This 26-30 April 2013, Bohol will host an international dragon boat competition for the first time. It is a prospect that not only excites the Boholano sports fans, it also offers opportunities for the commercial and cultural communities of Bohol and the Philippines. With more foreign and local tourists projected to visit Bohol for the fiesta season in May, coupled with the delegations expected to cheer for their respective dragon boat teams, the 2013 Bohol International Dragon Boat Invitational figures to be an exciting affair. It could also be the platform for a new level of engagement for Bohol and the Philippines.
PDBF OFFICIALS VISIT PANGLAO
To discuss these opportunities, representatives of the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) led by its Sec-Gen, Pinky Castillo; national coach and trainer, Ruperto Sabijon; and Triton Dragon Boat Racing Club Pres, Dr Nick Fontanilla, recently met with the Bohol Provincial Government and representatives of the Bohol community.
PDBF INSPECT TAGBILARAN STRAIT
In his brief, Dr Fontanilla gave a background of the dragon boat competitions worldwide and emphasized the Philippines’ prestigious standing in the international dragon boat community. He presented the project and highlighted the many benefits Bohol would reap from introducing dragon boat racing in the province. These benefits would include the foreign and local tourism generated, the business opportunities, the sports development aspect, and the positive image created for the province. On top of that, the organizers have pledged to provide a social responsibility project for the province coming from the proceeds of the activity.
Dr Fontanilla presented a timeline that would make the April international affair not just doable, but a smashing success. He envisions that the recruitment of enthusiasts will happen this month. By January, there will be training sessions for trainers and aspiring paddlers, followed by a province-wide competition on March. This initial offering will identify the best paddlers in the province, who will then compete in the April event. This will also serve to break-in the venues, test the officials and technical staff, and create more awareness for the April big event.
A SPORT WHERE FILIPINOS CAN EXCEL IN
For her part, Sec-Gen Castillo provided key insights on the potentials of the sport. This is a sport that Filipinos can excel in. In fact, Philippines has been consistently winning gold medals in numerous prestigious international races, the most recent of which was in Tampa, Florida last April. Here, the Philippine Team won a total of 5 golds out of 6 events it joined, besting the top paddlers of the globe. Our athletes are renowned to be world-class, with other countries anxious to study our technique. Dragon Boat racing is now recognized in 74 countries, and with its growing popularity, it is now being groomed to be a part of the regular Olympic events.
MAKING BOHOL A WATER SPORT DESTINATION
Bohol’s Governor, Edgar Chatto, has promised to support this project. He instructed the Provincial Sports Coordinator, Joel Molina, thru Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio, to prepare the groundworks for the event. After the meeting, a group of rowing enthusiasts led by Dr Doyet Dumaluan immediately answered the call by organizing the Bohol Paddlers Association (BPA). The BPA will henceforth be working hand-in-hand with the local government, particularly the sports, business and tourism sectors, to organize this rowing festival. The vision of BPA is ambitious, yet achievable. It wants to put Bohol in the global map, by making Bohol a destination for water sports, and developing it to be the Dragon Boat Capital of the Philippines. How this can be done will be the big challenge for the leadership of the BPA.
MAKING BOHOL THE DRAGON BOAT CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
We enjoin the tourism and sporting communities of Bohol to support this endeavor. We likewise invite everyone to come and see Bohol’s first-ever Dragon Boat competition this April.
MAKING BOHOL THE DRAGON BOAT CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES
It’s all systems go for the 2nd Cobra-PDBF International Club Crew Challenge 2013 to be held in Dauis, Bohol this April 26 to 30, 2013. In a lengthy coordinating conference held yesterday at the Provincial Capitol, the different committees were set up to ensure the success of the event.
To lead the Executive Committee is retired Gen Charly Holganza, representing the lead organizer, Tapok Tapok Bol-anon Inc. With him in the Execom are Provincial Administrator Ae Damalerio; Dauis Mayor Jimmy Jimenez; Tourism Council’s Atty Doy Nunag; Sports Council’s Joel Molina; and Bohol Paddlers Association head, Dr Doyet Dumaluan.
To initiate the activity, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) has volunteered to send instructors to train interested individuals and teams in the art of dragon-boating.
Before the 5-day extravaganza in April, there will be a local competition on Mar 22 and 23to determine local talents who can be fielded in the international competition. The Mar event will also serve as a dress rehearsal for the April international meet.
The local competition is expected to attract teams from different towns, key schools and private establishments such as hotels, companies, etc. The competition will include men’s, women’s and mixed categories consisting of 22 personnel each; with 20 paddlers, 1 signalman and 1 steersman.
The international paddle-fest is expected to bring in around a thousand local and international enthusiasts. This is expected to boost the tourism industry in the province. And this will redound to gains in the commercial and cultural sectors of Bohol. This will also further enhance Bohol’s image as a good venue for big conferences.
On top of these, the sports development program of the province also benefits. This fledgling sport is now a candidate to be a part of the regular Olympic schedule. With the country’s paddlers consistently excelling in this sport, there is a strong possibility of a medal finish for the country in this event.
The organizers’ vision for this event is not just to make Bohol a water sport destination in the country, but to make Bohol the Dragon Boat capital of the Philippines.