Growing up knowing the world through the eyes of history books used in school, I had this concept of Guam as another Philippine island that has not declared independence from the US. Or maybe I was just not listening and reading thoroughly so I tried to somehow learn about this Micronesia island slightly smaller than Guimaras island in size and population through, you guessed it right, Wikipedia.
My impression has basis after all. During the sixteenth century, the Spaniards thru their government in the Philippines controlled Guam. En route the country, Ferdinand Magellan happens to pass by Guam and claimed it for Spain like he did our country.
Not only the government was radiating from our country, even the catholic missionary works emanated from us. Thinking about the martyrdom of Pedro Calungsod.
We are historically and culturally tied up with Guam during Spanish occupation. And yes Guam is our long lost province in that regards – like a relative that has become “stateside”.
Guam would try to bring back this association offering this island as an “alternative” shopping destination to Filipinos looking for cheap US brands including designer and luxury ones. The visa processing too is much easier and quicker than aiming for the mainland if all you wanted to do is shop for anything made in USA! Guam Visitors Bureau and Tropical Productions. Inc. director Carmel Carpio is very much positive of this presentation of Guam during the bloggers launch held at Dad’s Glorietta. She even related how celebrities from the country would shop their designer items there!
Another avenue with which the govt of Guam is putting into the forefront of interacting with Filipinos is in the realm of sport or sports tourism. Guam after all has state of the art sports facilities that athletes may want to make use of.
In line with the sports tourism program, Guam Athletes, Communities, Educators and Students Inc. or ACES, a non –profit organization based in Tamuning, will hold its very first International Dragon Boat Race – the 2016 Guam Thanksgiving Day Dragon Boat Festival – on November 18 -20 at Matapang Beach in Tumon, Guam. (See, even the name of the beach is very much Filipino!) Several powerhouse teams from Asia like Hong Kong and Taiwan will field in their top caliber representatives in the event. Naturally, our country will not be left behind sending in two teams to compete. After all, the Philippines is one of the neighboring countries that Guam looks up to in the development of their canoe and kayaking programs. Events like these allow for the exchange of cultural experiences among the different Dragon Boat clubs and eventually pave the way for the country to become one of the Dragon Boact venues in the world.
Why dragon boat?
Here is the reason coming from the organizers themselves: Dragon Boating, the second fastest growing sport in the world is on its way to becoming firmly established as a recreational and competitive team sport in Guam. For the past years, Guam held races for the locals and Guam have participated in International Events but never hosted one. Races like Commemorative 9/11 Dragon Boat Race brings Dragon Boat clubs from Guam as a form of recreation and get together of enthusiast. And being an island country amidst the sprawling Pacific Ocean, it is a no brainer at all!
“Locally we have dragon boat races three times a year, but this will be the first time we will do it with foreign teams….We are targeting 3 to 4 foreign teams competing with 16 local teams.” Guam ACES representative Terrence Baclig informed the panel of bloggers.
Here are some more photos taken during the blogger launch at Dad’s Glorietta:
This coming November 11 – 13, Puerto Princesa will play host to this year’s Asian Dragon Boat Championship and the Puerto Princesa International Club Crew Championship and the Guam contingent will be there to compete and observe the process. Hosting and experiencing these competitions will offer one big boost to both “sister” countries’ aim of gaining major foothold in the world of dragon boat racing.
For the meantime, they will need all the support from various dragon boat clubs and sponsors around the world.
For Sponsorship/Support please contact Ms. Sheila Leyva of Mindset Events and Production the Official Philippine Partner of Guam ACES, Inc. at Mobile: +63 916 336 6855 or Email: email@example.com.
See you in the next shopping and sporting mecca in Asia then?
For starters, you may want to register to this yearly run race Guam is hosting this October 30th – Guam Ko’Ko’ Races. Oh too soon, maybe next year then. At least you have the whole year to prepare.