Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 1st Dapa Siargao International Dragon Boat Festival

Speeches 15 July 2023

Today, on the scenic beaches and turquoise waters of Siargao, we gather for the 1st Dapa Siargao International Dragon Boat Festival.

It has been more than two years since the world was thrust into the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and more than a year since Super Typhoon Odette wreaked havoc on our beloved Siargao.

But through the crucible of adversity, our Siargaonon brothers and sisters were able to muster their innate resilience and strength, leading us to this very moment.

It follows the resounding success of the 1st Dapa Siargao National Dragon Boat Regatta held last year, which brought together 21 dragon boat teams from every corner of our nation, each eager to embrace the opportunity to win.

And now, dear friends, we take another momentous leap forward in the inaugural Dapa Siargao International Dragon Boat Festival.

Our shores now warmly welcome all of the 28 teams hailing from different corners of the globe, whose presence and participation make this event even more colorful and vibrant.

To all our international guests, I extend my warmest welcome and deepest gratitude for your support and for gracing us with your participation, despite the challenges we still face today.

Your presence here is a testament to the unifying power of sports and the shared joy that binds us all [as humanity].

Let us take a moment to recognize the Local Government Unit of Dapa, the organizing committee, and all the stakeholders involved in making this festival a reality.

Through their earnest efforts, they showcase the natural wonders of Siargao and revolutionize the tourism industry with their vision and innovation.

To all the paddlers here, both local and international, you are the highlight of this festival.

Embrace it wholeheartedly for in every row you make and every wave you break lies the chance to bring triumph for yourselves and your respective communities.

And through your participation in this friendly competition, you will show us the boundless capacity of human strength, endurance, and spirit.

Indeed, the actions you take carry a weight far greater than all the medals and accolades you compete for today.

For it is through your every effort that we let our humanity shine, transcend, and resonate across the seas.

So, as we move forward in this event, let us remember these lessons well, especially as we go on to explore the sights of Siargao, meet new friends, and make indelible memories that would leave an enduring imprint on our souls for the rest of our lifetimes.

Padajon sa pagbangon, Siargao! (Patuloy sa pagbangon, Siargao!)

Maraming salamat. Thank you. [applause]