The measure declaring the town of Baler in Aurora province as the “birthplace of Philippine surfing” has lapsed into law.
Republic Act (RA) 11957, the new law, recognizes Baler as “one of the premiere surfing sites in the country” and one that earned a “significant spot in the history and origin of Philippine surfing.”
“The State recognizes the role of tourism as a driver of economic growth and development and shall, therefore, pursue policies that cultivate, strengthen and promote the heritage of our tourism destinations,” RA 11957 read.
“Towards this end, it shall endeavor to underscore and feature the historical significance and origins of our world-renowned tourism destinations.”
Surfing in Aurora province started in 1972 when Steve Scott, a surfer who was then staying in Subic Naval Base, went to the eastern coast of Luzon with his surfboard and discovered the waves of the then untouched town of Baler.
While there are many surfing sites in the country, Baler stands out as it holds the oldest local surfing community which is still existing until today.
Baler also offers a variety of surfing sites spanning from the right-hand reef break of Cobra Reef up to the comfortable sandy bottom break of Sabang Beach.
An annual surfing competition, the Aurora Surfing Cup, is also held to support the development of the growing surfing community and provide them with an avenue to showcase their skills and talents.
If the President does not act on a proposed law submitted by Congress, it will lapse into law after 30 days of receipt, according to the Official Gazette. It lapsed into law on Aug. 6.
RA 11957 takes effect 15 days after its complete publication in the Official Gazette or any two newspapers of general circulation. (PNA)