Adventures and Sports

Kayaking we will go

Bataan

Bernard Supetran
Bernard Supetran | May 30, 2013

Kayaking we will go

Thanks to the Eskimos, this floating contraption called kayak reached Philippine waters in the 1990s, which gave birth to the hottest emerging water sports in the country today. This humble boat has morphed into something sporty capable of navigating any body of water in this 7,100-island archipelago.

An enhanced version of its crude Alaskan ancestor, kayaks today are made up of polyplastic or fiberglass which are flotation devices. With its sleek and stable design, coupled with a double-bladed paddle, it is a user-friendly boat even for first-timers.

With its narrow body, kayaks enable paddlers to reach narrow openings and shallow waters unreachable by motorized bancas or outrigger boats.

“The Philippines is a big coastal community and is a natural playing field for water sports and nature adventure travel, which includes kayaking,” says Val Camara, exponent of recreational kayaking in the country.

Together with his wife Didi, they founded the Philippine Kayaking Association in 1997 to popularize the emerging sport and introduced the Philippine Kayaking Series (PKS), which stands out today as the country’s longest-running kayaking tournament.

Together with the growing legion of afficionados and hobbyists, the PKS group has paddled in touristic spots such as Taal Lake, Batangas, Ternate, Corregidor, Verde Island, Puerto Galera, Hundred Islands, Cebu, Bohol, Subic Bay, Camarines Norte, Bataan, and Zambales.

“Kayaking is one of the most popular aquasports worldwide belonging to the paddling category, to name some, canoeing, sculling, dragon boating and surf board paddling. It is also among the most watched sport at the Olympics,” Camara pointed out.

He added that with the growing healthy lifestyle consciousness among Filipinos, they look to the islands and beaches not just for leisure, but also for recreational sports, with kayaking as a very viable option.

Because of the country’s archipelagic nature, every body of water, whether it be a river, white water, bay, lake, mangrove area, cove or the open sea can be a haven for kayaking.

In addition to the usual paddling tourney, the kayaking series has also incorporated activities which help bring livelihood opportunities and environmental awareness in the communities of the venues.

This unique combination of fun, sports and social outreach come alive once more as the PKS season for 2013 kicks off at the Anvaya Cove Kayak Explore on June 1-2.

Organized by Sun and Sea Sports Systems, The Lighthouse Marina Resort and Philippine Kayaking Association, the event brings together the major tourism stakeholders of Subic Bay such as the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Department of Tourism-Region 3, Ayala Land Premier, International School for Sustainable Tourism, Harbor Point, and Manila North Tollway Corp. The two-day paddlefest consists of a 25-km marathon from the posh Anvaya Cove Beach and Nature Club to Subic Bay Freeport and back, a 6-km beach run and kayak relay, as well as races for novice paddlers.

Adding flavor is the galunggong fiesta where the townsfolk of Bgy. Sabang, Morong, Bataan will prepare gourmet renditions of the native “poor man’s fish”.

The second day wraps with kayak eco-friendly activities such as coastal cleanups, water bonsai demo, and beach tree planting.

The kayak fest is the third edition of the sporting event to be held in Anvaya Cove as part of its commitment to sustainable tourism in the greater Subic Bay area through the conduct of earth-friendly projects.

For details, visit www.kayakphilippines.com or add Philippine Kayaking Series on Facebook.

Photos by Harvey Tapan

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