Filipino Surfers Nildie Blancada- Rietenbach, Philmar Alipayo, John Mark Tokong, Piso Alcala and Carlito Nogalo are All Set to Represent the Philippines for the 2017 WSL Asia Qualifying Series

The tower at Cloud 9. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard

It will be an exciting 2017 surfing season as WSL Asia is all set to become one of the most remarkable qualifying series this 2017. After relaunching WSL Japan region as WSL Asia, top surfers from China, Indonesia, the Maldives, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and the Philippines rallied their way to represent their country in the world qualifying center stage and climb the ladder to be included in the top caliber rankings of surf athletes around the world.


A Fundraising event organized by Siargao Island Surfers Association  was held in Siargao to help the Philippines’ top surfers for their travel expenses in Krui Sumatra and Keramas Bali Indonesia. Bayanihan spirit lives on. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard

Five of Philippines’ top surfers from Siargao Island, Piso Alcala, Carlito Nogalo, John Mark Tokong, Philmar Alipayo and the only female in the team Nildie Blancada- Rietenbach were given an opportunity to represent the Philippines in the upcoming inaugural event of the WSL Asia region (QS) 1,000 in Indonesia, The Krui Pro 2017 which will be held in the wave-rich West Coast of South Sumatra from April 15-20 at a left hander known locally as Ujung Bocur.

Arguably the most consistent and varied wave in the area, Ujung Bocur can hold massive swells as well as offer up a competitor’s dream mix of barrels, steep walls, and air sections in small and medium conditions. The Krui Pro will be the first time ever that a professional international surfing competition has been held in the area.

“We are prepared for this” says Philmar Alipayo who finished 2nd overall in the men’s division last year at the Asian Surfing Championships. “Although traveling to Krui is tough, tiring and will consume more time, we will make sure to represent our country better this 2017.” says Philmar. Unfortunately for Nilbie Blancada, 2016 Asian Surfing Championship women’s overall champion wasn’t able to join the team this year because of some passport issues according to her big sister Nildie.

The Filipino surf athletes from Siargao Island will also compete in one of the most prestigious surf events in Bali, the Komune Bali Pro this coming April 23-27.

Special thanks to Bravo Beach Resort Siargao, Harana Surf ResortKermit Surf & Dive EcoCamp Siargao Kudo Surf Community, “Greenhouse”, Siargao Inn Beach Resort, Cabanlet Law Firm, ICTSI, Gwapitos, Blackmarketph, Champion Fund, SOS and Cong. Matugas and to all who gave their efforts to send our finest surfers in the world surfing stage. Thank you for supporting our surf athletes.

Feast your eyes in these mind blowing images of the Philippines’ finest surf athletes featuring John Mark “Marama” Tokong, Philmar Alipayo, Piso Alcala, Carlito Nogalo and Nildie Blancada- Rietenbach captured by professional surf photographer nomad Hatsumi Ishibashi (IG: @Hatsumisurfboard) from Japan.

Beneath Cloud 9. John Mark “Marama” Tokong. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi
Aerial repertoire part 1. John Mark “Marama” Tokong. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Aerial repertoire part 2. John Mark “Marama” Tokong. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Above Cloud9. Philmar Alipayo. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Above Stimpy’s. Philmar Alipayo. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Piso Alcala Dropping the bomb. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Slide with pride. Piso Alcala. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Smashing that lip. Carlito Nogalo. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi. IG: @Hatsumisurfboard
Backside bottom turn. Nildie Blancada. Photo by Hatsumi Ishibashi.  IG: @Hatsumisurfboard

Japanese surf photographer nomad Hatsumi Ishibashi is a resident of the sea. Hatsumi’s work destinations are in Bali, sometimes in Metawai and often times Siargao. She’s currently in Siargao working for Kermit Surf & Dive EcoCamp as a surf photographer. She is also a contributor here at

Hatsumi’s office. Surfer: Martin Taniegra. Photo by Michael Eijansantos
Hatsumi Ishibashi. Photo by Michael Eijansantos

Get to know Hatsumi’s work through her website and her personal Instagram account,