Surigao City hosts int’l dragon boat race festival
BUTUAN CITY –– Hundreds of paddlers from across the country and China will compete in Surigao City’s two-day International Dragon Boat Summer Festival that kicks off Saturday, July 6.
Some 19 Philippine teams and three Chinese teams have registered to participate in the festival, according to Roselyn Armida Merlin, supervising operations officer of the Surigao City tourism office.
It is the second year for Surigao City to host such an event.
The dragon boat racers will compete in the categories 200-m Small Boat Open, 200-m Small Boat Mixed and 200-m Standard Open.
Merlin said teams from Malaysia and Hong Kong have earlier signified their participation, but conflicts in schedules have prevented them.
But Merlin is confident the participation of the Chinese teams would make the upcoming competition worth the experience for the Filipino paddlers.
The teams from China are Shipai Youth Dragon Boat Club from Guangzhou, Shenzhen International from Shenzhen, and Dongguan Wanjiang Rong Wei Dragon Boat Club from Dongguan City.
“The Chinese teams have been competing in the dragon boat scene in China for several years now and having them compete with some of our best would be a great experience for our teams,” said Merlin.
Among the 19 Philippine teams participating in the two-day event are Speed Devilz from Manila; Black Manta Warriors of Cebu City; Umagu Dragon Boat Team and Bugsok Metro Dumaguete Paddlers from Dumaguete City; Waray Bugsay from Tacloban City; Boracay Dragon Force; Samal Dragons, and Pearl Farm Paddlers from Samal Island.
Also participating are CGY Oro Dragon Boat team and Liceo de Cagayan University Dragonoids from Cagayan de Oro City; Baku Uno Iligan Dragon Boat team from Iligan City; Father Saturnino Urios University Blue Dragons of Butuan City; Kujaw Tiger Dragons of Cortes town in Surigao del Sur; Bugsay Marajao of Surigao City;
From Davao, participating are RicSpeed, Dragon Warriors Davao, Hydra Dragon Boat Team, Amateur Paddlers Philippines Davao Dragon boat crew, and Kampilan Dragon Boat Team.
Priscilla Pinky Castillo, the race’s chief technical official, said they were expecting more participants from the teams because of an additional category, the Small Boat Open.
Castillo hoped the event would make a dent in “improving the image of Mindanao to the world” and be a platform for “fostering international exchange and friendship.”
The race will be held in the bay area facing the city’s boulevard. (Editor: Leti Z. Boniol)
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