|Gathering strength, determination, and a sea of endurance: Participants unite for the Ironman 70.3 Puerto Princesa 2023, capturing the essence of the long-distance triathlon journey in a single frame.
Travelers, adventurers, and nature enthusiasts rank Puerto Princesa City, which is located in the Philippines' Last Frontier, as their top choice. The city is now firmly establishing itself as the “Sports Capital of the Philippines” thanks to the numerous sporting events that take place there.
Invincible. Amazing. Indestructible. Puerto Princesa is the epitome of this, offering top-notch sporting events including wakeboarding, kiteboarding, water skiing, banana boat rides, tube rides, and hookah diving. The city also frequently hosts the Puerto Princesa International Motocross Grand Prix, Thai Riders, Pinoy Riders, Mountain Bike XC Challenge, Boxing Eve "Hamon sa Puerto Princesa," and the "Motocross Masters of Asia," the Philippine leg of the FIM UAM Asian Motocross Series.
Puerto Princesa understands that sports and tourism are interrelated and complementary driving forces for the promotion and sustainable economic development of the city as an attractive tourism destination. It continues to boost its tourist arrivals by hosting and organizing more sporting events.
The city is blessed with natural resources and landscape to hold excellent mass-participation events such as triathlons and marathons, mountain bike and motocross races, beach volleyball, and other water sports competitions.
“Talagang naka-project na ang Puerto Princesa sa sports tourism. Syempre yung hinahabol nating sports tourism yung mayroong international flavor,” City Mayor Lucilo Rodriguez Bayron said.
Mega sports events such as the Ironman and Dragon Boat Festival can be catalysts for tourism development in Puerto Princesa if successfully leveraged in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development, and other economic, cultural, and social benefits.
|Ironman 70.3 participants rushing from Puerto Princesa Bay
IRONMAN 70.3 PUERTO PRINCESA-ASIA TRI-CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP
The second year of the IRONMAN 70.3 Puerto Princesa - Asia Tri-Club Championship, the ultimate test of endurance, strategy, and strength, capped off the Philippines' triathlon season. It was successfully held in Puerto Princesa on November 12.
A total of 523 foreign and Filipino triathletes from 38 countries participated in the amazing race. Satar Salem (4 hours, 22 minutes, and 25 seconds) and Leyann Ramo (5 hours, 2 minutes, and 56 seconds) both of Tri SND Barracuda dominated the top overall age group for the male and female categories, respectively.
China’s Junyu Cao finished the race in second place at 4:23.13 while Dutch Olympian Eric Van der Linden rounded off the top three finishers in the male category with 4:24.41. Ramo’s teammate Lyllian Grace Banzon trailed her at second place in 5:29.23 while American Catherine Wood completed the top three in the women’s side with the time of 5:36.26.
Tri SND Barracuda of Lanao del Norte netted the country’s top triathlon squad a whopping P500,000 purse put up by Puerto Princesa Mayor Lucilo Bayron.
The competition was divided into three segments: a 1.9-kilometer swim in Puerto Princesa Baywalk, a 90-kilometer bike ride through the city’s southern part, and a 21.1-kilometer run. The grueling course covered 113.0 kilometers or 70.3 miles.
City Mayor Lucilo Rodriguez Bayron expressed his gratitude to the organizers, participants, and spectators for their support for Ironman 70.3. He also showed confidence that the competition will be successfully held again in the city next year as more local and foreign delegates are expected to attend.
THIRD LEGENDS RIDE 2023
The city understands that one of the most popular ways to experience a destination is through a sports event. It allows sports enthusiasts as well as tourists to better engage with local people, nature, and culture.
That happened when about 200 local and visiting riders participated in the 3rd Legends Ride 2023 held on November 18 in Puerto Princesa. The sports activity is part of the successful Subaraw Biodiversity Festival 2023.
From the starting point at Caltex Junction 3, the riders of different groups from all over the country, led by the Tamilok Motorcycle Group, marched together. The other participants were the Big Bikes, Palawan Street Monkeys, Himass Motorcycle Group/Hijos, United Sports Bike of Palawan (USP), and others on small bikes.
