Surigao hosts 4th Mindanao Dragon Boat Race

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/19 May) — The city government through its Tourism Office is all set for the 4th Mindanao Dragon Boat Race, a paddle for peace contest, on Sunday, May 21, in Barangay Mabua.

“This is the first time that the city will host such event,” city tourism officer Roselyn B. Merlin said.

City Mayor Ernesto T. Matugas expressed full support to the race hoping to make it an international event like surfing and game-fishing in Siargao Island.

Merlin said the Surigao Dragon Boat Challenge 2017 is expected to draw nine dragon boat teams from all over Mindanao, and will be joined by the homegrown team Bugsay Marajaw Surigao.

The teams will vie for a total prize of 200,000 pesos in the race’s two categories — 2000 meters mixed men and women, and 200 meters mixed men and women.

Bugsay Pilipinas Equipment & Services will handle the technical operation of the race.

The City Tourism Office and City Sports Development Office are the lead agencies of this year’s dragon boat race.

The event aims to promote water sports in Surigao, being a coastal city.

Merlin said dragon boat races are excellent team building activities that foster fitness and good health, and develop friendly competition among the participants.

“It may not be for everyone, but for the crowd or audience watching, dragon boat races are colorful and visually spectacular, and the power, harmony and synchronicity of purpose and movement can be exciting and exhilarating,” she said.

Dragon boat racing is one of the oldest paddling races that started in China as a festival 2,000 years ago. Now, it is one of the fastest growing and most recognized water sports held in countries all over the world, including the Philippines. (Roel N. Catoto/MindaNews)