June 17, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Filipino surfers triumph in World Surf League

THE World Surf League (WSL) International Pro Tour’s latest edition has seen outstanding performances from Filipino surfers, underlining the region’s growing reputation as a top surfing destination. Filipino athletes, showcasing their skill and tenacity, clinched major victories in the tournament, bringing pride and economic benefits to the area.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Region 1 Director Jeff Ortega expressed his delight in hosting the WSL. 

“The presence of WSL here is not only an honor but a significant driver for local businesses and tourism. It draws both international and domestic tourists, and gives our Filipino athletes a platform to participate in world qualifiers,” he said.

In an impressive display of talent and determination, Filipino surfer John Mark “Marama” Tokong secured the Men’s Shortboard Division title, defeating Swedish surfer Kian Martin. Meanwhile, Japanese surfer Kana Nakashio won the Women’s Shortboard division, overcoming her compatriot Sara Wakita.

Adding to the Filipino success, Rogelio “Jay-R” Esquivel, Jr. won the Men’s Longboard Division, marking his back-to-back victory following his 2023 triumph. His win, a source of national pride, was echoed by Kaede Inoue of Japan, who claimed the women’s longboard title, defeating Hiroka Yoshikawa.

Esquivel’s victory resonates deeply within the local surfing community. 

“I’m extremely happy because WSL is now in La Union for the second year. It’s inspiring for the next generations who will see many talented surfers coming here. I hope they achieve even more,” said Esquivel.

The WSL event, featuring 105 surfers with 41 Filipinos, has not only showcased local athletic prowess but has also been instrumental in boosting tourism in La Union. The region, with its beautiful beaches and now-renowned surf breaks, is increasingly becoming a magnet for surf enthusiasts and tourists from around the world.

Each winner received $5600 and 3,000 points for the next regional tour, which could lead to Olympic qualification. This international exposure further cements the Philippines’ position in the global surfing community and amplifies its tourism appeal.

As Filipino surfers continue to dominate the waves, La Union’s reputation as a prime surfing destination grows stronger, promising a tide of economic and cultural growth for the region.