(Manila, Philippines September 2011) Recognized for his natural surfing ability, Jay-R Esquivel has been given the honor of representing Billabong, -One of the largest and most influential apparel brands in the action sports industry. He is only the second Filipino athlete in history to be given such acclaim within a niche industry, first being Luke Landrigan in 2009, and both hailing from the small beach town of San Juan, La Union. Although penetrating the surfing culture late in the game, Filipinos are rapidly proving they can compete in the sport and his sponsorship means the world is taking notice.
In a country where basketball is king, despite the Filipino being vertically challenged, enter Jay-R, who demonstrates pure surfing talent in a pint-sized package. Surfing since the age of 7, this 4-ft wonder mastered the wave in front of his home in San Juan, La Union. Possessing “new school” acrobatics and veteran smooth style, Jay-R readily demonstrates that Filipinos have arrived and are being recognized for their natural ability to surf.
As with any other kid lucky enough to live on the beach and skateboard when the surf goes flat, Jay-R admits that he is “always dreaming of surfing epic hollow waves.” When given the chance this shy teen of very few words lets his surfing do the talking by taking top honors and winning the Billabong Occy Grom Comp in 2010.
A grommet (young surfer) that used to aspire for greatness by hand drawing the twin wave logo on his boards now takes center stage as one of Billabong’s official team riders. Witness Jay-R elevate his game and wave the Philippine flag as he competes against an international cast of the world’s top young talent, at the Billabong Pro/Junior this September 21-28, 2011 at Cloud 9, Siargao Island.
-the Surf Doc
Freesurf, Inc. is the sister company of Aloha Boardsports, and is the exclusive distributor of Billabong products in the Philippines. Billabong is the world leader in manufacturing action sports apparel, and specializes on surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding, and wakeboarding apparel and accessories. Freesurf, Inc. is opening the first Billabong flagship store in Powerplant Mall in Rockwell in April 2011. Freesurf, Inc. is also the distributor of brands such as Nixon watches and apparel, Von Zipper eyewear and apparel, and Sector 9 and Dakine products.
Aloha Boardsports, Inc. is a dynamic retail company with the commitment to carry brands true to the spirit of the surf and skate culture. As surfers and skateboarders ourselves, we recognize the need for functional as well as fashionable apparel and high performance equipment. With a keen eye, we bring in international surf and skate labels that local consumers would want and would be proud to own. We choose our products wisely, distribute our products strategically and sell them reasonably – all the while keeping our edge, so that Aloha Boardsports remains a breath of fresh air in the retail industry.
Aloha Boardsports is distinguished by its passion and dedication not just to the sports but also to its communities. The pure enjoyment of board-riding, shared experiences among people, and the raw energy of nature inspire Aloha to embrace freedom, vitality, and authenticity not just as an ideal but as a lifestyle.
All Images shot with the Pentax K5 ©2011 Mark Dimalanta Photo for Billabong