3rd Annual Billabong Grom Comp Philippines
San Juan , La Union , Philippines: With a proper swell approaching this seaside town in Northern Luzon , the 3rd Annual Billabong Grom Comp Philippines appears all set to rock in San Juan , La Union to crown the Philippines ' young surf champion. Sponsored and held annually by Billabong and Stoked Inc (the Philippines' top boardsports retailer and exclusive distributor of Billabong) at the Urbiztondo beach break fronting the San Juan Surf resort, the groms -- or young surfers 16 years old and under - converge from all over the island chain to this surf spot, to kick up a storm, display some insane surf skills, and have an awesome tim
The grom comp started on a somber note as all the young surfers paddled out in honour of 12-year old Danjie Lace of Samar island. The young competitor died tragically just after last year's event in a roadside accident in his island hometown.
"We hit a flat spell last weekend, which was good as it was nice to honour Danjie in a tranquil South China Sea, " says Competition Director Luke Landrigan, who recently got signed as part of Billabong Asia's surf team. "In the end, JV Borromeo (Stoked Inc. President) and I decided to extend the waiting period another few days. We've rebooked flights, which has been a bit of a challenge seeing as the groms come from different islands. We've extend room stays and sorted out additional meals to feed this mini-army. The kids have really looked forward to this Billabong Grom Comp all year. They wanna show some wicked surf progression. They wanna crown their Filipino young champ. We're gonna make sure it happens for them!
Already on its third year, the Billabong Grom Comp in La Union effectively functions as the grom championship for the Philippines .
"Luke and I were inspired by Occy's Grom Comp with Billabong," says JV Borromeo of Stoked Inc., "and we thought it was a great way to give back to the community. We're happy to have hit our third year doing this event. The groms' style and progression gets madder every year."
JV continues, "surfing is a healthy and positive way for young people to express themselves. We've seen vividly how the growth of the mainstream surf scene in the Philippines has resulted in more livelihood and raised living standards in small towns with surf potential. More surfers coming in from Manila mean more jobs, more business, and more people learning how to be more conscious of their health and the environment. We're really honoured and stoked to be part of all this."
The annual grom comp's defending champ Jay-R Esquivel of La Union and inaugural grom comp Philippine champ PitPit Alipayo of Siargao Island are back for more action as well.
"I'm really excited that it happens here in my hometown," exclaims the diminutive 13-year old Jay-R, "I like the beach break cause you get to do all these fun floaters and aerials. I'm also really happy to see all my friends from as far as Lanuza, Samar, and Siargao."
A notably taller Pitpit "Jurassic" Alipayo was equally excited for the event, "I'm totally amped to be back here in La Union," he says, "am just practicing everyday, getting used to the beach break, and really looking forward to a great comp and giving all the surfers from Manila, who drove 4 hours up here to their homebreak to show us some love and support, a pretty cool show."
For now, the kids are just out in the still flat water, waiting for the swell, having a laugh, and enjoying each other's company. In the coming days, let's all hope they score epic!
The 3rd Annual Billabong Grom Comp Philippines is sponsored by: Billabong surf gear, Stoked Inc., JV Borromeo, Luke Landrigan, Billabong Surf School La Union, The San Juan Surf Resort, Lola Nanny's Surf Resort, FluidSurf, The La Union Surf Club (LUSC), Partas Bus Lines, MyPhone Philippines, and Green Zinc Clean Shores,
Text by Joncy Sumulong, Poster Photo by Tim Hain (ISC Media Director)
>> SURF NEWS INDEX <<