Bohol group hopes to gather PH’s elite teams for national dragon boat race in July 2023

By: Doris C. Bongcac - CDN Digital | November 24,2022 - 08:00 AM
Bohol dragon boat

The Tagbilaran Strait is the venue for Bohol Island Dragon Boat Festival 2023. | Doris C. Bongcac

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – The Bohol Paddlers Association Inc. is organizing a national dragon boat race in July 2023 that will hopefully be participated by elite teams in the country.

Association President Theodore “Doyet” Dumaluan said they will be having a 200-meter race at the Tagbilaran Strait, the body of water that separates Tagbilaran City from Dauis town.

Dumaluan said they will time the “Bohol Island Dragon Boat Festival 2023: Bugsay sa pag-abante” with the Sandugo Festival in July 2023 as an added attraction to the celebration. They also hope to bring more tourists to their province and eventually help spur economic activities there.

He said that they look forward to having a total of 20 teams, including those coming from the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Army, joining the invitational cup that will involve racing on small boats. Invitations to the race will be sent through the Office of the Governor, he said.

Each team will have 10 members, a drummer, and a helmsperson.

And what will make their race different is the format.  The team with the ‘best time’ after three legs will win the race and take home the cash prize of P150, 000.

Runners up will take home P100, 000 (2nd place); P75,000 (3rd place); P50, 000 (4th place); and P25, 000 for the 5th to 10th placers.

The race’s joining fee is pegged at P1, 000 each, which is already inclusive of the race jersey and two meals that will be served during the welcome dinner and awarding ceremony.

“They will have to paddle three heats and they add up all their time and the shortest time will be posted in the upper bracket.  Its not like most of the competitions outside because that is our format here in Bohol. Outside, [what they do] is elimination and sometimes its very discouraging when you are eliminated,” Dumaluan said.

Bohol dragon boat

Theodore “Doyet” Dumaluan, Bohol Paddlers Association Inc. | Doris C. Bongcac

Dumaluan said in a recent press conference that since their group was created in 2012, they have always dreamt of going big by holding national and even international competitions.

Since 2013, they have been organizing local races as they also help train other Boholanons who are also into dragon boat racing.

“From the start, this has been our target, national. [But] it took us 10 years to have this and hopefully this is a start for more productive events.  The last few years, we were preparing ourselves how to conduct the technical [aspect of the race]. We trained our paddlers local para ma proud pud ta nga strong pud ang team,” he said.

Dumaluan said that while competitions are now being held in parts of the country, Bohol remains to be an ideal venue for holding dragon boat races.

Water at the Tagbilaran Strait is very calm, making it a perfect place to race, he said.

Participants of the dragon boat race in 2019. | Photo from the FB page of Bohol Paddlers Association Inc.

He said that they tried to paddle in the area, one time, when the province was placed under Storm Signal No. 1 and the water there remained calm.

Also, Bohol province is located in the center of the country, making it close to those coming from Luzon and Mindanao areas.  And the island also has several beaches that could be used as alternative venue for races.



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TAGS: Bohol Island Dragon Boat Festival 2023, Bohol Paddlers Association Inc., Cebu Daily News, dragon boat race, July 2023, Tagbilaran Strait, Theodore “Doyet” Dumaluan

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