October in the town of Gubat, Sorsogon celebrates surfing. And no other event says “Sun, Sea and Surf!” louder than the Lunad sa Balod National Surfing Competition and Music Festival. This three-day activity was held on Oct. 19 to 21, 2018 as part of Sorsogon’s Kasanggayahan Festival and was Co-Presented by the Gubat Sorsogon Surfriders Association, Inc. (GSSA), the Buenavista Surf Camp, the Provincial Government of Sorsogon, the Provincial Tourism Office of Sorsogon, the Municipality of Gubat, Sorsogon, the Bicol University and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
With this being the 4 th year for Lunad sa Balod, many of the guests were already familiar with the set-up of surf competition, ultimate frisbee, beach volleyball, skim boarding and surf lessons by day and the music festival and beach party by night.
The competition started off with the longboard categories for day 1, shortboard categories for day 2 and the finals for all categories on day 3, culminating in the Awarding Ceremony as part of the last night of the Music Fest. It was with great pride that Neil Sanchez of Baler returned to Gubat to compete and won as champion for the Men’s Open Shortboard division for the 3 rd year in a row. Another defending champion, Daisy Valdez of La Union, also succeeded in winning the Women’s Longboard title for her second year competing at Lunad sa Balod. It was Jeff Dela Torre of La Union who won as champion for the Men’s Open Longboard category; Lilay De Los Santos of Daet, Camarines Norte for the Women’s Open Shortboard category; and first time competitor from Siargao, Benladen Arjona, snagged the title for the Grommets (ages 15 below) Shortboard category.
At night, despite the occasional rain showers, the beach-front dance floor by the stage was never empty. The crowd partied to rock, ska, reggae and EDM! Some of the performers even went down from the stage to continue the show together with their fans.
Lunad sa Balod 2018 had a turnout of over 6,000 guests. The general consensus: “Sobrang sulit na experience!”
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