National dragon boat competition set next year in Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol -- The province of Bohol will be hosting a national dragon boat competition in time for the Sandugo Festival in July next year.

Members of the Bohol Paddlers Association led by its president, Dr. Theodore Dumaulan (3rd from left), grace a press briefing for the Bohol Island Dragon Boat Festival 2023 that will be held in Tagbilaran City, Bohol on July next year.(Photo by Calvin D. Cordova) 

Organized by the Bohol Paddlers Association (BPA), the Bohol Island Dragon Boat Festival 2023 is the first national dragon boat competition that the province will be hosting.

BPA president Dr. Theodore Dumaluan said they are expecting 20 to 30 dragon boat teams to take part in the competition that is supported by the provincial government headed by Bohol Gov. Aris Aumentado.

Teams from the Philippine Navy and Armed Forces are also expected to join.

Dumaluan said the water sport was introduced in the province by retired Major General Charlie Holganza.

The group started holding dragon boat competitions in Bohol in 2013 but was halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dumaluan added that holding the competition is the group’s way of showing that Bohol is already in the recovery phase from the pandemic.

Carrying the theme ‘Bugsay sa Pag-abante (Paddle to progress),’ Dumaulan said the competition will showcase Bohol as a premier place for dragon boat events.

“We want to show that Bohol has the potential to become a perfect place for dragon boat races. Waters are always calm from Tagbilaran to Panglao. Even if we are under storm signal number 1, the water is still calm,” Dumaulan said.

Dumaulan said the ultimate goal of the event is to raise awareness on marine conservation.

“Ultimately, the goal is the economic stability of the community,” Dumaulan said.

The event to be contested is 200-meter race off Tagbilaran Strait. It will feature small dragon boats which means each team will have 12 members.

Prizes at stake are P150,000 for the champion, P100,000 for second place, P75,000 for third place, P50,000 for fourth place and P25,000 each for fifth to 10th places.

The group is also planning to bring dragon events in the various dams in the province.

“This way we can also highlight the importance of watershed areas,” said Dumaulan.

Prior to holding the competition, the group will also be holding mangrove- planting activity.