SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Oct. 15 (PIA) -- Filipino professional surfer John Mark Tokong captured the championship title during the 25th Siargao International Surfing Cup at the world-famous Cloud 9 in Siargao Island.
Tokong, a 23 year-old and locally known as "Marama," defeated all other competing surfers from 13 countries and received a prize of US$5,000.
Apart from the impressive skill of Filipinos in surfing, the annual sporting event has once again proved Siargao Island as one of the top ten best surf sites in the world and the surfing capital of the Philippines.
In his messgae as the guest of honor in the awarding ceremony, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar cited surfing as a sport that transcends divisions in society just the same as diplomacy that aids in advancing country's diplomatic aims.
"Surfing as a sport is like the art of diplomacy. One has to be strong enough to stand on a board, cruise over the ranging heights of the wave. Our foreign missions sail through the tides of different cultures and political waves enclosing us in the center of negotiations and dialogues," Andanar said.
Secretary andanar also underscored the importance of cultural fusion in achieving peace and order, may it be in politics and sports, just like the success brought by President Rodrigo Duterte from his recent state visit in Russia.
"On his second state visit and meetings with the Russian President Vlademir Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev. Our Mayor and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has once again surfaced with agility. Like our renewed relations in the global realm, may the Siargao International Surfing Cup flourish and may also serve as an avenue for the convergence of cultures," said Andanar.
The event is sanctioned by the World Surf League and supported by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Department of Tourism. (VLG/PIA-Surigao del Norte)