BORONGAN CITY – Jesus Lawrence “Eboy” Quitorio, a 27-year-old local surfer from this city had just started surfing early this year.
But even if he is new in the sport, Quitorio has already earned the distinction of being the first person with a disability (PWD) to become an internationally accredited surfing instructor.
Because of his family’s circumstances, Quitorio, who has a speech and movement difficulties, has not been given any official medical diagnosis. Now an orphan, he currently lives with his brother in Brgy. Sabang South, this city.
For this year’s surf competition, Quitorio served as a surf instructor and lifeguard.
In October 2021, he made waves when he became the first Filipino surfer to become an accredited surfing instructor by the International Surfing Association. He underwent training as part of the Surfriders Club of Eastern Samar’s (SCES) preparation for hosting Surf in the City.
The training was organized by the Department of Tourism as one of the steps in promoting the region as the next site for surfing in the Philippines.
Prior to surfing, Quitorio had been playing skimboarding for 15 years. In December 2019, he won the skimboarding event during the first Surf in the City competition.
Just this year, he decided to change his sport after seeing his friends enjoying riding big waves.
He learned through the help of his friend, Christian Badillo, who also acts as his interpreter.
“Life may be difficult but just learn to enjoy it; whatever condition maybe,” he said when asked what is advised to those who are suffering physical deformities like him but want to engage in surfing.
As a surfing instructor, Quitorio now makes P1,000 to P1,500 a week. The fee comes from tourists and locals that train under SCES. The amount collected is divided among the surf instructors.
He also dreams of competing on the international stage, and of owning a shop where he can sell surfboards and surf accessories
Quitorio is an example of how surfing can provide opportunities to the youth of Borongan, according to Surf in the City chair Rupert Ambil.
The Surf in the City event goal is to raise athletes like Quitorio to compete in the national event.
“Eboy is a good example of how sports like surfing can improve the lives of our youth in Borongan. Our dream for this competition is to train local surfers and empower them to compete in international surfing events. We believe that with the right support, the next surfing gold medalist can come from Borongan,” Ambil noted.