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Atienza to make Manila Bay Festival a yearly spectacle
Source: Manila Bulletin
Author: By Yul Malicse
Date: 2005-03-18
The first-ever Manila Bay Festival drew thousands of spectators, including local and foreign tourists in the coastal waters of the historic Manila Bay recently. The water festival featured dragonboat and motorboat (banca) races, with Manila City Mayor Jose "Lito" L. Atienza, Jr. leading government officials at the opening rites.

Foreign visitors and Filipino "balikbayans" coming all the way from the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Palau, Australia and Hong Kong witnessed the unique nautical "fiesta".

Some of the spectators who joined the jam-packed Roxas Boulevard Baywalk, fronting the Plaza Rajah Sulayman on People’s Park said it was the first time they witnessed dragonboat and motorboat races.

Mayor Atienza said, ""We would like to make Manila as prime summer destination through this event, which is a joint project of the city government and Manila Broadcasting Company, one of the oldest radio broadcast entities in the country".

Some 400 male and female rowers were invited by the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation, including the Men’s National Team – gold and silver medalists in the last Vietnam SEAGames, and silver medalist in the World Dragon Championships.

Participants who joined the races represented the following places: Navotas; Batangas; Oriental Mindoro; La Union; Cavite; Bulacan; Laguna; Parañaque City; Pangasinan; Bataan; Quezon and Ilocos Sur.

In the Men’s Open, the Men’s National Team won first place in the dragonboat races, with the entries from the Philippine Navy and Pyros landing on second and third places, respectively.

Fireworks displays and concerts at the Plaza Rajah Sulayman that featured the hottest bands and top musical artists and performers in the country were also crowd drawers.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) provided the coastal waters security with their well-trained sea marshals, while the Western Police District Office maintained peace and security at the Baywalk and the Plaza Rajah Sulayman.


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