International Wake Boarding at CamSur Thursday June 13, 2024 EDT 
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CamSurMar 26, 2009

2009 WWA Wake Park World Championships at CamSur

The Billboard
As I was walking around Legazpi, I saw a big billboard about an on-going international wake borading competition at the CamSur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Naga. With that, I was already on the bus for the 3 hour trip to Naga (the capital of CamSur). I easily found myself a P150/night lodging at Sampaguita Inn, and immediately, I took the short jeep ride to Pili, site of the CWC.

SM Naga
It's too bad SM Naga was not to open until a month after...sigh, I'd be gone by then! I love SM...specially in the provinces. Why? It's a catalyst for development and change. Usually, provinces have dated malls, dated movie houses, dated everything! And the local establishments are usually complacent about things. Now, if SM comes into town, we're talking about modern malls, modern movie houses, etc. The message is clear. If the local business owners don't clean up their acts or step up the plate modernizing what they have, the new kid in town is going to run them out of business. The complecency disappears. This spurs development and competition. The consumers get a bigger bang for their buck.

I find CamSur interesting. Given the governor's all-out development (Governor Luis Raymond F. Villafuerte, Jr.) of the place as the next tourism destination, the name has become synonymous to excitement...even its rural backwater-sounding name of Camarines Sur has been recoined into a hipster-sounding adrenalin buzz - CamSur!

CWC Accommodation
The housing program for this complex is serious business. Unlike some resorts that would put up a few cottages, CWC developed what might be called a housing subdivision, complete with different architectural designs/themes for every sector - containers, cabanas, villas and mansions. One such section was the block-wide 25-ft container housing area. Used-but-refurbished cargo containers were renovated and lined up to what could look like the Philippine's version of an upscale trailer park. The housing system was well planned, well developed and even well manicured. Interestingly enough, it's priced reasonably. Clearly, housing was designed to accommodate CamSur's increasing tourism profile without taking anyone to the cleaners.

Sub Culture
The competition was already in its 3rd day and in high gear. Riders came from all over the globe. As a spectatior unfamiliar with wake boarding, I was an outsider looking in. I could only notice the subtle nuances of a different sub-culture amongst the riders - finely built, low-waist board shorts, wake-techie talk, and an attitude all its own.

The complex has a skateboard playground complete with slides, half pipes, ramps and railings. Local riders started gathering at sundown, dong their own thing. Obviously, they also had their own community. I had a few passing conversation with some, but I was drawn to the party scene by the poolside.

The Party
There were a few local bands that played, but it wasn't too long before the wake boarders took to the stage and took over. The party was really for them, with the good gov'nor orchestrating in front and behind the scene. The governor's message came across like this: "We've laid out the red carpet for hard, enjoy, and tell the whole world about it! Then see you for next year's comp with more of your friends." If I were one of the boarders, that would certainly work. Hey, they were treated like royalty. These boarders didn't really need a nudge. They knew how to party and there was plenty of fuel to keep the fire raging.

Ending Thoughts
I am surprised and intrigued at how CamSur (which includes Caramoan), almost overnight, carved its way on the beaten tourism path. But given the little I've seen - the all-out effort to develop the facility and infrastructure, the political blessing and off course, the deep pockets, I don't think we've seen the best of CamSur yet.

--- TheLoneRider

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