Monthly Archives: April 2014
It was through the prodding of a colleague in school (while having our weekly swimming session) that I was encouraged to join the first-ever dragon boat team to be formed in Davao City. I wasn’t expecting for it to happen sooner rather than later. Little did I know then…
April 2, 2014 (the day after my mom’s 40 days) when that same colleague told me a meeting will be held for the dragon boat team preparation. Training started immediately on that weekend (April 5 & 6, 2014) from 5:ooam – 7:00am. I just started my Saturday summer work then, so I had to rush to school to clock in by 8am.
It was only during the 2nd day of training that I felt how well my muscles were working. I had aches and pains all over the muscles of my body that I had long-forgotten I had. Flashback to my high school life and Preparatory Military Training (PMT). Well I guess, nothing really bonds you with another human person better than sharing the same experiences (and the same body pains) to attest to your camaraderie and unity.
April 9, 2014 (Araw ng Kagitingan)
A meeting was held at Aling Foping’s Halo-halo at the Matina Town Square (MTS) to discuss various matters involving the the dragon boat competition as well as finalizing and in making our team official. In particular, what name will we carry. The first few names up for selection were quite generic until the words “Hiraya” and “Minokawa” were mentioned. It got everybody a-buzzing with curiosity and awe then finally “HIRAYA MINOKAWA DABAW” was chosen as the team name.
Personally, I didn’t get much of the hype then. But I guess that’s how we all must journey at first… alone. So when my name got included in the Creative Committee (heaven knows why! When I have only a limited number of creative bones in my system… especially in drawing and designing!), it was during those solo moments of conceptualizing that it began to call on me and I started to own up to it… becoming part of the team.
Hiraya, according to one of my teammates, is the offspring of combining hopes, dreams, aspirations, and wishes. So I guess it’s all about promoting positivity and goodwill… and it’s what happiness is made of.
The Bagobos wove tales of the Minokawa as a giant bird as big as an island. It had eyes akin to mirrors, large beak and legs fashioned with steel, and wings as sharp as swords. The Minokawa was said to be able devour the sun and/or the moon. For a detailed background of the Minokawa, click here.
Honestly, I love stories about dragons but discovering one kind that is part of one’s own natural culture is simply spellbinding.
Hiraya Minokawa Dabaw
It’s amazing how something that you didn’t know about nor hear stories of would suddenly hold a special place in your life. How you would widen your scope to get the bigger picture, explore various avenues, and push your boundaries to find out more about what you’re aiming for. Never becoming satisfied until you find the one wherein you, and your teammates can resonate with (and I’m just talking about the conceptualization and visualization for our team logo here!). But it rings true, in dragon boating as well. You start out from knowing without… then as you come to experience it, you want to know more about the sport, tapping and connecting with people who are on the same boat, challenging yourself to work harder to become at par with the team.
In my few weeks of training for our dragon boat competition, I found it important to be at peace and be one with yourself. You are not competing with the other members of the team on who’s the strongest, or the fastest – who could beat the other on whatever. Because if it were a competition within the team, then we would be a lost cause.
Companionship (as those in the religious would call it), Camaraderie (for the sports-minded), Congruence (for some psychologists), Unity (for some sociologists), or Synchronicity (in the words of our Dragon boat team captain) is the key to a successful team. It’s not about second-guessing what the one in front of or beside you will be doing, but more of dancing to the same tune, hearing the same pounding of the drums, beating like one heart as we paddle through the water.
I have yet to experience such a moment of “one-ness” with my team. But as the time for the race approaches, my excitement slowly awakens my spirit with each passing day. Much like being roused from it’s mythical sleep, our hearts will resound with our Hiraya Minokawa – our hopes and dreams – taking them all by surprise as an eclipse would. Winning is not our primary goal, but to make our presence known. And as we raise our paddles in entry, we slice the water with purpose.