NEW teams from Boracay and Mindanao raised the level of competition of the two-day 34th Kadayawan Dragon Boat Festival 2019 last Sunday, August 11, at the Sta. Ana Pier in Davao City.
But Mindanao teams led by Bakunawa Dragon Boat Team of Iligan City, competing for the first time in the Kadayawan races, stole the spotlight as it captured most of the gold medals at stake in the annual festival supported by the city government of Davao.
Bakunawa paddlers ruled the open standard boat 200-meter, open small boat 200m and open small boat 300m, which according to their manager Mites Chua came as a “surprise”.
“We enjoyed competing in the Kadayawan Festival, the races were really tough. But on the side, we can also enjoy the sights and the food,” she told SunStar Davao.
Manila-based United Paddlers Club’s team manager/steersman/drummer Harold Pacana said they came in full force this year as they only joined in few events last year.
He said, “Maganda ang pamamalakad sa Kadayawan Dragon Boat Festival kaya full force kami ngayon dito.”
The SAG-1 Dragon Boat Team of Metro Manila went home with two golds in mixed small boat 300m and women small boat 200m while Kujaw Tigers Dragon Boat Team of Cortes, Surigao del Sur (women small boat 300m) and Bugsay Marajao of Surigao City (open standard boat 300m) each took one gold apiece.
Meanwhile, Philippine Titans of Metro Manila (mixed standard boat 300m) and Polillo Dragon Boat Team of Pollilo, Quezon (mixed small boat and mixed standard boat) also shared top honors.
Event organizer Clarice Jane Calolot cited first-timers Bakunawa, Boracay Dragon Force, Davao City’s Bernardo Carpio National High School Dragon Boat Team , Metro Manila’s Riptide and SAG of Metro and Brave Heart Dragon Boat Team of Cagayan de Oro City.
BCNHS, according to her, is the first public high shcool team that has sought their help to form a team. “They’ve been so eager to learn,” she said.
She told SunStar Davao, “The Kadayawan Dragon Boat Festival was a success. We exceeded the expected number of teams. We started and ended on time and all teams from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao had their share of the prizes.”
She also said on her Facebook post, “Organizing a two-day dragon boat festival is a challenging task. But it is all truly worth it when you can share your love and passion for dragon boating to 22 teams and 779 participants all over the country.”
She thanked God for guiding them every step of the way as well as the city government of Davao headed by Mayor Sara Duterte, Kadayawan Execom headed by Atty. Zuleika Lopez, Davao City Tourism OIC and Festival Director Generose Tecson and Davao City Chamber of Commerce for believing and trusting them again to organize the dragon boat festival 2019.
She also thanked Susan Isabel Calimbas Reta of the Davao City Chinatown Council for her support since 2017, the City Economic Enterprise (CEE) for being the best venue partner, the Philippine Coast Guard Region 11 for being supportive and helpful, to safety and security agencies headed by PSSCC Ret. Gen. Bennie De Leon, Task Force Davao, PNP and PNP-Maritime Group, 911-USAR, 911-EMS, Bureau of Fire Protection 11, DCPO and CSU.
“To the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragonboat Federation - PCKDF you have truly shown the efficieny and systematic way of officiating the race. Your continued support will always be remebered,” Calolot said.