(photos from Amihan sa Dahican Facebook page and from Louie Bryan Mirafuentes Lapat)
A Filipino wins first place in the 18 to 28 years old category of the 6th Penang International Skimboarding Competition. It is not the first for Filipinos to win in this competition but for Sonny Boy “Bayogyog” Aporbo and his team, victory is sweet.
Bayogyog is a member of the Amihan sa Dahican from Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental also known as the skimboarding heaven of the Philippines. The water of this 7-kilometer long beach is where the Amihan boys eat, live and breathe.
Days are spent cleaning the beach line, doing household chores, taking care of the sea by patrolling it for illegal fishers and poachers of turtles. They also rent out their boards or teach skimboarding/surfing for beginners.
Smoking, drinking alcoholic drinks and doing drugs are an absolute no-no for the Amihan sa Dahican members.
Part of their promise to take care of Dahican Beach is to patrol the beach at night for turtles that lay their eggs along the shore/sand of the beach.
When this writer visited the area, a big Hawksbill turtle just laid down its eggs the night before. The Amihan sa Dahican members “rescued” the turtle from a rocky and isolated spot on the beach and guided it to a much safer spot.
After it laid its eggs, the turtle then went back to sea. Maybe it felt secure in the knowledge that the Amihan boys were taking care of her eggs.
Turtles are not the only ones that feel safe in Dahican. Being a sanctuary, dolphins, whales, whalesharks are spotted in the sea every now and then. The Amihan boys talk of dolphins frolicking in the sea when they go out surfing or diving.
This life of surfing, skimming and taking care of the sea not only makes champions like Bayogyog but that of people who make a difference to the environment. Congratulations, Bayogyog! Congratulations, Amihan sa Dahican! Keep up the good job!