PDBF Sinag Perlas rules Korea dragon boat races

THE Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Sinag Perlas team dominated another international event when it ruled the 2015 Busan Korea International Dragon Boat Races in Busan, South Korea last week.

The PDBF team brought home three golds (1000m Mixed Event Standard Boat, 500m Women Event Small Boat and 200m Women Event Small Boat), one silver (500m Mixed Event Standard Boat) and two bronzes (200m Mixed Event Small Boat and 200m Mixed Event Standard Boat).

PDBF Sinag Perlas won in the mixed events despite being undermanned by three male paddlers. Standard Boat Mixed Events include 12 male and eight female paddlers.

The team is composed of members of various PDBF clubs united in a common purpose.

Coach Rhowie Enriquez (left), who also does the work of drummer, gives the thumbs up sign along with her crew after completing a heat. The PDBF Sinag Perlas team brought home three golds from the 2015 Busan Korea International Dragon Boat Races in Busan, South Korea last week.

“Winning this international dragon boat race proves that we can be one and form a solid tough team like the PDBF Elite Team in our pursuit of excellence for the glory and name of our beloved Philippines,” said coach Rhowie Enriquez of Triton Dragon Boat Racing.

The PDBF team was formed two months ago and members dedicated themselves completely to the goal at hand.

“It didn’t come easy. It took full surrender to the training program of the PDBF to achieve this feat. That is what I and my co-pacer Romeo Albaladejo did: full dedication to four hours of rigorous training every day, rest, diet, and putting aside our social activities,” said Dene Gomez, Starboard Side Pacer Men Crew.

“I have to admit, doubt can sometimes creep in, but having my buddy Romeo by my side made it harder for fear to take over. Motivating each other has become our reflex. Even during the actual race, we regularly shouted short reminders to each other to make our pacing perfect. And here we are today, with six trophies and an overwhelming feeling of bliss.”

Dragon boat racing traces its roots to an ancient folk ritual of contending villagers held for over 2,000 years throughout southern China. While the annual competition dates back more than 20 centuries dragon boat racing started as an international sport in Hong Kong only in 1976.

The PDBF has brought honor to the country through its continued success in international competitions like the 2015 Busan Korea International Dragon Boat Races.

Berlin Gablan, Starboard Side Pacer Women Crew, said nobody’s too small or under qualified as long as they had the heart and perseverance to give honor to our country.

The members of the team came from different clubs but managed to overcome all obstacles through sheer perseverance.

“I was never a pacer from my mother team, Rowers Club Philippines, but as I trained with Sinag Perlas, I realized that even if we came from different clubs from PBDF, we could succeed for as long as we trained together consistently. Having the heart of a champion is very important to face any teams in Busan,” said Romeo Albaladejo Port Side Pacer Men Crew.

“Despite the fact that we have different strokes, attitude and personal problems, we still managed to train daily with the help of Coach Dino Miranda for land and Coach Rhowie Enriquez on boat. Nothing is really impossible when a team works together for a goal. That is why our two months of rigorous training bore fruit in the form of medals and trophies.”

Marcia Cristobal is the overall team manager and PDBF President. Christian Villar of Rowers Club Philippines Sea Dragons is the team manager.

Members of the team include Mary Ann Huganas, Hazel Abarratigue, Stephanie Eleanor Nadine Sta. Ana, Aniceto Fontanilla and Kerwin Meily of Triton Dragon Boat Racing; and Christine Balaguer, Romeo Albaladejo Jr., Berlin Gablan, Dene Jennel Gomez, Thea Bartolome and Maria Teresita Palteng of Rowers Club Philippines Sea Dragons.

 Other members of the team are Nenita Leal of Philippine Navy Dragon Boat Team; Norena Mateos, Vera Mary Marie Accad and Geannie Chris Jarabejo of Amateur Paddlers Philippines; Heber Fabregar and Kiefer Ticao of Bruins: Racers of the High Seas; and Maria Helen Rabino of Onslaught Racing Dragons,

Other members are Kristine Joy Verzosa-Yap and Victor Isagani Mariano of Maharlika Drakon; Nyllressan Factolarin of One Piece Drakon Sangres; Francisco Roura and Ronald Mallorca of Rogue Paddlers Philippines; Melvenia Atip and Mylovelle Birco of Onslaught Racing Dragons; and Karla Marie Eufemio of Philippine Blue Phoenix Dragon Boat Club.

All members of the team made sure that they dug deep into the water every time they paddled and that they gave their all in every stroke. They did their best not for personal glory but for their teammates sitting with them in their boats and for everyone who believed that they could bring glory to the Philippines.

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