By: Glendale Rosal October 05,2018 - 10:54 PM

Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña (center) meets with some members of the Cebu dragon boat community at the Mayor’s Office at the Cebu City Hall on Friday morning./Glendale Rosal

Mayor Osmeña promises new long boat, docking site for Cebu dragon boat team

For the past couple of years, Cebu’s dragon boat teams have brought pride and honor to Cebuanos with very little support.

Yesterday, the Cebuano dragon boat community got the help it deserved when Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña promised to purchase a new dragon boat and allot an area at the South Road Properties for a docking site for teams to be able to practice in.

Osmeña, in a meeting with five of Cebu’s seven active and competitive dragon boat teams yesterday at his office at the Cebu City Hall, said he will purchase a brand new practice long boat worth P380,000 from Bohol and also assign Bantay Dagat to look for a spacious area in the South Road Properties (SRP) to build the dragon boat team’s docking site and practice facility.

“We will get them a dragon boat so that they have something to paddle. The docking site is in SRP. We will look for a place under Bantay Dagat,” said Osmeña. “Let’s order the boats right away. You deserve it.”

Osmeña set the meeting with some of Cebu’s dragon boat teams after Paul Ouano, a member of the Poseidon Paddlers, sought the mayor’s help through Facebook last Monday on a need for a new docking area and one or two new boats for use in their training.

Ouano was one of several members of the Cebu dragon boat community who met with Osmeña yesterday.

“It feels very great because he (Mayor) will expedite our needs,” Ouano said. “It’s been a while since we haven’t had a proper area to dock our boats and to practice. We don’t have a place to call our own.”

Others who joined him were Poseidon Paddlers team manager Marika Picardal, Connie Narrazo of the Cebu Pink Paddlers, Kareen Benavidez of the Sugbu Mighty Dragons, Kyam Lopez of the Black Manta Warriors, and Renzel Soriano and Denise Borromeo of the Cebu Fireblade.

There are no exact details yet about the schedule of purchasing of the long boats, but Osmeña said he will work on it immediately. He also assigned Bantay Dagat officials in Cebu City to look for the most appropriate area in SRP that will serve as the docking site for the dragon boat. Aside from that, Osmeña is planning to let the dragon boat teams borrow a container van where they can store their equipment at the SRP docking site.

Cebu currently has seven active and competitive dragon boat teams. All of them agreed to share the brand new long boat that Osmeña will purchase for them. They are also looking to transfer from their current practice area at the Cebu Yacht Club in Mactan to the SRP once the docking site will be made available.

“This can improve the performance of the teams because aside from this boat, we are fixing an old boat right now which can be added for practice purposes. And we can transfer it to the new area,” said Ouano.

Currently, Cebu dragon boat teams pay a rental fee of P600 per boat and another P384 for the use of the Cebu Yacht Club’s ramp.

Even with that kind of set up, the Cebu teams still managed to chalk up some wins this year.

The Philippine Accessible Disability Services (PADS) Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team won in the 2018 China Construction Bank (Asia) Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races last June while the Sugbu Mighty Dragons won the gold in the 2018 Boracay International Dragon Boat Festival in Boracay last April. The Cebu Pink Paddlers also dominated the 200-meter cancer survivor open category of the DBS Marina Regatta Singapore Dragon Boat Festival last June while the Poseidon Paddlers ruled the small boat open category of the 2nd Cebu Dragon Boat Fiesta in April.

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TAGS: boat, Cebu dragon boat team, deserve, docking, IT, long, Mayor Osmeña, new, Promises, Site, you

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