It’s ‘All Systems Go’ for the Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017

It’s “Full Speed Ahead” for the Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 this April 28-30. A total of 48 teams are expected to get wet and wild in Mactan, making the event one of the biggest by far in attendance for the region. Ladies and gentlemen, we are a ‘go’!!!

This early, the competition promises to be a highly competitive, world-class show. Leading the pack among the early entries are the powerhouse Navy and Coastguard Teams. Both teams have strong credentials in international dragon boating, having collected the glitter and gold in top-class competitions the world over.

The Philippine Navy Dragon Boat Team recently took the overall championship trophy in the 2016 Ordos International Dragon Boat competition in China. Its grizzled veterans have pitted paddles with the toughest competitors here and abroad. Its finest moments came in 2012 when it represented the country in the International Canoe Federation (ICF) Dragon Boat World Championship in Italy, where it raked in 6 golds and 1 silver.

Navy Team, composed of grizzled veterans, an early favorite.

The Philippine Coast Guard team on the other hand boasts of many current and former national team members. Among their recent successful forays, the team harvested 5 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze in the more prestigious International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) World Club Crew Championship in Australia last year. In 2013, the Coast Guard team shocked the local Dragon Boat community by taking the overall championship in the Bohol International Club Crew Challenge, upsetting the heavily-favored Army, Navy and Lake Buhi selections who were expected to slug it out for the coveted crown.

The Coast Guard paddlers, always a force to reckon with.

Many local teams from Visayas and Mindanao are in awe with the presence of these and more high caliber competitors. However, many more are eager to see how they can match-up as they splash and smash alongside these seasoned demigods this April. Bottomline is: the competitive bar has been raised; and with that come the opportunity to learn and absorb new training and competition skills and techniques in dragon boating. One small step, or one short stroke, toward achieving world-class dragon boat recognition.

This years Cebu Dragon boating will feature the top-caliber teams of the country plus foreign challengers. (courtesy of

Four international crews have already confirmed, coming from the US, Canada, Hongkong and – surprise, surprise – far-away Nigeria. And Cebu is determined to give our foreign visitors a good show, not just on the competition seas, but in highlighting Cebu’s far more diverse tourism offerings.

The alluring beaches are just a part of Cebu’s very diverse tourism offerings. (courtesy of

Aside from the beach and their beauties, Cebu has beautiful scuba-diving sites such as Malapascua, Moalboal and Mactan; fabulous adventure activities such as whale watching in Oslob, or canyoneering in Badian or other adrenaline-rush events; more sightseeing wonders such as the highland’s Temple of Leah and Little Amsterdam; plus history and heritage sites right at your very doorstep in Cebu City.

The colorful hills of Little Amsterdam in Busay. (courtesy of
The Temple of Leah overlooking the city. (courtesy of
The Cross of Magellan right at the heart of Cebu City. (courtesy of
Fort San Pedro in Cebu City (courtesy of

In fact, teams coming a few days ahead will be in for a treat as Mactan celebrates Lapu-Lapu’s victory over the world-trotting Magellan in 1621, with a series of events in Lapu-Lapu City. The fiesta atmosphere in Lapu-Lapu will enhance the forthcoming dragon boat bash.

The Battle of Mactan reenactment. (courtesy of

This year’s Cebu competition will also feature two exciting new prospects: the PADS Team composed of persons with disabilities (PWDs) and the Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS) Team. Both are the first-of-its-kind here in the Philippines. Interest for the teams is increasing, as word of their entry spreads around. In fact, the PADS team has already received an invitation to compete in Hongkong this June, a testament to the growing support they are gaining.

Our inspiring PADS team, showing everyone that no disability will slow them down. (courtesy of PADS)
Breast Cancer Survivors paddle to promote more awareness for cancer treatment research. (courtesy of ICanServe.)

The Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 is produced by the Provincial Government of Cebu, the Philippine Sports Commission, together with the Cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue, and Dragon Boat Cebu Central. Co-producing the event is Habagat Sports and Outdoor Apparel.

The event sponsors include: the Cebu Yacht Club, Department of Tourism (DOT), Island Central Mall, Blue Elephant, Primary Homes, INCA, Waterfront Hotel, Plantation Bay, Marco Polo Hotel, Maribago Bluewater Resort, Treasure Island Paint, 2Go, LBC, and Gold’s Gym.

The media partners include: ABS-CBN, GMA TV, Manila Broadcasting Company, Sunstar, Cebu Daily News, Freeman, Rappler, Bill Velasco (Philstar), MyTV, Y101, Bohol Chronicle and DYRD.

Come and join the fun in Mactan, this April 28 – 30.

Pictures courtesy of GMA network, Google,, Washington Post, Habagat, Ariya, PADS, and ICanServe. Just click on the pics to view. 


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