Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 Gets Ready to Rock!!!

With just 2 weeks to go before the big event, the organizers of the Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 are bracing to host a record-breaking 1000 plus participants for this summer’s newest sizzler! For a new event, Cebu is serving notice to the international dragon boat community – as well as the local dragon boat authorities – that the potential of Cebu as a dragon boat hub for the Philippines is truly a very attainable goal.

It’s time. Paddles up, everyone!!! (courtesy of

Already, there are 1,013 paddlers registered, with others still signifying their intention to join. It is a record, as the 1,000 threshold has never been breached in any previous dragon boat event in the country. This augurs well for the sport, and for youth development in general, as it indicates a growing interest in a sport that we can excel in, and where we actually used to lord over.

With 1,013 registered paddlers and growing, the Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 is poised to have the biggest number of participants ever in a dragon boat competition in the country. (courtesy of

In all, there are already 38 teams preparing to report to the competition venue at the Cebu Yacht Club. These teams are a mix of male and female paddling fanatics who will compete in ten events in the 200 and 500 – meter small boat and standard boat categories.

In the elite division, expected to dish it out are the national team-laden Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy and Army selections. But with the fast-growing development of the sport in the Visayas and Mindanao in the past 4 years, the erstwhile-favored uniformed services are no longer expected to dominate the games as they used to. Today, other squads are slowly catching up with new techniques, dynamic training systems, and more scientific off and on-water workouts.

Best-of-the-best looms as the veteran teams from Manila weigh in. (courtesy of

Aside from the elite division for the more competitive groups, there are other divisions such as the mixed masters (for the senior guys), the women’s, the mixed and the club crew open.

Of the 38 teams already registered, 4 are foreign entities, while 10 teams are representing Manila and Luzon. The rest of the 24 teams are from the Visayas and Mindanao. Most of these teams were only quite recently organized. Previously, only Boracay had experience with the dragon boat races. Today, dragon boat racing is expanding by leaps and bounds.

Dragon boating is growing steadily in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao. (courtesy of

Of special interest are two one-of-a-kind teams which will be competing without special consideration for their circumstances. These are the Icanserve Team of cancer survivors; and the PADS team of Persons-With-Disabilities (PWDs). These two teams have become sentimental faves among their fellow paddlers, providing everyone an inspiration with their true grit and uncommon determination.

Icanserve, a group of breast-cancer survivors, will be there to inspire us. (courtesy of Habagat)
A moving inspiration to the Cebu paddling community, the PADS dragon boat team. (courtesy of Kris Chan)

This 28-30 April, join us at the Cebu Yacht Club as we launch the first-ever Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017. Be in the forefront in the effort to get Philippine Dragon Boating back to its lofty place in the international dragon boating community. Learn to play the game, learn to love your body, learn to love your world, get educated, get involved, get wet. Your support to this noble endeavor will surely go a long way in improving not just your own state of affairs, but our communities, our country and our world.

Come join the party!!! (courtesy of

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, Philippine Air Force, Department of Tourism (DOT), Island Central Mall, Blue Elephant, Primary Homes, INCA, Waterfront Hotel, Plantation Bay, Marco Polo Hotel, Bluewater Resort, Treasure Island Paint, 2Go, LBC, Tajimaya, Mundo Island and Gold’s Gym.

The media partners include: ABS-CBN, GMA, Manila Broadcasting Company, Sunstar, Cebu Daily News, Freeman, Rappler, MyTV, Y101.

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