Sharing the surfing life

Top seeds put on a clinic at Cloud 9 on day 3 of 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup

It was an epic battle of Philippines’ finest surfers showing the rest of the country why they deserve their rankings. Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT) 2017 Men’s Shortboard Open champion Philmar Alipayo, Siargao’s Piso Alcala, Baler’s Neil Sanchez, Siargao’s John Mark Tokong and La Union’s Jay-R Esquivel all made it through the semis.

The third day of the 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup had the most action with John Mark Tokong, currently our PSCT top 4, had the highest total heat score of 17.50 just halfway through his heat. Also with the highest single wave score of 9.50, Tokong left his close friend and current heat opponent Remar Magaluna in a combo situation requiring a 17.51 to take Tokong out of the lead.

Magaluna showed us grit by trying to get the biggest waves Cloud 9 could offer him during his heat. “I really waited to get the biggest waves because I knew those waves could help me get out of my combo but the right waves didn’t come.” he adds with a smile.

“It was such a great heat surfing out with my good friend and Siargao legend, Marama. Even if the results were not in my favor, I’m so happy to just be here and enjoy what Cloud 9 has to offer.” a beaming Magaluna says right after finishing his heat.

Tokong was also part of the Philippine Team that participated in the UR ISA World Surfing Games for the first time and even scored the highest among the group, setting an undisputed momentum for himself for the rest of the tour.

“I felt amazing and comfortable during the first few waves that I got. It’s just great to be back. I was just waiting for the good sets, I knew what was going to happen because Cloud 9 is home.” Marama shares.

Local Siargao rippers proved once and again that local knowledge plays a big role in helping them get through to the next round with exceptions of our surfers from the north—Jay-R Esquivel and Neil Sanchez finishing first with total heat scores of 14.00 and 13.00 respectively.

“It was a challenging heat today with Pete Catulay. The wind made it even harder to nail the rides that I knew would bring in the scores.” said Esquivel.

Only .35 points separating him from Siargao’s Catulay and Esquivel shares how important it was to stay focused during his heat. When asked why he still paddled back to the line up with less than a minute on the clock, Esquivel replies “I just wanted to get one last wave for fun! It wasn’t because I needed another wave to win the heat.”

At the end of the day, each surfer’s fate depends on who gets the best wave of the heat. Solid 3-foot waves at Cloud 9 still did not fail to disappoint the growing crowds watching from the tower.

Next week, I’ll share how the Final showdown of the 20th Siargao National Surfing Cup went down. I’m sure you all are excited to see whether reigning champion Philmar Alipayo defends his title or will day three’s highest scorer John Mark Tokong nab the title from him?

Stay tuned!