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Filipino surfer wins Billabong's International Surfing Competition

From the WAVES of CHALLENGES in life come the WAVES of VICTORY for Edito 'Peso' Alcala.

Skill, determination and an invincible faith in God made surfer Edito 'Peso' Alcala gloriously standing at the pedestal now. The new hope and inspiration of General Luna, Edito was the newly acclaimed champion of the recent Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational Surfing Competition held last September 27, 2008 at General Luna, Siargao Island.

Hailed from the remote area of Siargao Island, Edito Alcala or 'Peso' for most of his relatives and friends, was the third of the seven children of the proud, Mr. Edito Alcala, Sr. and Mrs. Rosalinda Alcala. This 20-year-old boy was raised with good character and divine beliefs with his loving parents. He was never into worldly things since he lived in a down-and-out family. Edito together with his seven siblings was being contentedly provided by their parents through fishing. Their means of living is through selling fishes in their locality. Due to poverty and scarcity of lucre, poor 'Peso' wasn't able to go to school even until high school, for he only end up until grade five during his elementary days. Until the world of surfing opened for Edito when a visitor named 'Carlos', a Filipino Seaman in Madrid invited to surf with him at the famed waves of Siargao. Right there and then, the zealous interest in surfing sprouted and was born. At the age of eleven he started to train and valiantly surf the fierce waves of Cloud 9. In the year 2003, he devotedly engaged himself in coaching on how to do basic surfing techniques on aspirants surfers like him. Long before the recent triumph came, 'Peso' had already marked a name in the said sport and had won several competitions not just in General Luna but also in other places in our country. With sheer determination and rigid training in surfing, the young, Edito became a Champion in Cabugao Open Surfing Competition in Cabugao, Ilocos Sur. He also was a two-time champ in North Siargao Surfing Competition (Open Division). Who would have thought that the once timid boy who only used to borrow surfing boards from a confidant and now became his trusted right-hand which named 'Mark', would be the next King of Cloud 9?

Edito 'Peso' Alcala, who was desperate enough to beat the defending champion, Wade Goodall of Caloundra, Queensland, Australia rode a perfect barrel in a 35-minute man-to-man final. But the young Alcala did not have it all in the final, since he still needs to fight back from a slow start just to achieve the breath-taking last-minute victory over Goodall in front of many proud Filipino who by then are filled with yells and cheers. Having the need to beat Goodall with nine points more, sitting in second with two minutes more to go exhibition time left, 'Peso' did an impressive maneuver when he wove through the belly of a Cloud 9 cavern and jag a heat-winning 9.43 ride.

According to the champ, he really can't believe he made it to the top, beating the reigning champion, Wade Goodall and be declared as the newly revered champion of Billabong Cloud 9 Invitational Surfing Competition. It was a dream come true according to Edito because he never did expected that he would get the second wave perfectly in time when Goodall made it in the first which by that, he earned a total of 18.16-points to Goodall's 17.77. He also added that through fervent prayers, an unbelievable divine intervention sets in.

As he was narrating the victorious story before the media, he said, while he was making it through the waves, Edito was really ardently praying that he would hit a perfect trick and would excellently get out of the barrel with the tight two-minute left given time. To his amazement as well as to the crowd watching before him, Alcala made it with a standing-ovation performance.

He knew he made a good turn when it barreled all the way down the reef and people can't help themselves but shout for joy and hooted him after he flicked off. Alcala, merrily went home with humble pride and surfed away $7,500 (USD) while Wade Goodall of Caloundra, Queensland, Australia heads home with $4,500 (USD) making him as 1st runner-up placing today.

With the $7,500 (USD) a number of plans arise. Along with the prize money he received, he planned to buy a motor bike. Ever since, it was Edito's noble dream to put up a surfing school in their own locality to help and train the upcoming generation who also had great aspiration in learning basic skills in surfing. So, he had also allocated something from the reward money to be used as capital to build such school and be able to make those dreams in reality. The money left will be saved most probably on a certain bank for future use.

Achieving ultimate success was never a piece of cake to Edito Alcala instead it was as challenging as walking into the sand with thorns. It was never easy at all because a constant discipline, practice and prayers that made him where he is right now. His great inspiration of making things outstanding was his family as well as the proud people of Surigao.

With the great heights of success, was a hope for every Surigaonons that Edito will be of great pride and a good example to the youths of today. Along with the inner aspiration to win in every competition was Edito's motto: "Kinahanglan maisog kay maisog sab an bayod!" (A surfer must be strong enough because the wave is also strong and tough!). Of what happened to Edito 'Peso' Alcala, was a sudden twist not just in his own life, but also to the people who expected a lot from him, that he can do more and can still go far, as said, "they will rise who strive for the highest place." (PGO-Media Bureau)

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