|PHL Cobra Dragon Boat Team|
Though "badmouth... unsupported... unloved by Phillipine sports officials", they still got the guts to succeed, the will to survive though no cash incentives, no heroes welcome. They still excelled at the boat rowing competition, garnered 5 golds, 2 silvers and established a new world record.
Australia placed second in the event and Japan came in third.
"Plain View" columnist, Atty. Romeo V. Pefianco of the national paper here wrote that last Friday (August 12), President Noynoy himself extended a heroes' welcome to the paddlers' small delegation, and commended the honor they didn't get from POC and PSC.
"The Dragon Boat team received a presidential citation for winning five gold and two silver medals and breaking two world records at the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships. The President vowed to rid sports of politics and scolded the sports officials for playing politics, saying politics should be left to politicians," informed Pefianco.
Six of these rowers who live in Brgy. Latasan, E. B. Magalona, Negros Occidental, Philippines are cousins. They are Salvador Sumagaysay, 29, Joemar Ocquiana, 32, Rico Pradilla, 38, Crisanto Pabulayan, 30, Junrey Dayumat and Ma. Aileen Padrones, who are all cousins and residents of Brgy. Latasan in E. B. Magalona.
Earlier Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. of Negros Occidiental has offered to take charge of the airplane fare of these six when they arrive in Manila and will give them P5,000 cash incentives each and a plaque of appreciation, the local news said.
And E. B. Magalona Mayor David Albert Lacson will also give an additional cash incentives of P5,000 each and a luncheon party will be ready for them and for their families next week.
"We will honor our very own paddlers, our heroes so their stories and hardships will serve as aspirations to our young Saraviahanons (popular name for residents of E. B. Magalona) that there's nothing impossible if you set your mind to it," the Mayor said.
The Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Council) of E. B. Magalona passed a resolution commending the six Saraviahanon "Dragon Warriors".
Bacolod Representative Anthony Rolando Golez also filed House Resolution No. 1585 Monday congratulating and commending this Philippine dragon boat rowing team.
The story behind the participation of these six Saraviahanon:
Rico was the first to join the team after he was invited by his cousin, Susan Dellomes, who once worked as house helper in Manila.
Dellomes’ employer in Manila was the one who recruited Rico in 1995. A year after, Rico invited his cousins until they formed the Philippine dragon boat racing team with members mostly natives of Latasan.
Rodolfo Ocquiana, Joemar’s father, said more cousins would have wanted to join the Philippine team to Florida but they had no money for air fare.
"But we’re thankful that our mayor (Lacson) will honor our sons soon," said Mrs. Crisanto.
Merlinda Dioneo, punong barangay of Latasan, said they’re now doing their best to help the town in rendering heroes’ welcome for her six constituents.
With this dismal scenario and with exceptional performances in international competitions the PHL Dragon Boat team has accomplished, Senator Pia Cayetano wants to determine what standards and requirements were used by PSC and POC in accrediting and providing support to National Sports Associations (NSAs), like the experience of PDBF team which had been denied recognition and support.
"We want to find out how come our Philippine Dragon Boat Team, which is acknowledged as one of the best and one of the most feared in international competitions, is not recognized as national athletes and are being denied the support they deserve in their very own country," Cayetano said.
To this effect, Sen. Cayetano has filed Philippine Senate Resolution (PSR) No. 550 to commend the PDBF; and PSR No.551 to invest, in aid of legislation, into the non-accreditation and denial of support to the PDBF by the national sports bodies.
Dragon boat racing is an amateur watersport which has its roots in an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers held over the past 2000 years throughout southern China. While 'competition' has taken place annually for more than 20 centuries as part of religious ceremonies and folk customs, dragon boat racing has emerged in modern times as an international sport, beginning in Hong Kong in 1976.
"Pinoy paddlers are considered sprint kings of the dragon boat." - Dyan Castillejo
"Keep the faith amidst all the obstacles," - Coach Annabs
- Dragon Boat Victory - TFCBalitangAmerica (video)
- Heroes’ Welcome Await 6 EBM World Champion Rowers
- Awarding Ceremony of the International Dragon Boat Competition August 7, 2011 Tampa Convention Center (video)
- The PHL National Dragon Boat Team - A Compilation of Memories (video)
- POC Says: Ampaw... Matatanda (video)