The route took the legend riders to Puerto Princesa landmarks such as the Montible Junction, Napsan at the Villa Francesca Resort in Simpocan, the Tala Beach Resort, and straight to the Tennis Covered Court of the Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex, inside Balayong People’s Park.
“Thank you very much for bringing the Legends Ride to our city. Because you enjoyed it, you will come back here. You are always welcome here in Puerto Princesa City,” said City Mayor Bayron at the fellowship dinner at the Tennis Covered Court as he congratulated the organizers, riders, guests, and sponsors for the successful holding of the Legends Ride 2023.
Jun Diagono, president of the National Federation of Motorcycles said they are very happy with the success of Legends Ride 2023. He set two goals in going to Puerto Princesa City: first was to unite all the big bike clubs in the Philippines; and second, to invite various groups to the National Motorcycle Convention on April 26-27, 2024, at the Subic Bay Convention Center.
Diagono also convinced Puerto Princesa City bike legend Edward Butch Chase to hold the national convention in the city next year. He also promised to bring LMFI’s 54-member bike clubs to participate in the upcoming event, including the Federation of Bikes Club based in Mindanao.
At the awarding, the youngest rider was Blu Andre Rausa, 19 years old; and the oldest rider was Bob Del Rosario, 74 years old. The Most Organized Group is Evo Riders Club Philippines and the Biggest Group is Palawan Street Monkeys. A Special Citation was given to Philip Dulatas as the overall chair of the event, and a Certificate of Greatest Appreciation for the support of William Genato, Naj Abdul, and Elroy John “Clink: Hagedorn. The Living legend award was given to Edward Butch Chase.
The other participating groups were the Legends Ride Binuang, GBC, Bandits, Baghawi Rider Club, Bundakan Motorcycle Club, and Widows Son Masonic Riders Association.
2ND INTERNATIONAL DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL 2023
The 2nd International Dragon Boat Festival 2023, held on November 19, attracted teams from Chinese Taipei, Manila, Cebu, and Siargao which competed in the just-concluded 200-meter event. From this series of international activities, it has been proven that it is possible to raise the level of programs and activities in Puerto Princesa.
Strength, strategy, paddling speed, and teamwork were the advantages of the 'paddlers' who won the championship in the final competition. They showed the audience a breathtaking fight. Everyone wants to get away and no one wants to be left behind. So even on a sunny day, the applause and screams from the audience were loud and clear.
In the Women’s Category, the Alliance of Masters from Manila won the championship; the 1st runner-up was the Philippine Titans – Manila; Fire Dragons A was 2nd runner-up – Manila; and Rampage was 3rd runner-up – Manila.
In the Men’s Category, Mr. Canoe from Chinese Taipei won the championship. Followed by Philippine Titans in second place, Dagun Pilipinas A in third place, and Alliance of Masters in fourth place.
The battle in the Mixed Category was also uneventful where the Siargao Dragons from Surigao del Norte proved that they deserve to be champions. The Alliance of Masters placed second; Hongkong China Canoe took third place followed by SAG-1 from Manila in fourth place.
In the Masters' Category where those aged 40 and above were allowed to show their skills, the Sugbo Mighty Dragons from Cebu became champions; followed in second place by the Alliance of Masters; Rampage in third place; and Blue Phoenix from Manila in fourth place.
Praise and admiration were showered on the leadership of the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon Boat Federation, or PCKDF, for taking the lead in organizing the international sports event in the city.
Also heavily praised were the efforts shown by Mayor Lucilo Rodriguez Bayron in the tremendous success achieved by the municipal government for the competition.
“It was not easy but we know that we can win these big international events of ours. Of course with the support of department heads, city hall employees, and the citizens who are there to support what we do. And even the organizations that trust us for big events. I am very grateful,” said City Mayor Bayron. “Please also expect that there are many more activities to look forward to that will make the city recognized by the whole world not only for its eco-tourism wealth but also to become famous as the Sports Tourism Capital of the Philippines!”