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14th Siargao int'l surfing cup opens

The 14th Siargao International Surfing Cup dubbed as the Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational 2008 officially kicks-off today, September 20, 2008 with 48 confirmed tube riders participated.

Countries who participated in the opening ceremony and will compete over the next six days include Australia, Indonesia, France, Japan, Philippines, and the United States.

Gen. Luna Mayor Felipe Espejon, in his welcome message thanked the Lord for the wonderful weather and urged the competitors to foster the spirit of sportsmanship in the event.

Billabong Southeast Asia Marketing Director, Peter Thew on the other hand acknowledged the efforts on their local counterparts and sponsors and thanked them for the support. Thew was also indebted with the President's daughter Luli Macapagal-Arroyo for the assistance she extended to the event. "Thank you very much for your help," said Thew. He also bared that the pre-surfing event held in SM Mall of Asia last week was a resounding success.

Meanwhile, Surigao del Norte Board Member Melva Garcia, chairman of the committee on Tourism talked about surfing as part of the lives of the Siargaonon.

"Can you imagine Siargao without surfing, I don't think so. This is already a part of your life, right?", Garcia noted.

Meanwhile, Garcia called on the people to unite regardless of their political affiliation for the common good of Siargao, dubbed as the income drawer of the tourism industry in the country.

DOT Sports and Wellness Director Cynthia Lazo, the event's keynote speaker also talked about the importance of sports tourism in attracting foreign tourist in the province.

The opening ceremony ended with the ceremonial breaking of the surf board with the Billabong and other local officials.

Surfing competition will start tomorrow, September 21 at Cloud 9, Tuason Point with the first round of qualifying heats and will end on Friday, September 26, 2008. (PIA)

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