The Sipalay Spike


Beach volleyball players fighting for the ball during the 2023 BVR on Tour

If you’re tired of spending a perfectly sunny weekend on overcrowded beaches, then head on down south to Sipalay City, Negros Occidental’s very own slice of tropical paradise, now also becoming one of the country's hottest summer sports destinations. With its sandy white shores, renowned diving sites, world-class tourism facilities, together with the city’s innately vibrant sports culture, Sipalay has become the top getaway choice for sunset chasers, adventure seekers, and sports enthusiasts. Indeed, to this well-established summer destination, beach sports is poised to deliver a tourism spike.

Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) Founder, Bea Tan

“Sipalay because…why not?” said Negrense Bea Tan, founder of Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR), when asked why the 2023 BVR on Tour Visayas leg was held in Sipalay last June 24 and 25. True enough, the crystal-clear waters and the long stretch of sand filled with supporters made the perfect backdrop to an extremely exhilarating competition. Fans cheered on as athletes from all over the country showcased their skills and wowed the crowd with each thunderous spike.

Mayor Gina M. Lizares of Sipalay City, Negros Occidental

This area of Poblacion Beach, which is near the city proper, has a wide shoreline and is free of commercial establishments, making it the perfect venue for beach volleyball tournaments of this prominence. An added factor that makes Sipalay ideal for summer sports is the unwavering support of the local government. Sipalay City Mayor Gina M. Lizares shared, “When it comes to youth development, health, nutrition, and education, we’re really big on that.”

In line with this, BVR held a “sand roots” program that aims to develop youngsters with a passion for volleyball by teaching them the fundamentals. “Because one young life being touched and being inspired goes a whole lot of miles already for us,” said Bea about their inspiration for this program. BVR connected with various local volleyball organizations and fortunately saw potential in some of the participants.

Locals and tourists alike flock the shores of Poblacion Beach

Tourism Officer Jerick Lacson explained that beach volleyball fits into Sipalay’s expansive tourism strategy: “The beach volleyball tournament that we have right now is actually part of the sports tourism program of the city government, wherein we want to have an event every month so there will be reasons why tourists come to Sipalay, not just during summer, festivals, and big celebrations.” Already, Sipalay has gained footing as the kite-flying tourism capital of the Philippines because of its multi-awarded Kite Flying Festival organized every March as part of the city’s charter celebration.

Aside from the festival, tourists have been drawn to Sipalay for the wide array of activities available, regardless of which part of the city you’re in. Punta Ballo beach is home to a number of dive resorts that could take you to Campomanes Bay, where the remains of a World War 2 shipwreck rests. Across on the other side is Sugar Beach, fittingly named for its white-sugary shores, which is a more remote area if lounging around to soak up some sun is preferred.

Written by: Mayumi Espina

Photos and Video by: Unit A Creatives

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