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Philippine Dragon Boat Team joins rescue mission in flooded areas

(Xinhua)

15:05, October 02, 2011

MANILA, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine Dragon Boat Team, winner of the five gold and silver medals in a recent competition in the United States, joined the ongoing search and rescue mission on Sunday in the flooded areas of Central Luzon.

Led by its team manager Maj. Harold Cabunoc, the team began the mission, aiming to convince over a thousand people in Masantol town in Pampanga who refused to leave their residence that are submerged under water.

"We will use the actual dragon boat used in the competition," said Cabunoc of the 18-man team, including 12 soldiers. (It's) kawangawa mode," added Cabunoc, who is also the current Army deputy spokesman.

Cabunoc was referring to the boat they used in August during the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships held in Tampa Bay, Florida where they won the medals that earned them local and international recognition.

Cabunoc said Army chief Lt. Gen. Arturo Ortiz "has specifically directed the Army athletes to help in the Army's rescue efforts."

Cabunoc said they plan to employ eight paddlers at a given time so they can load about 10 flooding victims.

Armed Forces chief Gen. Eduardo Oban said: "The Dragon Warriors have already paddled to bring honor and glory for the country. Now they will paddle to save lives of many Filipinos in flood-stricken areas in Bulacan and Pampanga."

"They will take risk to save and bring relief to their fellow countrymen who have been their source of inspiration and who have supported them to paddle their way to victory in the last world competition," added Oban.

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