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"The 1st Tago Skimboarding Competition Makes a Great Splash!"
Take that to mean literally and figuratively!
The 1st Tago Skimboarding Competition unfolded on 13 August 2011 at 9:00 in the morning at Tago shoreline before a crowd of at least 300. The weather would have been perfect if not for a slight shower. And when it finally improved, the wind turned gusty, the better for the waves to form and for the multi-colored bannerettes, flaglets, and wind cones to unfurl in full splendor, thus transforming the venue into an arresting setting that could only come from the glossy pages of Mabuhay magazine.
The competition had beginners (exclusive for Tagon-ons) and expert categories (open to all), with 13 and 20 skimboarders composing the two sets. Judges were themselves both skimboarders and surfers, namely: Dr. Earl Cloyd Mira (Chair) and Messrs. Veni Vidi Vici Suarez and Rey Mcfel Tutor as members.
Donning a horizontally striped shirt that matched his Nikes, Mayor Henrich Pimentel arrived just in time for the short opening program to start. In his welcoming remarks, the mayor congratulated the organizers and made a pitch of making Tago the sport and adventure destination. When he added that the 2nd Tago Skimboarding Competition may come sooner that we all think, the crowd, most especially the skimboarders, applauded.
When the program ended, it was already low tide and the waves had receded, creating a sandbar in front. The judges decided to have the elimination round done in “free-style.” But first, they made the skimboarders perform a long ride (a special award) in a “kawa-kawa” just behind the makeshift tent that Ms. Roxanne C. Pimentel lent the organizers.
After the skimboarders drew lots to determine which heat they belonged, the competition began!
The thin wash of waves limited the skimboarders to execute some power moves, but still they enthralled the spectators, eliciting even ahhs and ohhhs from them. When all heats were done, the skimboarders, the judges, and the organizers went to the residence of Engr. Nick Laurente for some buffet lunch that included a lechon.
While the skimboarders and judges were enjoying their lunch, the waves at Tago shoreline began to grow and form beautifully. And by the time the riders hit the shores again, the sun was shining brightly and the Pacific Ocean was ready to provide the waves the players wanted.
And so the stage for high performance skimboarding was set!
From the semis to the finals, the waves were superb and the crowd had grown thick and more appreciative, just the way the skimboarders wanted them.
As the skimboarders romanced the waves and gave the performance of their lives, the audience clapped, cheered, and shouted their admiration. And surely, with the way the skimboarders did some power moves, the sea gods must’ve been flipping their fins in glee and screaming their gills hoarse!
When it was time to give out the awards, the spectators were clapping hard, giving a clear message that they agreed with the decision of the board of judges.
Mike Menardo was the champion (P2,00.00 with trophy) in the beginners category with Earl Urbiztondo as 1st Runner-up (P1,500.00 with trophy) and Ariong Medrano as 2nd Runner-up (P1,000.00 with trophy). The awards for Best in Long-ride and Best in Wipe-out went to Mike Menardo and Yolob Ambray (P200.00 each). Aldon Pamogas won as champion (P3,000.00 with trophy) in the expert category with Jasor Ortiz as 1st Runner-up (P2,500.00 with trophy) and Crisanto Cuizon as 2nd Runner-up (P2,000.00 with trophy). The awards for Best in Long-ride and Best in Wipe-out went to Jevan Judol and Jasor Ortiz (P200.00 each). Jaysor Ortiz also won the award for Best Woodie Skimboard, adding P200.00 to his winnings.
Ms. Tata Dolon-Pimentel, the mayor’s wife, made the unique trophies that combined tin and narra driftwood. Mrs. Belen Laurente took charge of the food so sumptuous the judges and the riders couldn’t help but say their profuse thanks over and over again.
The 1st Tago Skimboarding Competition was a project of SK Federation of Tago through Hon. Nneka Marie P. Laurente, LGU-Tago through Hon. Henrich M. Pimentel, Provincial Government of Surigao del Sur through Hon. Johnny T. Pimentel, Congressional Office through Hon. Philip A. Pichay, and the newly-organized and soon to be a foundation “I-Love-Tago” Movement headed by Romel M. Oribe, with members Maria Elena P. Dolon-Pimentel, Nicolas C. Laurente and Belen P. Laurente. Other benefactors include Vice Governor Manuel O. Alameda Sr., SK Provincial Federation Chair Manuel Alameda Jr., Ex-Mayor Hermenegildo P. Pimentel Jr., Hon. Alejandro S. Bautista Jr., Hon. Aloysius R. Espinoza, Hon. Wilfredo M. Yu, Ms. Mari Isabel P. Dolon-Insame, Engr. Vidal M. Luna, and Seagulls Ms. Gemmadel L. Medrano and Ms. Emily O. Patrimonio. DJ Brother Jay also helped in promoting the event in his radio program.
The 1st Tago Skimboarding Competition was successful in educating Tagon-ons about a new sport. But what is more significant is that the event made use of Tago’s natural resource that for the longest time had been thought of as something fearful and deadly. Another age-old urban legend had been dispelled!
And because the 1st Tago Skimboarding Competion made waves, the time has come for Tago to ride the crest and make a big splash in sports tourism!
(Note: for complete photos of the skimboarding competition, visit the FB walls of Maria Elena P. Dolon-Pimentel, Glynda and Romel M. Oribe.)