Wakeboarding Brings Hope to the Kids of the Phillipines

On the island of Siargao, Surigao Del Norte, almost all activities stopped. But some businesses still operate. They do their best to give back to the local people, to those who lost their job due to the halt of tourism.

The Philippines has been on a lockdown since the middle of March of this year. No tourists can enter the country. Effective today, traveling between the provinces requires a 14-day quarantine. The tourism industry, which accounts for 13 percent of its GDP, is non-existent. Almost all accommodations and restaurants are closed. Many local families have no more income, and there is no hope for improvement in the near future.
On the island of Siargao, South East of the Philippines, many islanders make their living as a surf instructor, tour guide, front desk officer, waitress, cook, or bartender. Most of them have lost their way of bringing food on the table for themselves or their relatives. The government has aided with a one-time unemployment support. However, the longevity of the situation is in need of a more sustainable solution.
Luckily, supporting initiatives have emerged from the local business owners of the island. Siargao Community Kitchen, consists of a group of volunteers who make daily meals for every family in the neighbourhood. Local businesses aid with funds or supply the necessary groceries. A dispatch car drives through town to deliver the meals, door by door.

At Siargao Wakepark, the island’s wakeboarding facility, doors are opened 3 times a week for the local kids to come eat and wakeboard. The wakepark relied on its customer database since its opening in July 2018. Wakeboard enthusiasts from all over the world aided the cause. Together with Siargao Map the objective is to carry out playful activities with children and provide for their basic needs.

‘It’s amazing to see the kids enjoy and forget about their daily worries. And some of them are actually becoming really good wakeboarders!’ says Joachim Ortojan, Assistant Manager of the wakepark.


Posted 3 December 2020

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