This time, we got to witness, albeit briefly, the 7th Odyssey Waves National Surfing Competition held at Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar held 6-8 October 2011. We were able to shoot some on the last day, but reluctantly had to head back to Tacloban City mid-afternoon before the announcement of the final winners.

The last time we were at the Odyssey Waves surfing competition was four years ago, in 2007.

Surfing participants this year came all the way from La Union, Baler, Pagudpud, Manila, Siargao, Lanuza, and, of course Leyte and Borongan, Eastern Samar.

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While rummaging through my photo library – organizing and updating them and doing back-ups – I ran into a gold mine of several folders containing hundreds of unpublished photos!

I’ll have to say I was not totally unaware of its existence; I further confess it’s a classic case of procrastination on my part.

Also, a series of ensuing events and circumstances further buried these folders back into my baul – among them not-so-pleasant ones the mind automatically chooses to set them aside (to be dealt with later, but when?)

Among the photos I found were those taken during an 8-day inter-regional marathon caravan we took in 2007, conducted by the Department of Tourism of Region 13 (Caraga), Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) and Region 5 (Bicol) that saw us traversing the Maharlika Highway from Agusan del Norte all the way to Camarines Sur. No mean feat.

Don’t get me wrong; a few of these photos were actually published in the net – the more prominent and interesting ones – but most of them got buried deep owing to its sheer volume (it was an 8-day event!) and the not-exactly exciting prospect of rummaging through all of them and doing post-processing on the chosen ones.

So having said that as a backgrounder, let me feature first photos taken in Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte.

The Pansukian Tropical Resort was the first resort built in Siargao Island – a remote island located in the easternmost border of Surigao del Norte province in Mindanao facing the Philippine Deep and the mighty Pacific Ocean. Over the years Siargao has gotten to be known as the surfing capital of the Philippines.

Built by a Frenchman in the middle of a lush tropical mangrove forest with a lagoon and a river running through it, and with a beach front facing the sea, the Pansukian Tropical Resort stands out as one of the more prominent paradise-like exclusive hideaways in the remote island.

Its Balinese architectural theme makes one feel like being in another faraway land.

I’ve heard earlier that the resort’s architectural-designer group was the same one which designed and built the Surf Camp Resort in Calicoan Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. One cannot miss the striking resemblance.

And, of course, when one goes to Siargao, one goes to surf. Or see others surf.

And Cloud 9 sits right there at the island’s major surfing area.

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We attended an island wedding recently at Calicoan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

It was quality bonding time for the family. Time to unwind and destress. And definitely an opportune time to shoot anew the island’s teeming natural resources.

The island is still unspoiled and very tranquil.

Most photos were taken at the Surf Camp Resort.

View more photos and slideshow: http://gerryruiz.callezaragosa.com/p883649808

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