By Alexander Lopez
PILAR, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, April 5 (PNA) – The best anglers from around the world are set to compete in the four-day 2017 World Game Fishing Competition in this town, which will kick off on Thursday until Sunday.
This year’s competition will be spearheaded by the Department of Tourism and the Surigao del Norte provincial government.
Mary Jean Camarin, DOT-Caraga officer-in-charge, told reporters on Wednesday that 58 professional anglers have registered to join this world event.
“We expect that more anglers will arrive to register as feelers were sent via online of their intention to compete in this year’s game fishing in Pilar,” Camarin said.
She said the competing anglers will come from Russia, the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan and other countries in Europe.
“They will compete on the biggest catch for sailfish, marlin, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado,” Camarin added.
The DOT has allotted a budget of PHP10 million for this year’s international game fishing competition, she said.
Close to 100 anglers from various parts of the world joined last year’s 9th Siargao Game Fishing Tournament that was also held here, she said.
Surigao del Norte Governor Sol Matugas said Pilar town is now considered a fast-growing tourist destination in the island.
“We are expecting a big number of tourists to come for this year’s tournament, which is considered as the biggest game fishing event to be held in the country,” Matugas pointed out.
The provincial government, DOT and the local government of Pilar have already finalised the schedules of the tournament as well as the other tourism activities intended for local and foreign tourists.
Aside from the tournament, some of the tourism activities include island discovery tours, cooking demonstrations, culinary arts contest, cultural street dancing, triathlon (running, swimming, boating) contest, Zumba dancing, singing contest, tiange-tiange (market) and inter-school table skirting.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was invited to open the event, said Surigao del Norte 1st District Rep. Bingo Matugas.
He said that Alvarez was instrumental to the increase of the budget of this year’s game fishing competition.
Facilities on the island have greatly improved as anglers, tourists and locals can easily reach Siargao via SkyJet airline, which has daily direct flights from Manila to Sayak (Siargao) National Airport, aside from the daily flights from Cebu to Siargao and vice versa by Cebu Pacific.
The island is now considered as the game fishing and surfing capitals in the country.
Two world surfing events are also held in Siargao every year – the International Women’s Surfing Cup every month of June and the Siargao World Surfing Competition every September.(