Siargao’s Best Surfers will Represent the Philippines in the Prestigious Mentawai Pro Presented by Rip Curl


Manila, Philippines: The Mentawai Pro, one of the most prestigious surf contest in the world will once again host a world class surf competition headed by two of the top surf organizations, World Surf League and the Asian Surfing Championships.

Photo courtesy of ASC

Two of the best surfers from Siargao Island, John Mark Tokong and Piso Alcala will represent the Philippines in this event. Just to surf Lance Right in Mentawai is surely part their surf dream bucket list.

2014 Siargao International Surfing Cup champion Piso Alcala and 2015 champion John Mark “Marama” Tokong. Photo by Michael Eijansantos

Piso Alcala who competed last year in Bali is excited to go back to Indonesia to represent the Philippines for another international surfing contest.

Cloud 9 Green room. Piso Alcala. Photo by Tim Hain | ASC


One of the finest young surfers in the Philippines, 19 year old John Mark Tokong from Siargao, also known as Marama has been dominating surfing competitions in the Philippines for the past few years. With his exceptional skills and talent in surfing, bombing triple overhead barreling waves in his home break in Cloud 9 Siargao Island, Marama is a surf athlete that is rapidly evolving into a surfing champion.

Local shredder John Mark Tokong spend most of his surfing time above the lip. PIC ASP/Will H-S

We had a short chat with Marama the other day and he shared some inspiring words for some of the aspiring surf athletes.

MLOB: As you represent the Philippines for this WSL contest in Mentawai, what do you feel right now?

JMT: It is overwhelming, I feel very excited for this competition. It will also be my first time to see and surf Mentawai, I’m stoked to surf the waves and meet the people there. Mentawai is one of the best waves in the world and I’ll be there!!

MLOB: How will you prepare for this contest?

JMT: I surf everyday. I have a daily exercise routine that I do. I eat everyday at Kermit Restaurant in Siargao. I watch past contest to understand how to stay in the water and how to choose waves. Before Mentawai, I will be one week freesurfing in Krui (South Sumatra) with Gianni and Rose Grifoni. I will prepare mentally as well.

Local surfer John-Mark Tokong (PHL) winning his first ever WSL QS. CREDIT: WSL/Ed Sloan

MLOB: Did you ever dream of joining a world surf league contest back then when you’re still at the peak of your surfing career?

JMT: Of course, that’s the goal. Ever since I started surfing, I always watched Surf League Contests online and imagined myself to take part in those competitions. It was a dream even to think I will be competing in a such amazing competition. I never thought it would happen, but it s really happening!!!

Photo by Gianni Grifoni

MLOB: Who made this dream possible for you to compete in Mentawai, one of the best surfing spots in the world?

JMT: With the help of my extended family here in Siargao Island, the owners of Kermit Surf Resort Siargao, Gianni and Rose Grifoni gave me a chance to join this competition and do a month surf trip in Indonesia. They were the ones who encouraged me to join, help arrange my documents, support me and help me find more sponsors to travel to Mentawai. Dencio Dizon also it helped me a lot in everything. Without them it wouldn’t be possible. I would also want to thank a lot, Fat Lips Surf Shop (my sponsor), Savage surfboard, and Tokong Family.

Photo by Gianni Grifoni

MLOB: Lastly can you give an advice or word of encouragement to the young Filipino surfers who wanted to fulfill their dream of competing in the international surfing scene.

JMT: To the young and aspiring young Filipino surfers, I want you to remember: Sleep Eat Surf. Never stop trying. No drugs. To the kids continue going to school and keep your feet on the surf board. Stay humble.