Pinoy kids make waves at Surf in the City Festival
EASTERN SAMAR, Philippines – They may look like ordinary kids but wait until you see them break waves like professionals.
Kai Kenneth Alcala and Marionelle "Nano" Capacite will compete head-to-head in the last leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour in Surf in Borongan, Eastern Samar, from December 16 to 23.
Though 10-year-old Kai is the youngest surfer in the competition, his age didn’t stop him from topping the initial heat of his category.
Kai started surfing when he was 4 years old. His parents are surfing enthusiasts, so it comes as no surprise that Kai followed in their footsteps.
Kai's godmother Nildie Blancada described him as “very motivated” in pursuing his surfing career.
“I think most of his time and his life is all about surfing,” Blancada said.
When asked about balancing Kai’s education and his surfing career, Blancada said that Kai is being homeschooled to avoid conflicts in schedule.
“Whenever we have competitions like this, his homeschool would really give him time to prepare, so it’s not a problem. And he’s really good in school too,” Blancada added.
In January 2018, Kai underwent a month-long training in Australia, sponsored by an international surfing brand and a local airline in the country. This gave him an opportunity to further hone his skills and experience a variety of waves when surfing.
Local surf icon on the rise
Kai is not the only young superstar in Surf in the City Festival, where the last leg of the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour is being held. One Borongan local is starting to leave a mark in the surfing community.
Nano Capacite started breaking the waves of Barangay Bato beach when he was 8. Unlike Kai, Nano’s parents are not surfers, but they too have been supportive of him ever since Nano first trained with his cousin.
Nano, now 11, said that someday he wants to become like his surfing inspiration Philmar Alipayo, who knows how to “fly” over waves.
Nano joined two junior surfing competitions in Sorsogon and in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, but failed to land a podium finish in both instances.
“Parang laro lang. Enjoy. Dagdag experience din (It’s just like a game. I enjoyed it. It also adds to my experience),” Nano said when asked about how he felt after losing twice.
During the Surf in the City Festival, Kai and Nano go head-to-head in securing the top finishes. More than the cash prize, it's mostly about proving one’s self to gain honor. As they continue breaking the waves in Borongan, Kai and Nano are showing spectators a glimpse of the future of Philippine surfing.
With around 103 surfers from all over the Philippines, Surf in the City is the biggest tourism event of the year for Borongan City.
The event was organized by the Surfriders Club Eastern Samar (SCES), in cooperation with the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour (PSCT), and the Department of Tourism. – Rappler.com