CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - Hundreds of peddlers from all over the country are expected to converge here for the 1st Motor Ace Kagay-an Dragon Boat Race to be held August 25 to 26 at Cagayan river beside Maharlika bridge Kauswagan.
The competition is being organized by Dragon Boat Kagay-an, the company that's also holding daily dragon boat clinics at Duaw Park for paddling enthusiasts and newbies.
The dragon boat race is also one of the city's fiesta core events for this year.
The 1st Kagay-an Dragon Boat Fiesta Cup will also be hosting of the Bugsay Mindanao 5: Paddle for Peace Race Series. The race series has been well attended by teams from all over the Philippines from as far as Manila.
"We are expecting at least 300 out of town participants. Race day will be limited to 500 participants for logistics reasons. If there will be more than 500 registrants, we will hold a special qualifying race for the local teams," Dragon Boat Kagay-an managing partner John Asuncion said.
Asuncion said they are grateful that the city government has added the competition to the annual fiesta's series of activities adding that it's high time for ordinary people to be introduced to this water's sport.
He added it is Dragon Boat Kagay-an's aim "to introduce and develop the sport at the grassroots level where it matters the most."
"Dragon boat is one of the very few sports Filipinos excel internationally even with its late entry, late development, lacking in support and ill-equipped team," he emphasized.
"Filipinos and paddling are meant for each other. The Philippine team makes up the U40 (under 40) category. We have yet to send a team for the U23 division. It would be a great honor to have a team coming from Cagayan de Oro," Asuncion went on.
The group's dragon boat clinic has so far attracted people from all walks of life, most noticeable are the group of persons with disabilities (PWDs) who practice their padding skills every Saturday.
"These PWDs have shown their determination and their willingness to learn. They should serve as an example to us. If they can do it, there's no reason that others can't," Asuncion said.
For those interested to learn how to paddle, dragon boats are docked at Duaw Park everyday from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The regular rate is P50 per person per hour, P20 per student per hour which includes boat rental, use of paddles, life vest and assistance from seasoned paddlers of CGY Oro Dragons.
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