La Union town ready to host surfers for 30th SEA Games | Inquirer Sports

La Union town ready to host surfers for 30th SEA Games

By: - Correspondent / @yzsoteloINQ
/ 03:57 AM November 27, 2019

La Union town ready to host surfers for 30th SEAG

RIDING THE WAVES Tourists seeking an adrenaline high have made San Juan, La Union, the surfing capital of the north. —WILLIE LOMIBAO

SAN JUAN, La Union, Philippines — With the surfing competition making its debut at the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, this town is expected to live up to its reputation as the “surfing capital of the north” after preparing for three months to host the event that will be held from Dec. 2 to Dec. 10.

Some 60 surfers from six participating countries will see action, with at least 4,000 spectators expected during the competition, said Gino Mabalot, incident commander of the event’s Task Force Emergency Response and Preparedness.


Foreign delegates have started arriving since Monday although the Philippine team has been here earlier to practice, Mabalot said.


He said local spectators will be cheering for the entire Philippine surfing team, but especially for Jay-R Esquivel and Daisy Valdez, who are both from this town.

“We have high hopes for the Philippine team to bag the gold because we have the home-court advantage,” Mabalot said.

“The waves here are suitable for surfing and are ready during this time of the year,” he said.

Mabalot, who also heads the municipal disaster risk reduction management office, said two other task forces have been organized to oversee the security and peace and order during the competition.

Special attention

He said “special attention was given to this SEA Games event because it is an international event and we have plenty of foreign delegates.”

“It’s also historic for the town because this is the first time that surfing is included in the SEA Games and it would be held in our town,” Mabalot told the Inquirer.


Lt. Col. Silverio Ordinado, chief of the province’s Police Community Affairs and Development Branch, said 1,360 security personnel from the Police Regional Office, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Army, the Philippine Air Force and the Bureau of Fire Protection will be deployed for the event.

Ordinado said they are targeting “zero incidence” of crime and mishaps during the surfing competition.

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“Although most of the [logistics] arrangements for the event are the responsibility of the national gaming organization, the local government’s role is to support the organizers,” Mabalot said, adding that part of the local government units’ support activities is the adoption of the international beach flag system that will guide surfers in identifying hazards on the beach.

TAGS: 2019 SEA Games, 30th SEA Games, SEA Games

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