After years of dreaming and praying, Dragon Boating will finally make a splash in the waters of Davao City this summer, from May 1 to 4. With the approval and guidance of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the 1st Davao City Dragon Boat Festival will bring to the city the 3rd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge for 2014.
This will be the first time for Davao City to host a festive international dragon boat competition. This goes without saying that the city is looking forward to make the affair a smashing success. A successful international dragon boat festival will convey a clear message that Davao City is a peaceful and economically viable place to live in. It will also erase the myth among most foreigners that the entire Mindanao is a dangerous and backward environment, a view that is evident in the security advisories in many countries.
The Cobra – Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) partnership in staging annual international races started in 2012, with the first one staged in Boracay. In keeping with PDBF’s mandate to spread the gospel of dragon boating, the 2013 hosting was awarded to Panglao, Bohol. This year, PDBF pushed further south to bring the dragon boat festival to Mindanao for the first time.
Expected to take part in this annual international extravaganza are traditional contenders Lake Buhi, Army, Triton and the Coastguard, plus a bevy of other teams based in Metro Manila, Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao. Also signifying interest to participate this early are club teams from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau and Singapore.
This early, efforts are being made to develop a commitment among Davaoenos to make this a community affair. We need to involve everyone, so that we are assured of making it a rousing success. There will be numerous benefits in terms of tourism, commerce, youth and sports development, and so on. But what is more important is that we are able to make this a great experience for the athletes, the visitors and the viewers, so that they will remember Davao and tell the world of their wonderful time here. In doing so, we are able to help change the perception of a violent Davao City and Mindanao in general.
To do this, the Davao Dragon Boat Association (DDBA) is lining up numerous activities to make the affair a truly memorable one. Aside from the dragon boat races, there are other events planned such as a motorcade to kick-off the festivities, a Mr & Ms Davao Dragon Boating 2014, a Dragon Boating 2014 Photo Contest, an Adopt-a-Team Program, city and island tours, plus non-stop fun and games from stage activities and many more.
Davao City, through the DDBA, is now calling for volunteers who could help out in the different committees being created for this purpose. There’s the Accommodations and Transportation Committee, the Media Committee, the Training and Competition Committee, the Safety and Security Committee, the Events Committee, and the Logistics Committee. For more information on how you can help in the 2014 Dragon Boat extravaganza, please call me at 09177041956 or Ms Ruth Fe Balani at 09189025308.
Let’s all join hands to make our first international Dragon Boat competition a truly unforgettable experience.