Surf City Borongan 2021: Age not a Barrier for ‘Old But Gold’ surfers.
BORONGAN CITY, Philippines – As the 203 surfers from around the country continue to compete in the fourth day of the Surf in the City 2021, the original surfers of Borongan City patiently wait to clinch the championship in the Master’s Division of the surfing event.
Some call them “old but gold” but here in Borongan, they are called the founding members of the Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar (SCES). SCES was founded in 1998 by a group of locals who saw the potential of the city’s iconic Baybay Boulevard.
One of the pioneer surfers of Borongan was Carlos Aga, Jr. At 46 years old, he is the oldest surf competitor in the Master Division, which is open to any surfer aged 40 and above. Aga’s surfing journey started in 1999 in Baybay Boulevard. Together with his friends Abdel Elecho, Bryan Lassiter, Rodel Aboy, among others, Aga used to borrow surfboards to learn the sport. Recreational surfing bonded the group together, a bond that has lasted for more than 20 years.
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“I always visualized Borongan City as a surfing spot and having a national surfing competition. Since we really enjoyed the waves back in our days. Way back in the year 2000, the very first national surfing competition in Borongan was the Eastern Samar Inaugural Surfing Crown (ESISC),” Carlos noted.
Surf in the City 2019 was the first time that Borongan hosted a national surfing competition since the 2000 ESISC. It was the vision and drive of then SCES President Rupert Ambil and its founding members, and the full support of the City Government of Borongan that made the event possible.
“The founding members of the SCES have always dreamed of making Borongan City the surfing capital of Eastern Visayas. We are very thankful that we got the full support of the City Government of Borongan under Mayor Jose Ivan Dayan Agda to organize this event. It also helped that our Vice Mayor Emmannuel Tiu Sonco is himself a surfer. We will work hard to continue the momentum that this event generated,” Ambil said.
Surf in the City 2021 is now the second time the city is hosting a national event, and it’s the first nationwide surfing competition since the pandemic. Surf in the City 2021 serves as the first leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour 2022.
Aga is now the father of two boys – Jian, 8, and Maxim, 12. Just like their father, they are also into surfing. At 46 years old, Aga is still hungry to bring home the gold in the Master’s Division.
“Compared to when Aga and his friends started surfing, the game has become more competitive. The younger surfers now compared to us before are very aggressive in terms of surfing skills,” Aga added while noting that the basic principles of the sport have not changed.
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During the pandemic, Aga continued to train. He tried to surf daily for 3 to 4 hours. In a way, Surf in the City 2021 is the culmination not only of his training during the pandemic but of his experience as a founding member of SCES.
“It’s quite nostalgic that we are able to compete in a national event in our hometown. This was a dream for us before. At the same time, we are very proud to present Borongan as a surfing hotspot,” Aga noted.
The Master’s Division will be held on the last day of the week-long competition. Just like how surfers wait for the perfect wave to ride, Aga patiently waits for his competition so he can showcase the talent he’s been honing for decades.
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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 email@example.com or at 0966-983-2013.
(Surf City Borongan 2021: Age not a Barrier for ‘Old But Gold’ surfers is written by Rocajane Salac)