Friday, September 15, 2017

All systems go for 19th National Surfing Cup in Siargao

By Susil D. Ragas

SURIGAO CITY, Surigao del Norte, Sept. 15 (PIA) – It’s all systems go for the National Surfing Cup which will be held on September 16 at Cloud 9, General Luna town, Siargao Island.

Now on its 19th year, the local government unit of General Luna is once again, hosting the event on Sept. 15 to 21. The tournament, which is sanctioned by the Philippine Surfing Championship Tour, is formally opening on Sept. 16. Registration of participants has already started.

Surfers from various parts of the country have already confirmed their participation. The winners for this year’s national surfing cup will compete for the Siargao International Surfing Cup slated on Sept. 23-30.

Other side events are also lined up for the weeklong activity, that include: 3 cock derby (Sept. 16); Zumba sa Boulevard by senior citizens and grand alumni homecoming of General Luna National High School (Sept. 19); General Luna fiesta opening program and ribbon cutting of Siargao Island Tiange-Tiange (Sept. 20); dawn procession and the Voice Teens finalist concert (Sept. 21); and Misa Concelebrada, Sadjaw Siargao 2017: street dance showdown during the Island Festival and awarding of the 19th National Surfing Cup (Sept. 22).

After the culmination of the National Surfing Cup, the opening of the 23rd Siargao International Surfing Cup will commence with a welcome dinner and entertainment on Sept. 23. (PIA-Surigao del Norte)


Happy Feet

BUTUAN CITY, Sept. 11 (PIA) - Teodulo Polea was wistful as he talked about his life as a shoemaker. His 10-year stint in Rubberworld Philippines brought back happy memories. On his seventh year, he had been promoted to Production Foreman and enjoyed what he did until the company fell in dire straits and had to enforce worker retrenchment.

In 1990, Polea resigned from the company and went home to Leyte. When he realized there was nothing his hometown could offer, he returned to Manila. While waiting for an application abroad, he worked as a mano-mano shoemaker in Quiapo. This led him to work for Mr. Quickie, another shoe-related business.

In 2012, Polea got hired by a shoe factory in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After two years, he returned to Butuan, his wife’s hometown, and set up a shoe repair shop. When he realized that it could not sustain his family’s needs, he and his wife made Karacas slippers.
Polea bought raw materials from Cagayan de Oro and made 15 pairs of slippers a day. Fate dealt him a blow when his major consignee, a women’s cooperative of a palm oil company, closed shop to avoid rebel attacks in the area.

Not to be discouraged, Polea approached Stephen Kintanar, Chief of the Business Development Division of Department of Trade and Industry-Agusan del Norte. In 2014, with Kintanar’s help, Polea was able to register the Emenville Shoemakers Association (ESMA) with the Department of Labor and Employment.

His perseverance paid off in 2015, when ESMA was given two high speed sewing machines and one grinding machine through the Shared Service Facility Program (SSF). The Association has since gotten packaging and marketing support from the Negosyo Center (NC) - Butuan, too.

Today, ESMA produces at least 210 pairs of slippers and sandals which they consign to two DTI NCs, Langihan’s Happy Enterprises, a stall for Senior Citizens, a women’s cooperative in Agusan del Sur and other market outlets in the city.

ESMA has provided earning opportunities to at least 25 stay-at-home mothers enrolled in the 4Ps and a number of out of school youth who cut, paste and sew different parts of ESMA slippers and sandals. Polea pays them P7.00 for each finished piece.

Ever conscious of quality control, Polea mans the lasting section of production and does the toe, side and heel lasting himself. He needs to train ESMA members for a year, at least, before he can be confident that nothing will go to waste.

To date, ESMA has come out with two designs for men and 7 designs for women, incorporating indigenous materials--- umbak and coco beads, in their latest designs. Polea hopes to make Karacas and ESMA Ladylove available in all Caraga stores and encourage patronage for locally-made footwear with the help of the NC-Butuan through continuous product development.

Polea is one of the 25 mentees of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program’s first batch in Butuan City. (DTI-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)