Press Release
December 10, 2019

La Union surfer commended for rescuing Indonesian competitor during SEA Games

A Filipino surfer in La Union might have lost his aspiration to win a gold during the Southeast Asian Games surfing competition but won the country's heart when he saved an Indonesian competitor from drowning last December 6.

The Senate on Monday adopted Senate Resolution No. 230, taking into consideration Senate Resolution 258, to honor Roger Casogay for risking his life to save Indonesian Arip Nurhidayat. The resolutions were introduced by Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go and Sen. Nancy Binay respectively.

According to the resolution, Nurhidayat was swept from his surfboard and tossed by the rolling waves in the middle of the men's longboard surfing competition in San Juan, La Union when Casogay rescued him.

"Casogay rescued his competitor, showcasing the true heart of a champion by setting aside his goal of capturing a gold medal and saved the life of a competitor without hesitation," Go said.

"His quick response in the face of danger should be commended and honored for he has shown greatness, not by garnering medals but by displaying an act of heroism and courage. This clearly shows that humanity transcends way beyond any form of commendation, distinction and medal," he added.

Go said Indonesian President Joko Widodo thanked Casogay, saying that "while winning the competition and upholding sportsmanship is important, display of humanity is above all."

Go assured Casogay that he will be conferred the Order of Lapu-Lapu by President Rodrigo Duterte whether or not he wins in the competition.

He observed the humility of the 25-year-old La Union native, who told him that saving Nurhidayat was a normal thing among the surfers. He said Casogay's statement gives us a glimpse of the spirit of brotherhood and camaraderie that exists within the surfing community.

For her part, Binay said the accomplishment and heroism displayed by Casogay has once again displayed the selflessness and excellence of Filipinos which bring immense pride and honor to the country.

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