Dragon boat racing, a watersport that evolved from ancient Chinese rituals, is alive and well in the Philippines. Of the 20 teams under the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Federation, two are featured in this month’s spread: Drago Pilipinas  and the Philippine Titans.

The Philippine Titans recently competed at the Sarawak International Dragon Boat Regatta in Malaysia, where they bagged silver medals in the 400m open small boat and 300m mixed standard boat categories, and a bronze medal in the 400m mixed small boat category.

Drago Pilipinas, meanwhile, is a paddling club that’s been a formidable force on the water. The pioneering team has won a number of international and local races, foremost among them gold-medal finishes at the Hong Kong International dragon boat races (1997-2001), seventh place overall at the 2nd World Championships in Hong Kong in 1997, and silver medals at Singapore’s SAVA Sprints International (2009) and the Malaysia International Dragon Boat Championship (2011 and 2014). The “Drago Fight,” as the team calls it, “allows members to dig deeper, pull harder, and paddle faster on command.”


Photography by Tim De Leon | Fashion styling by Millet Arzaga-Gonzales | Makeup by Claire Seelin–Diokno of Shu Uemura | Hair by Ogie Rayel for Kiehls | Modeled by Olivia Medina of IM Agency | Special thanks to Drago Pilipinas, the Philippine Titans, the Philippine Canoe-Kayak Federation, and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.