Dragon Boat Festival in Boracay - Philippines

Boracays Dragon Boat Festival is one of the most anticipated events in the country. Every year, during the second week of July, participants from all around the world battle for pride and honor of winning the International Dragon Boat Festival. Athletes, celebrities and tourists from all over the country gather to watch this event as excitement and competition fills the air.

To attend the Dragon Boat Festival, one can ride a plane from Manila to Caticlan, or to Kalibo from where they will have to hire a van going to Caticlan. From Caticlan, they are to take a tricycle ride to the boat pier and get on a fifteen-minute boat ride to Boracay. From there, guests can hire a tricycle to take them to White Beach near the Boat Station 2.

The Dragon Boat Festival is a manifestation of a longtime water sport tradition that originated in mainland China. Dragon boat racing was mainly a ritual for festivities and a tribute for the Asian dragon deity. Such form of water sport competition has spread al throughout Europe and Asia, making it one of the popular international sports that we known today.

There are usually 30 to 50 teams competing in the Boracay Dragon Boat Festival. Most of the teams come from the Philippines, wherein teams often represent their college, university or a professional association. International contingents include some from Europe, South East Asia and Australia.

The prelude to the Dragon Boat Festival is often a competition or exhibition in other water sports such as paraw boat sailing and skim boarding. There are also sand sculpture competitions and displays for the delight of the participants and spectators.

The Dragon Boat Festival is held a day after the preludes, starting from the Mens Division, then to the Womens Division and lastly, the Mixed Division. Afterwards, both audience and participants can take part in the Food Festival, which is basically a food bazaar where restaurants, sponsors and food vendors sell their goodies or offer free samplings.

The participants of the Dragon Boat Festival are basically team members, each with their own tasks to fulfill. The paddlers comprise most of the team, with the drummer who sets the beat on the paddling maneuvers. The steerer, or coxswain, is placed at the rear of the boat and controls the dragon boats, and is in charge of calling out the commands.

Guests and tourists who wish to take part in this event do not need to shell out any amount of money for the entrance fee, because the event is free for all. However, they should be prepared to spend something on snacks and goodies, as there are nearby food concessionaires and peddlers ready to cater to their hungry stomachs.

Nevertheless, observers have noted that the Dragon Boat Festival in Boracay is not all about competitionit is in fact all about practicing camaraderie and sportsmanship and having a great time on the beach. At the Boracay Dragon Boat Festival, guests get to enjoy the sand, the music, the food and a whole lot more.