Riding with Dragons in Vigan, Ilocos Sur By Bong Pico with Wendy Padilla

Sun Soaked 2015 Ilocos Beach Fest Dragon Boat 624x484
Sun Soaked 2015 Ilocos Beach Fest Dragon Boat 624×484

Ironpinoy.com was conceived with fitness in mind particularly bodybuilding, powerlifting, and recently extreme sports. Working out in a gym most of my life, I am the type of person who cross-trains with different sport discipline. I was a mountaineer before I became a full time gym enthusiast. During preparation for competition, I usually cross-trained with grappling through Mr. Daniel ‘Mumbakki’ Foronda. Now in my forties, it is time again to venture into another sport which is Dragon Boat Racing. Much more different from my usual thing because I am much more used to ‘individual sports’ rather than team sports.

Boracay all stars1 1
Boracay all stars1 1

My first ride with a Dragon Boat team was with the Boracay Sea Dragons thanks to their Coach Reynaldo “Dodoy” Montoya and Managers, Ryan and Florenda Tubi. The next day was with the Boracay All Stars through Coach Bambi Sacapano and team managers Ms. Azenith Ressurreccion and Ms. Nina Dublin. The training was great and considering I don’t really know how to swim, I was not afraid of the deep water, LOL. Since my body fat is still high, i can just float to the shore LOL.

After only a week with the Boracay All Stars, I then volunteered to go to Ilocos Sur for the Sun Soaked 2015 Dragon Boat competition last January 10, 2015, at Puro Magsingal, Ilocos Sur. organized by Congressman Ronald V. Singson and the Ilocos Sur provincial government. Since I am a neophyte, I did not mind doing support stuff for the team. A team is a team and everybody must work for the common goal which is winning the competition. I did not mind it all. I was deeply honored to be part of the elite teams of Dragon Boat Racers.

With gray sand under my feet and the scorching hot sun above our heads, the competition went on smoothly and with high morale.

Winners were the following:

Champion: Philippine Coast Guard Dragon Boat Team
1st Runner Up: Philippine Navy Dragon Boat Team
2nd Runner Up: Boracay Sea Dragons
3rd Runner Up: Triton Dragon Boat Racing Team

Winners dragon boat
Winners dragon boat

The Semi-finals were particularly exciting. The teams that competed in the Semis, which includes our very own Boracay All-Stars, all clocked in over a minute. The time difference between teams is 1-2 seconds. Considering that the Boracay All-Stars did not have decent training to prepare for this event, being in the semis was a welcome result with 9 teams competing.

Other teams that competed were the following; Boracay All Stars, Philippine Coast Guard Dragon Boat Team, Manila Onslaught Racing Dragons, Rogue Pilipinas Paddlers, and the Pilipinas wave warriors. All powerful and dedicated and fun teams. Organized by the Philiippine Dragon Boat Federation and thanks to Marissa Cristobal.

In Boracay, your dreams are our reality. In Boracay we live life.

It is humbling to know that most people are good. With good intentions and a happy heart, the Boracay All-Stars kept their heads high and cheered for their comrades, the Boracay Sea Dragons, who took on some of the Philippines’ best paddlers and placed 2nd-runner up.

Overall the 2nd Sun Soaked 2015 event was a success. More than 300 participants, the bulk of which came from the dragon boat teams.

The best thing about this ‘adventure’ is that it bonded the team even more. Nothing lost, everything gained. Life is much more than negativity, rivalry, and hate. It is much more than money and fame. It is the relationships we create and maintain. It is about family. It is about teamwork and healthy competition. You can see and feel that in these teams.

Watching all the teams, it is a motley crew from different walks of life. From the strict and mundane to the wacky and let-loose attitude. No wonder it is popular because it is more interesting socially rather than bodybuilding which I have been a part of.

Congressman Ronald V Singson created an event that brought together varied people, disciplines, ages, gender, and interests. He really personified the adage play hard, party harder. Live life. Love life.

The youth is our investment. Congressman Ronald Singson instills these ideas and created a venue for personal and team spirit. A real visionary that will prevail.

Riding with dragons is a humbling experience which I will continue. Training with the Boracay All Stars (my primary team) and Boracay Sea Dragons will make my life here in Boracay fulfilling and fruitful and my fitness regimen complete. Of course, I still need to try other watersports in the coming weeks.

Winners kiteboarding
Winners kiteboarding

Coincidentally our own Boracay Kiteboarding luminaries are also present at the event they also organized the Kiteborading event which was organized by our very own Boracay kiteborading team Jay Ortiz (Event Organizer), Joanne Santos (Organizing Manager), Mars Gersbach (Head Judge), Ryan Cahilig and Kareem Balik (Freestyle Judge), Verge Bayani (Race Director), Ken Nacor (Head Logistics), Jack Agrabio and Mark Antonio (logistics).

After the 2-day event, which also includes beach volleyball and frisbee, the Victory party was held at the Cabugao beach resort, Ilocos Sur. Prominent bands from around the region held a concert plus the Voice contestants Nino Alejandro and Rita Martinez plus our very own Ms. Wendy Padilla which made the concert more interesting and entertaining.

This adventure will also not be possible without the gracious contribution of Mr. Datu Yap and Mr. Andrew E. who gave the Boracay All Stars a fighting edge to pursue what they (we) love most, being one with the Dragon Boat Teams. Also thanks to BoomBoom bar for supporting the team and the thanksgiving party which honors coach Bambi and Ching SacapaƱo and their family clan.

In the following months, ironpinoy.com will be organizing events for national and international bodybuilding, physique, bikini and modelling competitions, and extreme sports which can be lined up with skim boarding. Plus covering all sports and sports personalities in Boracay.

We are One Spirit, One Heart, One Team.