SAN JUAN, La Union

To establish itself as a major surfing destination and a Longboard Surfing Hub in the Asia Pacific Region, La Union hosted the World Surfing League La Union International Pro Qualifying Series 2023 on January 20-26 by conducting a seven-day Surf Festival that included surfing competitions,
festival and trade fairs, awarding ceremonies, and closing program in San Juan, La Union. Through the United Philippines Surfing Association (UPSA), and in cooperation with the Department of Tourism Region 1 and the Provincial Government of La Union, the World Surf League staged the
competition, giving the province the chance to widen its economic opportunities by elevating its tourism industry.

Gov. Raphaelle Veronica “Rafy” Ortega-David proudly welcomed all participants as she offered her appreciation for giving La Union the chance to host a worldwide surfing event. “Thank you, or in our dialect, Agyaman kami, for letting the waves of La Union be part of this successful event. As such, we are more confident to welcome wider and bigger surfing activities to be staged in our province,” Governor Rafy stated. Competition of the Pros The event was participated in by seven
countries namely France, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Sweden, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The 131 participants competed in different surfing competitions such as Surfing in Men’s Longboard 1000, Women’s Longboard 1000, Men’s Shortboard 3000, and Women’s Shortboard 3000. With grit and perseverance, the competitors exhibited their talents and hard work in all events, bringing out pride in their country. Rogelio “Jay-R” Esquivel from the Philippines bagged the highest award as the Champion in the Men’s Longboard Division. Esquivel is followed by Taka Inoue of Japan in Second Place. Deni Pirdaus from Indonesia and Benito Nerida from the Philippines equally placed Third.

In the Women’s Longboard Division, Japan reigned, winning all places as representatives Natsumi Taoka and Hiroka Yoshikawa hailed as Champion and Second Place respectively; the Third Place was bagged equally by Sakura Inoue of Japan and Daisy Valdez from the Philippines. For the Men’s Shortboard Division, Ketut Agus of Indonesia won as the Champion of the event. He was followed by Tenshi Iwami of Japan in Second Place. Keijiro Nishi of Japan and Rogelio Esquivel of the Philippines equally bagged the third place.

Japan, once again, was in the lead in the Women’s Shortboard Division as representatives Shino Matsuda, Anon Matsuoka, and Minami Nonaka equally with Indonesian Kailani Johnson won as Champion, Second Place, and Third Place respectively. Surfing for #LaUnionPROBINSYAnihan
The surfing event not only served as a boost for the tourism industry in the province, it also established the call of the province for #LaUnionPROBINSYAnihan, encouraging Kaprobinsiaan
and tourists alike to cultivate surfing as a sport and tourist destination in the province. This is another stepping stone in achieving the vision to position La Union as the Heart of Agri-Tourism in Northern Luzon by 2025.


Amianan Balita Ngayon