Indonesia's Jokowi praises Filipino surfer Casogay: 'Humanity is above all'

MANILA, Philippines –  Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday, December 9, took to Twitter to express his appreciation for Filipino surfer and 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games gold medalist Roger Casogay.

Casogay went viral on social media on Friday, December 6, after he helped Indonesian rival Arip Nurhidiyat in the middle of the SEA Games 2019 men's longboard event at Monaliza Point in San Juan, La Union.

Memenangkan kompetisi dan menjunjung sportivitas itu penting, tapi kemanusiaan di atas segalanya. Apresiasi saya untuk Roger Casugay, peselancar Filipina yang melepas kesempatan meraih emas demi menolong atlet Indonesia yang terjatuh dalam lomba. Salam hormat dari Indonesia. — Joko Widodo (@jokowi) December 9, 2019

"To win a competition and uphold sportsmanship are important, but humanity is above all," Jokowi tweeted in Indonesian.

"My appreciation for Roger Casogay, a Filipino surfer who lost the chance to gain gold to save an Indonesian athlete from falling during the competition," Jokowi added.

The preliminary event between Casogay and Nurhidiyat was rescheduled and Casogay defeated the Indonesian in the semifinals. The Filipino surfer then went on to bag the gold medal in the longboard open event against fellow Filipino Rogelio Esquivel on Sunday, December 8.

Casogay later said he doesn't consider himself a hero despite saving his Indonesian rival.

"No, I'm not a hero," the 25-year-old Filipino surfer said. "I didn't really save him from drowning. He is a good swimmer. I just calmed him down." – Translation by Mick Basa/

Kaye Cabal

Kaye Cabal leads Rappler’s Digital Communications team and has been with Rappler since 2014. Her interest in and dedication to social media grew deeper with her love and passion for Philippine sports. She is a BS Development Communication graduate of UP Los Baños.