This adage was proven once more when the first batch of Miss Universe 2016 delegates recently visited Siargao Island, dubbed as the country’s surfing mecca, to kick off the pageant’s promotional tour around the country’s top destinations.
Miss Philippines Maxine Medina led the 12 candidates who visited the famed Cloud 9 surfing spot in General Luna town, acclaimed as the world’s eighth best surfing site by the CNN Go travel portal.
Joining her were Miss USA Deshauna Barber, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Htun, Miss South Korea Jenny Kim, Miss China Li Zhenying, Miss Vietnam Ngo Tra My, Miss New zealand Tania Dawson, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Indonesia Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane, Miss Australia Caris Tiivel and Miss Malaysia Kiran Jassal. The ladies got their feet wet, quite literally, riding the waves on a surfboard and described the island’s pristine charm as “paradise-like” with its powdery sand and crystalline water.
Contestants were hosted for lunch by the triple-A Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa; the provincial government of Surigao del Norte, headed by Gov. Sol Matugas; the First District Congressional Office, under Rep. Bingo Matugas; and the Department of Tourism-Region 13, led by Officer in Charge Mary Jean Camarin.
Making the whirlwind day trip more exciting is the clockwork red-carpet welcome and reception put together by the local government and private stakeholders, led by Melot Abejo of Siargao Bleu, who only had four days to prepare for the big day.
Situated by the Pacific seaboard off Surigao del Norte province in northern Mindanao, the Siargao island group is composed of nine rustic towns.
Siargao’s other attractions include Magpupungko Rock in Pilar; the 4,000-hectare mangrove forest and Sugba Cove in Del Carmen; Sohoton Cove in Socorro; white-sand beaches; scuba-diving sites; waterfalls; skimboarding spots; and scenic viewdecks.
Image credits: George Tapan