I am so happy when I heard the news from friends that Sonny Boy “Bayugyug” Aporbo was proclaimed champion during the 6th Penang International Skimboarding Competion that happened last September 15-16 in Penang, Malaysia.
TRAINING BACK HOME
Just 2 weeks ago I was with Bayugyug and the rest of the Amihan Boys in Dahican Beach, Mati City. I was fortunate enough to see how they prepared and trained for this competition. Rising early morning to run or practice skimboarding and even carrying stones under the sea to strengthen the lungs. I was with them eating fish and squids, and sometimes chicken or just plain noodles. These things flashed back into my mind when a friend told me that Bayugyug won the championship.
Traveling with Bayugyug is a close friend, Winston Plaza who also won in the stand-up paddle board race. He came in 2nd when an Australian beaten him during the Finals.
You can check the Results and Highlights on My Life Onboard‘s account.
I wrote this to share what they have gone through before finally setting foot to Malaysia.
DENIED OF GOING OUTSIDE OF THE COUNTRY
The afternoon of September 13, Winston Plaza and Sonny Boy “Bayugyug” Aporbo arrived at Clark International Airport from Davao City. Complete with documents and invitation letters from the organizers; passport valid and all pertinent papers needed for their departure. They also have a return ticket to assure the Bureau of Immigration that they are coming back.
But something went wrong, someone from the Bureau of Immigration didn’t granted them exit because he was looking for a letter from the Mayor that allows these two to compete abroad (Do they really need this?). The two, not knowing what to do (it was their first time to go abroad), was forced to contact the Mayor of Mati City. Time passed and they missed their flights to Kuala Lumpur that day (insert *^#@5%&^ smiley here ____). They should be at Penang a day before the competition so Bayugyug can practice and feel the ocean for the competition. To made it worse, the immigration official even said to use their skimboards and start paddling to Malaysia from the Philippines (WHATDA?!!!!).
I was asking them if they remember the name or the face of the officer. Fortunately for the officer, they weren’t able to get his name, but they told me that he looks like turtle, fat and bald. I wonder who that officer was and I hope that someone from the BI can look into this, I believe they have CCTV camera in the airport.
Imagine if these skimmers just went back to Davao Oriental after this traumatic event.
SOME PINOYS HELPED
So Winston and Bayugyug stayed at the airport, hungry and trying to save every money they have for Malaysia. Some Filipinos helped by giving them food and Energen. Thanks to thess angels.
The next day, the letter from the Mayor came and they bought new tickets for KL (Sucks right?). And they finally arrived at KL. Because of the delay, they missed the last bus trip to Penang so they stayed a day in KL, resorting to going there on the day of the competition itself. Stressed and tired they arrived minutes before Bayugyug’s 1st heat.
As Bayugyug is properly trained by Kuya Jun Plaza, he managed to get through all of these odds and won the under 20 category, bringing home lots of freebies from Quicksilver and a 700RM cash prize.
Winston told me that when its Bayugyug’s heat already the other 3 will not compete anymore as there is no competition. He ripped the waves and won over Malaysians, Thais, Singaporeans, Chinese, Filipinos and many more.
Winston on the other hand, won 2nd place during the Stand-up Paddle Boarding Competition. He was beaten by an Australian.
They also told me that because they don’t have enough budget for the competition, they just go to where they can ask for food. They even slept at the hotel lobby or outside their friend’s hotel room while in Penang.
When they went back to the Philippines they were rejoicing and happy in spite of the challenges along the way. Thankful to God for the win.
IN THE NEWS
You can watch the feature that GMA 7 News did yesterday:
As of this writing, I learned that Bayugyug is being courted to live in Malaysia and continue training for steeper competitions in the US, Australia and China. Some big personalities from other countries want to sponsor Bayugyug for everything but he will compete for their country. Hmmmm…
On Philippine Skimboarding. We have been winning the Skimboarding competitions in Penang for the past years. Isn’t time for us to do an International Skimboarding Competition right here in our own country? This is another boost for tourism right?
On Bayugyug. I guess its high time for private individuals to support Pinoy talents such as this. The judges present during the competition told Winston that it was as if a PRO Skimmer from the Philippines visited Malaysia.
In my book, Bayugyug is a PRO, problem is support is still lacking both from the government or private sector. I wish this will be read by right-minded individuals wanting to help Philippine Skimboarding.
Note: All skimboarding photos are grabbed from My Life on Board Facebook Page.
You can also watch the Youtube video here.