Enter the Dragon

This may not be a government-sponsored hero's welcome but this is far more touching - a people's welcome. (Photo courtesy of PDI)

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III presents the Presidential Citation to the 26-members of the Cobra Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, represented by Philippine Dragon Boat Federation President Marcia Cristobal, in recognition for their triumphant participation in the 10th International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida during the Courtesy Call at the Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace Friday August 12, 2011. (Photo courtesy of Noynoy Aquino's Facebook Page)

I may be late on posting this. Much has been said and written about the Philippine Dragonboat Federation Team and the alleged lack of support by the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission.

I was tempted to just leave it there and not blog about it but I made a promise on my last post that I will get back on this. After all, it is advocacy to promote Pinoy pride and to put a different and light approach on serious matters of society, sports, and politics.

Most of the things that I will share here may be already said by the Sports experts and fellow bloggers. You are free to skip this post and try looking for other interesting stuff on the internet. As usual, I will put my thoughts into bullets because I am too lazy to construct an full-length discussion about the topic (and so as not to bore the younglings who read this post). Here we go:

  • GMA News TV’s Brigada and ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo’s Krusada has featured the struggles of the team during their preparation for the tournament. Lack of funds, support, and own paddles are just some of the items tackled on the above-mentioned programs. The athletes have to resort on diving for mussels (tahong) for their food. So to those who are accusing our athletes of using steroids, it’s tahong who give extraordinary strength to our athletes. Beat that douchebags! (I even laughed on one of the soldier-athlete’s answer on Jessica Soho’s interview last Friday night on SONA when asked about steroids. The soldier told Jessica, “Steriods? E yung iba nga sa amin hindi alam ang spelling ng steroids eh..”. See?)
  • I really admired the Filipinos in Tampa Bay, Florida who gave their full support (food, allowance, gifts, etc. You name it.) to our athletes. It just shows that the spirit of bayanihan is still alive even in other country.Mabuhay kayo!
  • Based on what I understood, the only trouble about this team and our authorities is that dragonboat should be under the canoe-kayak classification since dragonboat uses forward paddling. I hope that they could fix this mess soon and come up with an agreement good for both parties. Sports should unite, not divide. Humility lang yan mga Pare! 
  • Noynoy Aquino promised his support for the team and he vowed to rid sports of politics. On a different but related thought, should we keep sportsmen away from Politics so as not to distract them on their game? (Ring any bells?). He promised support to the athletes, but one of the alleged kontrabida in this whole fiasco is Noynoy’s Uncle, Don Peping Cojuangco. Cool eh?
  • Speaking of Don Peping, he actually got irked on defending the Olympic Committee last Friday night on SONA. He told Jessica Soho that the Federation did not ask for any support from the Committee. He also added that lack of funds is not only the Dragonboat Federation’s problem but the whole sports community. Are you ready for their face-off between the two parties? Let’s wait and watch the Senate and House hearing on this issue and, hopefully, come up with a solution to end this fiasco.
  • While the Federation was fighting for our country in Tampa Bay, Florida, POC and PSC continued to defend themselves and gave a not-so-pleasing statements (e.g. PSC Jeff Tamayo’s “They have the body, they have everything, but as we all know, ampaw na lang ’yun”) that set the public into an uproar. Douchebags. Dragon boat team, please give them a kamehame wave for us! #LOL
  • We all know that our government, dealing with other more important problems (education, security, and health), lack funds on supporting our sportsmen. Why don’t we just leave it to the private sector? (I personally commend Cobra Energy Drink, ABS-CBN, and Manny V. Pangilinan for supporting our athletes).
  • Support. Our paddlers need their fellow countrymen’s support. Just because they are not as guwapo as the Azkals does not mean we will have to neglect them. (Come on! Mas mukhang Pilipino ang mga ‘to mga Pare! I’m just kidding but I know you got my point there.)
  • I hope that dragon boat will soon be recognized as an Olympic sport. Who knows? Our country’s first gold medal may come from this event.
  • In the event that the tension on West Philippine Sea escalates and our chinky-eyed neighbors threaten us with their aircraft carrier,  hamunin na lang natin sila sa Dragon Boat! Kahit sa kanila pa nanggaling ang sports na ‘yan! Ha ha!
  • We can have other better paddlers when these great athletes retire.Madami tayong mga mangingisda! Magaling magsagwan ang mga yan!

Congratulations again to the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation. Thank you for bringing an honor and inspiration on this divided country. Viva Filipinas! Padayon!

Read more here: 1. Aquino vows to rid sports of Politics. 2. Dragonslayers (Patricia Evangelista)

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