It’s all systems go for the 1st Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta this April 28 -30 in Mactan Island!!! Come one, come all, as Cebu celebrates its first-ever dragon boat festival in the colorful island of Mactan.
The Dragon Boat Cebu Central (DBCC) recently presented its proposal for a first-ever international dragon boat competition in Cebu to Commissioner Mon Fernandez of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). During the presentation, DBCC underscored the strategic value of positioning Cebu as a water sports haven for the country, fitting right into the PSC’s reinvigorated impetus for sports grassroots development all over the country.
Dragon Boating is a fun sport where we Filipinos can excel in. In fact, not a lot of people know that the Philippines owns the world record for Dragon Boating’s 200-meter open category with a time of 40.02 seconds; and once held the world record for the 200-meter mixed category with a time of 43.50 seconds (broken by China in 2015). The 200-meter open features 20 paddlers, a drummer and an oarsman. It is the showcase event in the Dragon Boat World Championship, just like the 100-meter men’s sprints is the premiere event in the Olympic Track and Field competition. The 200-meter mixed category, on the other hand, is composed of teams with 12 male and 8 female paddlers.
For a while, our paddlers were considered the rock stars of international dragon boating. And we are proud of the fact that our paddlers have consistently been among the top contenders in this sport. This is due to the fact that, coming from an archipelagic country, it is just so natural for us Filipinos to paddle around in our bancas as we explore our vast marine resources.
Unlike basketball or other sport, Dragon Boating doesn’t need height or heft in order to excel. What the sport needs is teamwork and synchronization; 20 paddlers under the baton of a seaborne conductor, rowing in unison, going towards one direction, with the same force and speed. Hence, it needs discipline, camaraderie, and sacrifice; so that the strength of all are harnessed into one single, powerful, yet graceful stroke.
This will be in full display this summer, as Cebu hosts the Dragon Boat Fiesta for the first time. This will be an exciting prospect for our young athletes who may wish to try a new adventure. Dragon boating will not only allow them to develop their bodies and minds, it will also open up avenues for travel and outside education.
And as the sport grows, its contributions to the province’s youth development and tourism programs grow as well. Dragon Boating also offers opportunities for cleaning up the environment, building up a commercial base for paddlers, while promoting cultural development for Cebu and its neighboring areas. On top of all that, the proceeds of the event will go to a noble cause: to help support the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Inc (PADS), an organization advocating the cause of our differently-abled brethren in the country.
So come and join us this April, and be at the helm of the sports’ development in the region. For individuals or groups in Cebu interested to try Dragon Boating, please email email@example.com. See you soon!