” is first Filipino PWD licensed instructor.
EASTERN SAMAR, Philippines – When the 2021 Surf in the City officially opened on Monday, December 6, with more than 200 athletes from across the country competing in the different events, one local surfer caught the attention of the visiting guests.
His name is Jesus Lawrence “Eboy” Quitorio, a 27-year-old local surfer from Borongan City. Eboy is a person with disability (PWD) with speech and movement difficulties. Because of his family’s circumstances, he has not been given any official medical diagnosis. Eboy is competing in the Men’s Open Short Board category of the national surfing competition.
In October 2021, Eboy made waves when he became the first Filipino surfer to become an accredited surfing instructor by the International Surfing Association. He underwent training as part of the Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar’s (SCES) preparation for hosting Surf in the City.
For his exceptional determination, the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist donated PHP 10,000 to Eboy during the opening ceremony of Surf in the City.
Riding the waves of life
Surfing wasn’t always Eboy’s first choice of sport. The first sport he loved was skimboarding. Eboy used to catch waves of Borongan with a skimboard he personally made. Eboy won the skimboarding event during the first Surf in the City in December 2019.
He then started making skimboards out of ply boards, and selling them from PHP 600 to 900 each. This helped Eboy and his older brother, Mark, with their living expenses. The two were orphaned at a young age.
Eventually, curiosity hit Eboy so he started learning how to surf with the help of his friend, Christian Badillo, and other members of SCES when he was 26 years old.
“Maupay ha feeling magsurfing, nakaka-enjoy ngan nakakawaray problema,” Eboy said. (It feels great to surf. It is enjoyable and it makes me forget my problems.)
Eboy borrowed surfboards from his friends when he started surfing. Moved by the 27-year-old’s dedication, former SREC president Rupert Ambil gave Eboy his very first longboard in October 2021. This is the surfboard that Eboy is using for the competition.
As a member of SCES, Eboy and Christian were given the opportunity to train with the International Surfing Association to be accredited coaches. The training spanned 3 months, and was shouldered by SCES and the City Government of Borongan.
As a surfing instructor, Eboy now makes PHP 1,000 to PHP 1,500 a week. The fee comes from tourists and locals that train under SCES. The revenue is divided among the surf instructors.
Future of surfing in Borongan
Eboy is an example of how surfing can provide opportunities to the youth of Borongan. According to Surf in the City Chair Rupert Ambil, the goal of the event is to raise athletes like Eboy to compete in the national event.
“Eboy is a good example of how sports like surfing can improve the lives of our youth in Borongan. Our dream for this competition is to train local surfers and empower them to compete in international surfing events. We believe that with the right support, the next surfing gold medalist can come from Borongan,” Ambil noted.
For Eboy, he dreams of competing on the international stage, and of owning a shop where he can sell surfboards and surf accessories.
“Bisan makuri, padayon la gehapon,” Eboy noted. (Though life is hard, we just have to continue.)
While his eyes are on clinching medals, Eboy said that what matters most is giving back to the local surfing community that welcomed him and gave him opportunities to grow.
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Surf in the City is co-presented by the City Government of Borongan, the Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar, and the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour. The competition is supported by the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist, Savepoint Plus Philippines, and Globe Telecom.
For more information, please contact Bong Santisteban at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 0966-983-2013.
(The story is entitled: Surf City 2021: Borongan surfer is first Filipino PWD licensed instructor by Rocajane Salac).