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Siargao revives International Game Fishing Tournament

Siargao revives Int’l Game Fishing Tournament

As a proof of its resurgent tourism industry, the municipal government of Pilar recently revived the Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament, the longest-running angling event in the country which began in 2008.

Top Winner Santiago Gonzales fifth from the left at the awarding ceremonies.

Last held in 2019, the three-day sporting event marked its 13th staging with 31 participants from the Philippines, Japan, Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Local angler Santiago Gonzales of the host town emerged as the grand winner with his gross catch of 102.7 kgs and the biggest catch of a 41-kg blue marlin. He also bagged the P 100,000 grand prize under the Biggest Billfish Category, while his boatman, Abeth Castillo, won P 20,000.

Canadian Dave Sharpe topped the biggest trevally category with his 6.7-kilo catch, while Gen. Santos City fishing magnate Marfenio Tan ruled the Biggest Tanguige Category with his 11.4-kilo catch.

Siargao International Gamefishing Tournament founder ex-governor Francisco Matugas
Siargao International Gamefishing Tournament founder and ex-governor Francisco Matugas.

Pilar mayor Maria Liza Resurreccion expressed elation over the resumption of the prestigious sports fishing tourney despite the limited resources brought about by the pandemic and typhoon Odette in late 2021, which destroyed most parts of Siargao.

She said that this year’s edition is special because of the support of all the local governments in Siargao, despite the smaller number of participants and lesser catch. The tourney is backed by the municipal governments of Gen. Luna, Del Carmen, Dapa, San Benito, Sta. Monica, Burgos, San Isidro, and Socorro, as well as Claver town in mainland Surigao Del Norte.

She noted that this year’s smaller catch is a wake-up call for authorities to ensure the sustainability of marine resources in the Pacific town.

The event’s sponsors are the House of Representatives, the Office of Rep. Francisco Jose Matugas II, the Department of Tourism, and the DOT Caraga Regional Office.

Private supporters are Hiragana, Cabanas Grill, Restaurant, Smart, and Solane.

Meanwhile, former provincial governor and Gamefishing Tournament founder Francisco Matugas emphasized that Siargao is on its way to recovery as international events begin to unfold in the island.

Siargao International Gamedishing Tournament ceremonial casting of the line
Siargao International Gamedishing Tournament ceremonial casting of the line

In October last year, the Siargao International Surfing Cup, which is sanctioned by the World Surf League (WSL) Asia Pacific returned to the popular Cloud 9 surf site in Gen. Luna.

He vowed that local authorities will endeavor the continuity and greater magnitude of future editions of global sporting events in the island.

In photo doing the ceremonial casting of the fishing line during the tournament’s opening ceremonies are mayor Maria Liza Resurreccion, Jeasa Gonzales, Surigao del Norte first district congressman Francisco Jose Matugas II, guest of honor Senator Imee Marcos, lawyer Francisco Matugas, and DOT assistant secretary Christopher Morales.

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