First off, I would like to congratulate the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) team which just arrived today and was awarded a presidential citation in Malacanang Palace by President Noynoy himself.

President Aquino with the PDBF team (courtesy of Gil Nartea, Malacanang Photo)

It has been a while since I raised no-brainer questions in this blog.

I believed the last time I did so was during the campaign period for the May 2010 presidential elections.

A favorite of readers: would candidate Dick Gordon sue the survey outfits–Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations–for supposedly failing to get his approval to get himself included in the surveys IF he was not consistently among the survey tail-enders?

An opportunity to raise an NBQ arose recently.  By now you are aware that the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation (PDBF) team has grabbed five gold medals and two silver medals during the recently concluded 10th International Dragon Boat Federation (IDBF) in Tampa, Florida.

Philippine dragon boat team

What made the effort even more spectacular was that our paddlers established world records in all 5 events they won in Tampa.

However, the stellar achievement is dimmed a bit since none of the victories were in the standard boat category (with 20 paddlers).  All of them were in the short boat category (with only 10 paddlers).

Apparently, the PDBF team did not have enough financial support to prepare for the standard boat competitions.  In fact, it reached Florida only through the help of private sponsors such as the Philippine Air Lines and the manufacturers of Cobra energy drink.  For this reason, it was known as the Cobra Philippine Dragon Boat Federation Team.  Publicity was drummed up by the media giant ABS-CBN.

On the surface, the team’s financial difficulties started when the PDBF was stripped of its status as a national sports association (NSA) by the Philippine Olympic Committee.  If it was still an NSA, the PDBF would be entitled to government funds and its team would be officially recognized as a national team.  Then it could have competed in the more prestigious 20-paddler standard boat races in Tampa.

Insiders intimate that the Philippine Olympic Committee and the Philippine Sports Commission wanted the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation to subsume itself another another federation, the Philippine Canoe and Kayak Federation, which was a recognized NSA, so it could gain public funding. When the PDBF refused, it no longer was an NSA.

And that’s not all.  POC Director Col. Jeff Tamayo pooh-poohed the PDBF’s Tampa victories by claiming they were made at the expense of weak or beginners’ teams.

POC Director Jeff Tamayo

One of the results of the PDBF victory in Tampa were demands by some Senators for an investigation into the lack of public financing  of the PDBF team.

Two no-brainer questions:

Would these same Senators demand such an investigation if the PDBF team did not win in Tampa?

Second, does a dragon boat look even remotely like a kayak or a canoe?

Let’s take another look.



Dragon boat


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