Filipino Dragons (Singapore)

The forthcoming 28th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) will officially open on 5th June 2015 with Singapore as this year’s host country. Over 950 athletes were selected from Singapore alone and a total of 7,000 athletes and officials from the 11 participating nations are expected in the whole duration of the games, 5th – 16th June 2015.

This year’s games will feature 36 sports, tallying a massive 402 events to be contested in the 12-day biennial sporting event. To help ensure the success of the games, a reported number of 17,000 volunteers will be deployed to perform various roles for SEA Games 2015.

The Filipino Dragons (Singapore) or FDS, a registered society in Singapore, is proud to share to the community that a number of its members and past captains will be involved in SEA Games 2015, with its Founding Team Captain, Lino Arboleda Jr., headlining a National Technical Official (NTO) role under the Asian Athletics Association.

Former President & Team Captain Eugene Azucena and former Team Captain Jasper Quevada will assume roles as NTO’s representing the Singapore Dragon Boat Association in the Traditional Boat Race or popularly known as Dragon Boat. Eugene Azucena, a member of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association’s management committee, will be part of the Judging Team while Jasper Quevada will be with the Race Secretariat team, carrying an important role of handling the race progression.

“I am very proud of how the team has evolved over the last six years and this massive participation of FDS members in the coming SEA Games 2015 show how much passion they have for dragon boat, or any sport for that matter. It is very rewarding to be able to participate and to be entrusted with important roles in the SEAG, especially for us who came from a team which started with humble beginnings.” said FDS Founding Team Captain, Lino Arboleda Jr.

Other NTO’s for Traditional Boat Race are Gabo Gavino and Christian Abulencia. Gavino is one of the founding members of FDS, and will be one of the Timekeepers under the Judging Team; while Abulencia, a veteran paddler and the team’s former VP for Externals Committee, will assume a role under Race Secretariat.

Other FDS members who will be supporting the games as Event Service Marshals/Volunteers are: Polai Bayas (Traditional Boat Race, Sailing, Cycling); Wong Mei San (Basketball, Netball, Fencing, Billiards, Snooker); Mark Vallarta (Swimming, Water Polo).

FDS President and former Women’s Captain, Maria Michelle ‘Mickee’ Nadal Balagot said: “I am very much delighted and ever proud to know that a number of our members will play a vital role in the SEAG. It is a rare occasion and a great environment to experience something different and exciting other than our usual jobs or even our weekly trainings.”

While the Filipino Dragons (Singapore) is an active affiliate of the Singapore Dragon Boat Association, the National Sports Authority (NSA) for the sport of Dragon Boat in Singapore, the team is not just all about dragon boat training and competition. FDS is a vibrant member of the International Dragon Boat Community (IDBC) and is actively in partnership with different FilCom clubs to help in charity projects, donation drives, and other socially significant activities which promote togetherness amongst Filipinos in Singapore.

The FDS President and veteran paddler also expressed her pride as a Filipino, adding: “I feel their excitement knowing that whatever role they land in could possibly open up various possibilities and even broaden their horizons as athletes themselves. In terms of social skills, they will meet new people and often times those whom we look up to as athletes. Finally, I wish them all the best and may this experience also enable them to realize their worth as individuals living and working here in Singapore. Mabuhay kayo!”

In the long distance dragon boat race held last Saturday, 30 August 2014, the team clocked a strong timing of 50mins 21secs which landed them the 3rd Place, among 19 teams. Other top winners were Singapore Institute of Management and British Dragons Singapore, 1st and 2nd place respectively.

This is the first time that the team has bagged medals for this event, hence completing the medal ranking status in all dragon boat events in Singapore. The team also sent 5 crews to join the Singapore Barbarian boat in the said event.

These are the brave men and women who accepted the 10KM Challenge:

Marvin Leonardo, Jaz Quevada (Team Captain), Jelix Cruz, Mary Jeanne Hernandez, Khookie Gallardo, JayR Gatdula, Krishna Saladaga-Manipol, Michael Bacareza (Assistant Men’s Captain), Mark Hizon, Lino Arboleda (Founding Team Captain), Natski Santos, Polai Bayas, Rachel Durens, Ralph Penales (FDS Creative & Design Head), Richie Ulaye, Rod Jacinto, Mark Carandang, Mirasol Aquino, Ryann Gozun, Sarena Sukhani, Ana Abad, Bads Ordenes, Cyprus Malinao and Zat Hernandez (Steersperson).

Congratulations Filipino Dragons (Singapore) 10KM Crew and to all the 19 teams who have survived the long distance dragon boat challenge.

FDS, Mabuhay!!!

Photo Credit: Apple Xiao Man, SDBA