17:36 GMT28 October 2020
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    Doug Falter, a photographer and surfer who lost his surfboard in Hawaii back in 2018, was astounded to recently learn that his board was found in the Philippines, around 5,200 miles away.

    "I was really upset as I managed to catch the biggest waves of my life on this board," Falter wrote in a 2018 Facebook post. "That's why it meant so much to me."

    However, in a post last month, Falter revealed that the surfboard had been found by Giovanne Branzuela floating near Sarangani, a province in the Philippines located in the Soccsksargen region. 

    Branzuela is an aspiring surfer and a primary school teacher.

    “As bummed as I was when I lost it, now I am happy to know my board fell into the hands of someone wanting to learn the sport. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this story than to see the sport of surfing begin in a place where nobody surfs,” Falter wrote last month.

    “If it weren’t for travel restrictions I would have raised money to bring boards for learning and surf supplies and be on a plane to go and visit Giovanne. I could teach him how to surf and hopefully a few of his 144 students. He is in charge of a school on the islands where my board is and I’m sure some of the kids would love to learn,” Falter added.

    Branzuela, who purchased the surfboard from his neighbor a couple of months ago, said that a fisherman had found the board in the sea in August 2018, six months after Falter lost it. The teacher has offered to return the board to Falter once COVID-19-related travel restrictions have been lifted, and for his part, Falter intends to give Branzuela a beginner’s surfboard, AFP reported.

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    Philippines, Hawaii, surfboard
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