PGMA opens 2nd Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament

PILAR, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte – Encouraged by the enthusiastic reception by international and local anglers who participated in last year’s game fishing tournament here, this town’s local government has decided to promote Siargao Island as Asia’s game fishing capital.

Pilar town has slated its 2nd Siargao Game Fishing Tournament here on Thursday, May 7, 2009 with no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo formally opening the tournament by flinging a baited fishing hook tied by line to a fishing rod into the Siargao Island waters.

The President will personally visit Siargao for the special event.

In keeping with her directive for the development and promotion of Central Philippines and part of Mindanao as ''tourism center'' in accordance with her super regions economic development strategy, President Arroyo last year joined Siargao island folks in launching their First Siargao Game Fishing Tournament.

The sea fishing derby is designed to establish and promote Siargao Island not only as a game fishing capital for local and international anglers but also as a favorite tourism destination and surfing paradise.

The second edition of the tournament is expected to make Siargao Island break into the tourist industry’s lexicon of “must visit” destinations not only for its beaches and surf sites but for game fishing as well.

Organizers of the event have expressed confidence the participants in this year’s event will double as more foreign anglers from Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Russia, Taiwan, the United States and other countries have already signified their eagerness to join the game fishing tournament.

Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Francisco T. Matugas, the “Father”
of the big fishing tourney, said the event is expected to again put the Philippines in the world map as an important and notable international game fishing venue.

He said the tournament will further boost the island’s tourism industry with its inviting world class “Cloud Nine” surfing sites and the largest mangrove forest plantation in the country with 8,760 hectares, pristine white sand beaches, and tropical marine life-rich coral reefs.

“Once fully developed, the Siargao tourism industry will be a major
contributor to the economy and will help uplift the lives of the people of Surigao del Norte,” stressed Matugas, who is also a former governor of his province.

Various infrastructure projects worth over P400 million, including roads, and airport development, are ongoing to make the scenic Siargao island more accessible to both domestic and foreign tourists.

Joining the President for the Thursday event are Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, and local leaders led by Matugas, and Pilar Mayor Lucio Gonzales.

Aside from the game fishing tournament, the regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE-13) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda-13) will hold a jobs fair and distribute scholarship vouchers, respectively, to assist displaced workers and residents of the province to find suitable jobs.

Surigao Today

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