DRAGON Boat is slowly creeping into the countryside in hopes to attract more rowers in a sport many believe is the perfect one for Filipinos to excel in abroad.

“This sport is appropriate for Filipinos and especially now that we are considered as one of the top paddlers internationally. This sport doesn’t need height but what it needs is passion, that is why we should promote the growth of dragon boat in the Philippines,” Habagat Dragon Boat team manager Randy Su said at a press conference yesterday for the group’s dragon boat competition in Argao.

Topnotch paddlers from the Visayas and Mindanao are expected to compete in the 2nd Dragons sa Argao Dragon Boat Competition on Oct. 1 at the Argao Royal Palms in Poblacion in southern Cebu.

The event, organized by Go Active Marking and Events Inc. (Game) and supported by Primary Homes, will have men’s open and mixed categories events.

Four teams are expected to give the out-of-town competitions from Cagayan de Oro City, Dumaguete City and the Province of Bohol.

“We had this event at first just to raise awareness regarding the sport of dragon boat, but in our second edition, we aim for a bigger goal and that is to produce national team members from the Visayas and Mindanao,” said Nonie Lopez of Gruppo Habagat Dragon Boat Team.

The ultimate goal of the organizers is to make “Dragons in Argao” an international event in the future, one that could boost the local paddlers and also put Argao in the Dragon Boat map of the world.

Aside from the competition, Game is also holding a dragon boat clinic and inter-barangay competition on Saturday and Sunday, which will be exclusive to the local residents of Argao.

Jerome Mil of Game Inc said there will be 15 teams from the barangays of Argao competing in the barangay category and the top four winners will advance to the Oct. 1 race.

The top three winners in every category will receive cash prizes, medals and trophies.