Looking for a venue to release the daredevil in you? – a place where you can perform your kick flips in the air or execute your turndowns in your bicycle? Check out the Thirdworld Skatepark in Baluarte, Molo, Iloilo City. Just take a Molo Baluarte jeepney in front of Molo Church and ask the driver to drop you off in front of the skatepark. Not everyone in Iloilo is familiar with the park, so I suggest you sit near the driver if you do not want to get lost. J

The Thirdworld Skatepark has been a refuge for skaters and bikers in Iloilo for the past eight years. The place is owned by the Gregorio Family who lives nearby. Just recently, Mr. Stephen Guanco took over the place. Mr. Stephen originally was a tenant. He had his own mini convenient store just outside the skate park. After the unfortunate death of Mr. Gregorio, Mrs. Gregorio entrusted the management of the skate park to him. Together with his wife, they maintained the store to accommodate the needs of the players and are very welcoming hosts.

There is an entrance fee of Php20.00 for players and spectators.  The Thirdworld Skatepark is open every day from 7 in the morning until 9 in the evening. The place has stair sets, steep ramps and hand rails perfect for exhibitions.

Last January 2014, a tournament called Hampang (Ilonggo word for play) 2014 was organized and sponsored by Vans and other companies. It was the players’ way of celebrating the very popular Iloilo Dinagyang Festival. Forty (40) daredevils hailing from Iloilo, other provinces in Panay, Cebu, Bacolod and even Manila flew in to take part in this exhilarating sports event.

Three Ilonggos bagged the top three slots and are bound for Manila this June 2014 for the finals- all expense paid by Vans. The champion is a Filipino-American; they fondly call as “Ping”. His real name is Chris. He had been skateboarding for thirteen years and when his family decided to come home, one of the first things he did was to look for a skate park. Coincidentally, there is one and might be the only one in Iloilo for now, which is just a five-minute walk from his house.

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Aside from skating, the park also provides a great venue for bikers and graffiti artists. During the Hinampang 2014, there were also a BMX Competition and Grafitti Battle.  More than anything else, it is a space for the youth to hone their talents and meet new friends. When Ping was asked why he liked to skate, he said it was fun and that he had built a lot of friendships in the past years.

Ping has organized an annual tournament last year and will be having the second one this July 2014. He is hoping that more Ilonggos and other Filipinos would join the event and have a deeper appreciation of the art of skateboarding.

Though there are also a lot of sports, skateboarding is another great way to burn calories and stay fit.  Depending on your size and the effort you exert, one can shred between 150 and 500 calories per hour.  In addition, skating, despite the fact that it seems strenuous and dangerous, is considered a stress reliever by the players.  It helps them take their minds off things and boosts their confidence and gives them the feeling of accomplishment especially when they land perfectly.

Keeping safety as the priority, all the players said one will not regret trying it.

 

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