Bongbong Marcos urges more eco-friendly practices in Siargao
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday reminded residents and tourists on Siargao Island to adopt ecology-friendly practices while they continue to promote the island as a prime surfing destination.
“As we embark on this new chapter, I enjoin everyone to promote surfing and adopt eco-friendly practices that will help us protect and conserve our environment,” the President said in a message, read on his behalf by son William Vincent Marcos, at the opening ceremony of the 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup held on Thursday at the gymnasium of General Luna town on the island.
Mr. Marcos also commended the Siargaonons for their perseverance in rebuilding the island after the devastating effects of Supertyphoon “Odette” (international name: Rai) in December 2021 and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Let me further emphasize that this competition also reinforces the indomitable spirit of the people of Siargao. Considering the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Supertyphoon Odette on the Island, I am truly moved by your efforts to bounce back and move forward through your festivities,” he said.
The President assured Siargaonons of his government’s support for the island’s continuing economic recovery and sustainable development, and urged locals to support responsible fishing practices, purchase sustainably-sourced seafood and opt for eco-friendly cleaning and personal care products.
Siargao, renowned as the surfing capital of the Philippines and is home to some of the best beaches in Asia, is ranked 10th among the Top Islands in Asia for the Condé Nast 2023 Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
The 27th Siargao International Surfing Cup, scheduled from Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, is hosted by the local government of General Luna, with the Department of Tourism as one of its major partners.
The World Surf League, which sanctioned the event, said the competition gathered close to a hundred professional surfers from all over the world—including the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Sweden and Spain, to compete for the qualifying series 3000 event that will give them a spot in the 2024 challenger series.
Among the participants who will represent the Philippines are Siargao-born surfing champs John Mark “Marama” Tokong, also Asia’s No. 4 in the surfing league; Philmar Alipayo, Susan Escanilla and Noah Arkfeld.