Come South, Cam Sur: The First Race Experience

When I first joined the DLSU Dragonboat (DBT) team around June, I didn't know a lot about the sport. It just seemed interesting to me--i...

When I first joined the DLSU Dragonboat (DBT) team around June, I didn't know a lot about the sport. It just seemed interesting to me--interesting enough that I was convinced to join. I even dragged my cousin along with me, and thankfully she agreed. I heard the races were held everywhere. Part of the team was even training for a race in China when I first joined (of course, I was new, so I wasn't part of that). But the only races I've watched were those held at Manila Bay. I was told about the big race at Camarines Sur (Cam Sur), but I didn't know when it was. It sounded like it was going to be some experience, so I was really pumped to train hard so I could join. Unfortunately, I got sick for a week and was out for another two weeks because of demanding course requirements. Training seemed like such a dream that time; I barely had the energy to even get up, which was why waking up at 5:30 a.m. became a problem for me. But once I was back to normal, I was so determined to get back to training. I was actually scared that I won't be a part of the Cam Sur race anymore. But when I was told I was a reserve already, I was psyched! I just really had to convince my parents to allow me. Eventually they did, and the rest is history!

My first DBT race and I was with the greatest teammates ever! It was through that race that I got to know everyone. Since I was one of the newbies, I was pretty shy approaching people during training. But the race also gave me a chance to really meet the rest of the team and bond with them. The experience was priceless! I raced three times with the rest of the Animo Ladies for the Womens division--we even won 1st place during the qualifying for the semis. Instant in to semi-finals! I got so teary eyed after. All the stretching, the training, the deep breaths, the praying... everything... it all paid off. I am also proud to say that the team got into the semi-finals for all the categories (Womens, Mixed and Mens). Though we didn't win, I felt the team gave everything. We already made it that far! I'm so happy and proud to be a part of this team. PUSO, DLSU DRAGONBOAT!

Once the competition was over, all the teams celebrated in CWC where the race was held. There was food, drinking, live band, wakeboarding and knee boarding! I had three cups of rice paired with assorted ulam for dinner. LOL such a pig. I also got to try knee boarding. It was exciting! The first turn was pretty scary because I thought I was going to fall off... but eventually I got the hang of it. SO MUCH FUN!

I won't ever forget this first race experience! So much happened. We even got to meet Marc Nelson when he was doing a segment for Sports Unlimited I think. It was pretty cool that he cheered with us for DLSU during one of the heats. We were also on TV a lot, LOL. Though I'm not sure where the race was shown/will be shown. Oh well.

An 8-to-10-hour bus ride was all worth it! Thank you, DLSU Dragonboat for such a memorable experience!

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