TACLOBAN CITY – Thirty-four surfers coming from three provinces of Eastern Visayas were chosen to participate in the first batch of surfing instructors training in Sulangan, Guiuan, Eastern Samar by the Department of Tourism 8, in partnership with the Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI).
The training aims to professionalize surfing instructors as part of promoting Eastern Visayas as one of the top surfing destinations in the country.
The surfers first underwent pre-requisite training, which includes basic first-aid, basic water life support, and water safety rescue provided by the Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Coast Guard.
Jesus Lawrence Quitorio, 26, of Borongan City, a person-with-disability is new to surfing but he has been skimboarding since he was 11.
“I’m very happy and thankful that I was chosen to participate in the training. I am hoping that I can share the knowledge that I learned with other people who wanted to learn to surf,” Quitorio shared.
He added that he wanted to become an inspiration to his fellow PWD that they can achieve anything if they focus on their goals and will not be afraid of trying.
“This will be a lifetime knowledge for us who are doing surfing instruction,” Jamaica Salceda, 31, from Tanauan, Leyte said.
Salceda is one of the two female surfers who participated in the 4-day training.
Like Quitorio, she was also a skimboarder and had competed in various national skimboarding competitions before she learned surfing six years ago.
For more than 10 years now, the tourism department in the region had been promoting the potential of Eastern Visayas to become one of the top surfing destinations in the country.
Among the three regions in the Visayas, only Region 8 has spots that cater to tourism.These areas cover Borongan City to Guiuan town in Eastern Samar down to Dulag town in Leyte province, and the municipality of Silago in Southern Leyte province. There are also secret surfing areas in the region that only local surfers know.
“For us to make our region a surfing destination, people must not only come here to surf but they must also learn how to surf. That is why this training upgrades the skills of our local surfers who had been surfing for a very long time,” DOT8 Regional Director Karina Rosa Tiopes said.