One of Conde Nast Traveler’s world’s best islands, Siargao, will host starting on Friday, October 4, the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup.
The tournament is sanctioned QS1,500 by the World Surf League (WSL) Asia, which has been championing the world’s most competitive surfing events since 1976.
The Siargao surfing competition is the first and longest running international tournament in the Philippines.
It placed Siargao in the map as one of the top ten best surf sites in the world and the surfing capital of the country.
Siargao Congressman Bingo Matugas, the lead organizer for this year’s event, said the 25th edition of the surfing tournament is being held to pay tribute to the former mayor of General Luna, Surigao del Norte, Atty. Jaime Rusillon.
Rusillon, with the support of Surigao Del Norte Gov. Francisco “Lalo” Matugas, started the decades-long series of surfing tournaments in 1993 with the Siargao Surfing Classics.
Rusillon passed away earlier this year.
Biggest annual tournament
“This is a milestone for Siargao and the entire surfing industry since we are commemorating our 25th year. But most importantly, we are staging this event to honor the father of surfing in Siargao, Mayor Jaime Rusillon,” said Congressman Matugas.
“He had the vision of putting Cloud 9 in the global tourism map and, with the support of his good friend, Gov. Francisco ‘Lalo’ Matugas, made possible the staging of the event year after year, without let-up, despite the challenges they faced,” said the congressman.
The Siargao International Surfing Cup is presented by Globe Telcomes and Sprite. It is supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Jeep Philippines, Department of Tourism and the Office of Congressman Bingo Matugas.
“This will be the Philippines biggest international annual sports tournament and an iconic event that will draw the best surfers in one of the last QS1,500 events in the Asia region,” said WSL Asia General Manager Steve Robertson.
“We are happy that this event has continued right here where the most perfect waves in the planet are and the WSL is honored to be part of it,” said Robertson.
The event will be broadcast live in worldsurfingleague.com.
Only a year after the first Siargao Surfing Classics, the first international surfing tournament was staged in 1994.
“Starting the surfing competition then was a challenge for my good friend and colleague Jaime because at that time, there were only a few people, actually only the surfers themselves, regarded the event as something siginificant,” said Gov. Matugas.
Gov. Matugas and Zeny Pallugma of the Philippine Surfing Federation led the pioneering of the international surfing tournament in the world-renowned island.
Since 2017, the Department of Tourism has provided financial assistance. which made the upgrade of previous events ro QS3,000.
“This time, we are opening the doors also to the private sector in the hope that we will ensure its sustainability even without government funds,” said Gov. Matugas.
“Mayor Cecilia Rusillon and I are happy that Congressman Bingo Matugas took the lead and got the support of the Philippine Spports Commission and the DOT, and private sponsors to make this event possible,” said the governor.