I just came from an awesome trip and coverage for my blog.The Bangkathon boat race festival and event is not just a regular race but also an eye opener for me on what’s happening around our nearby provinces and also the effort the town folks are doing to conserve and protect the marine resources in Calatagan, Batangas.
My story started where I’m at home just resting and then last Saturday, Ms. Des Lleno, of CSR department of Manila Ocean Park sent a message tag in Facebook and she invited me to join and attend the 10th year of Bangkathon Festival in Calatagan, Batangas. After reading the Facebook post and tag, my mind got refreshed that I have heard this Bangkathon before, not sure if I have read it, seen it on TV or a friend from Batangas mentioned this to me. After getting a confirmation from Des and the organizer of the festival – Mr. Jessie Delos Reyes of Conserve and Protect Oceans Foundation Philippines or CAP-Oceans, I told them I will bring my three other blogger friends to join the journey, I get the positive nod and then we prepared right away and waited for another night to travel to Batangas. Me, Raffy, Enzo and Ron plan it well on Facebook about the trip, but it was okay when Ron back out bec. of daddy duties and some work for Sunday. So it was me, Raffy and Enzo joined the journey and adventure to Calatagan, Batangas.
Our arrival in Calatagan, greeted us with the mighty glow of the Super moon, although we didn’t saw the famous golden sunset in Calatagan, the moon gave us great vibes for our trip. Calatagan, Batangas is the best place to view the golden sunset, check my 1st time viewing of the golden sun set way back 2006
Jessie and his team greeted us and we talked lots of things over coffee during the 1st night we stay in Peninsula Resort, that’s the office and training center of CAP-Ocean. We learned from Jessie about their advocacy of protecting marine and natural resources in Calatagan, Batangas, it’s a heart breaking story that I heard that they have this effort of protecting the sea, but then there are still people who do illegal finishing and dynamiting the sea, but I’m glad that the people of Calatagan are cooperative in terms of having a self regulation in terms of fishing, they now have 7,000 registered fishermen and 4,000 registered boats for Calatagan, Batangas only (will get complete source of this data soon)
Our discussing ended into whale and dolphin surveyors volunteerism after the last sip of coffee, we took a break and slept at 12am. wow the paksiw meal from our dinner is the best!! really energize me for a day.
This is our photo during our breakfast at 5:30am, the food that greeted me are Caldereta, Menudo and Fried rice hahahahaha.
And also this lechon greeted us after we road the van….omgggg!!
At Calatagan Port… We arrived here at the starting point and also registration site of Bangkathon
There’s a public boat here waiting and I think it’s a way going to Mindoro.
The partners and volunteers of Bangkathon poses behind the banner
During the registration, I noticed that some fishermen arrived in the morning at the port bringing their fresh catch of the day, most of the fish that I saw are “espada fish” which I know good for dried or sinigang meal.
Ahahaha…parking for boats
Here comes the family and supporters of each Bangkathon boat races, each motor boat carries the families and also tag the race boats by rope, other boats are carried by another boat.
Here are the Bangkathon racers…. number 11 is the 1st place winner from last 2012 Bangkathon
Age doesn’t matter, but the race and fisherman registration starts at 18 years old.
Everyone are excited and it felt that being part of Bangkathon is a must join event for local fishermen of Calatagan.
I just learned that they have registered 27 fishermen that day for 2013 Bangkathon.
Let’s do a senti moments in photography heheheh.
Here comes the support for daddy fisherman!
Almost everyone is here….galeng ha..di na kelangan ng life vest.
Here’s me riding a boat, each of us blogger are assigned to one boat, this will give us a ride to the starting point of the race, which is in the dead corals and mini lighthouse at the other side of Calatagan.
Here’s Raffy of www.pinoytravelblog.com got his own boat
Enzo of www.juanmanilaexpress.com and Des of Manila Ocean Park riding the “Bread winner” boat
As we depart from the port, I prayed that all will be safe, I heard that the waves are bigger that morning, and the high tide level is bigger and a record for this year. Not sure if the Super moon affected the rise of the level of the sea.
