OVER 100 Asia’s most talented and emerging surfers are now in the Philippines for an adrenaline-packed week as the country hosts the World Surf League (WSL) Baler International Pro in Baler, Aurora from February 1-7, 2024.
Sanctioned by the WSL together with the United Philippine Surfing Association (UPSA), Aurora Surf Riders Association, Incorporated (ASRAI), and the Local Government Unit of Baler, the Baler International Pro takes action in the high-performance beach-break peaks along Sabang Beach, promising an exhilarating competition for both shortboarders and longboarders participating in the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 and Longboard Qualifying Series (LQS) events.
Delivering his message during the competition’s opening ceremony, Department of Tourism Region III (DOT-3) Regional Director Richard Daenos expressed support to the staging of the competition in Baler which bodes well with the effort of the DOT under Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco’s leadership, to further develop and promote the country’s sports tourism product offerings.
“𝘞𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘚𝘓, 𝘜𝘗𝘚𝘈, 𝘈𝘚𝘙𝘈𝘐, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘎𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘉𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘳 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥-𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘳𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘫𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘵𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘉𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘳 — 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨. 𝘈𝘴 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘚𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘴 𝘛𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘮 𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭 𝘓𝘶𝘻𝘰𝘯, 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘪𝘮 𝘵𝘰 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘉𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘳, 𝘈𝘶𝘳𝘰𝘳𝘢 𝘢𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺’𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘧 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴,” Daenos said.
“𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘞𝘚𝘓 𝘈𝘗𝘈𝘊 𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘹𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘉𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯𝘵,” WSL APAC Tour Manager Ty Sorati remarked.
Baler holds a special place in the country’s surfing history, recognized as the “Birthplace of Philippine Surfing” through a bill that lapsed into law last August 6, 2023.
On its opening day on Feb. 1, the inaugural Baler International Pro greeted participants with glassy conditions and two-to-three feet of swell, marking the beginning of the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 event with the men’s Round of 48, followed by the women’s Round of 24 and men’s Round of 32.
Adding to the thrill, Baler is also hosting the first-ever Southeast Asian (SEA) Skateboarding Competition, with international and local athletes showcasing their skills from 1-6 February 2023.