The Sights and Sounds of Cebu’s First-ever Dragon Boat Fiesta

We conducted the Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 recently at the Cebu Yacht Club in LapuLapu City, Mactan Island. There was competition, there was a bit of controversy, but through it all, there was fun, excitement and a great deal of camaraderie and bonding all around.

“Did we make it?  Did we win?” 2nd Place (courtesy of Robo Formacion )

The Philippine Navy flexed their muscles, dominating the 250 and 500 meters elite races. But local teams led by Bakunawa from Iligan and the Bohol teams provided a strong statement  that the southern warriors will be ready to challenge the elite units in the years to come. Action was fast and furious, and the competition was fiercely fought. You could hear the grunts, you could see the grimaces, you could feel the frustration in some; but at the end of the day, the laughter, the cheers and new-found friendships would overcome all that.

“Sana ganyan din ako paglaki ko.” 1st Place in the 1st Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta Photo Contest. (courtesy of Butch Toong)

Overall, it was a great learning experience. We had our birthpains, we discovered our heroes (and I wish to salute Randy Su and Nonie Lopez here), and we basked in the new horizons we had opened for the region and for the sport. To the participants, the sponsors, and the growing number of fans and friends, we thank you for joining us in this weekend’s heart-warming experience. Special mention goes to Gov Junjun Davide who visited the paddlers to provide inspiration, and to PSC Commissioner Mon Fernandez for the invaluable support he provided us to make this event come true.

Heated action in Mactan! (courtesy of Harold Ong)

If there is one lesson I would like to take home from this 3-day event, it is that dragon boat competitions are not just about the winning. It is in simply participating that each  and everyone of us have won. For there are new friendships to celebrate, noble advocacies to commit to, and new horizons to conquer. Till next year, let’s Paddles UP!!!

These Braided Broads have the Brains and the Brawn. 3rd Place (courtesy of Reynante Opada)

The Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta 2017 was 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, the Philippine Coastguard, Marina Seaview, Smart, San Miguel Corporation, Recover, Paramount Life and General Insurance, Epoxy Seal, Primary Homes, Maayo Medical, INCA, Waterfront Hotel, Megaworld Mactan Newtown, Plantation Bay, Marco Polo Hotel, Bluewater Resort, Island Stay Hotels, International Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cobra, Nature Spring, Paperless Trail Inc, Treasure Island Paint, 2Go, LBC, Tajimaya, Mundo Island, Bucket Shrimp, The Clove, Gold’s Gym and Alcordo Advertising.

The media partners include: Manila Broadcasting,, Sunstar, Cebu Daily News, Freeman, Rappler, MyTV, Y101, DYAB.

For a better appreciation, just click on the pics. Pictures are courtesy of the Cebu Photographers Assn, Butch Toong, Neil Caipang, Carlito Felicen, Dexter Maneja, Ralphie Granje, Aying Salupan, April Ong, and cbholganza.


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