After 15 minutes of boat ride, we arrived here at the mini lighthouse and it serves as a sign for the dead corals site below.
Boat racers are warming up and preparing for the go signal to start the race.
selfie muna… ahahahahah
More boat racers arrived
We waited for the go signal and it looks like that other boatman are having a hard time coordinating with the organizers, the mega phone speaker can’t even reach the ones who are far from the starting point and assembly of boats.
Senor Raffy just arrived hahahaha.
Race just started….. everyone went wild and pump up!
check out the incoming big waves…. each boatman got its own strategy
10 kms stretch is not a joke… the finish line is at the bigger lighthouse on the other side. The most record breaking time to reach there was 44 min. but that was last 2009, then from last year it was 48 min.
Boat Marimar spotted on the left side… the boatman told me that its easier to paddle if the water is calm, but then the boat will just stay on one point if the waves hit them.
The boat that I’m riding is supporting for their father who is racer number 9. We followed him and the supporters are guiding him and on standby if ever he got blacked out, some boaters from last year went blacked out for a few seconds due to exhaustion after massive paddling.
seen here are the supporters standing by near their racer
Here’s the exciting part when we see two boats racing near each other..its like a boxing when people around me are shouting and cheering…
boat number 9 smiled at us, because his family cheering him up with some naughty jokes hahahaha.
Our boat driver that day
here’s boat number 9 got energized…. paddling again
boat St. John 2 spotted behind us
The race heated up when boat number 9 spotted ahead of him another boatman got tired..he paddled right away, but then the boatman infront noticed him and started to paddled away from him hahahah it was a nice view to see racers are so serious to get the lead…even if they didn’t make it to the 1st 3 spot of the race.
Spotted Jessie sitting in the coast guard boat… here he declares that the race is over and there’s already a winner.. I think this is also the finish line.
Mommy and baby waiting for the result of the race.
Race is over…..
1st place winner is the 3 time 1st placer from 2009-2011 – Louie Macalalad, 40 years old. aka The Fighter.
Here’s Raffy photo op with 2nd placer Julius Molina and 1st placer Louie Macalalad.
my turn for photo op.
Louie told us that he trained and practice for a month for the race. He uses weights to power up his arms. While for Julius, the younger boatman, told us that he trained for only 1 week for this race. Looks like it will be a battle again next year to see the old and younger boatman to race for Bangkathon 2014.
Now back at Peninsula Resort… town folks are here and waiting for the big awarding.
awesome coverage guys!!!! Raffy, Enzo and Me.
Certificates for all partners, supporters and boat racers.
cool souvenir -a candle lighthouse of Calatagan
here’s the awarding ceremony
Each participants receive a half sack of rice as consolation prize, while the 1st place received P15,000, the 2nd placer received P10,000 and the 3rd placer received P5,000.
Also the participants received their own certificate, candle and 1/2 sack of rice. Everyone smiled when they heard the consolation prize.
1st place: Louie Macalalad 40years (4 time winner)
2nd place: Julius Molina 20 years old ( 6th placer from 2012)
3rd place: Michael Mangubat (2012 1st placer)
The 10th Bangkathon 2013 participants in Calatagan, Batangas.
Congratulations to all!
Jessie Delos Reyes
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Azrael Coladilla is the blogger and founder of Azrael's Merryland Blog. This blog started as a personal blog in 2003, and then converted the blog into a lifeblog about his interest and reporting about pop culture, lifestyle, entertainment, technology, food, travel, toys, outdoor adventure, internet and social media. Awarded as the 2009 Most Influential Blogger for Luzon, Philippines, awarded by the Philippine Blog Awards. He is the founder of several online communities - Manila Bloggers Network, PBNetwork PH, Oh My Food! community, Cavite Bloggers, Travel and Blog Community, and Philippine ToyCon. He loves to travel, explore, discover, eat new food, document and record his life, meet new people, do photography and collects Transformers toys.