The 2017 Isang Bangkang Malaya (IBM) dragon boat competition held at the Kallang Riverside Park on Sunday, 26 June 2017, marked the last of major activities related to the Philippine Independence Day celebration (PIDC) in Singapore, which included the Commemorative Event of the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (11 June), Flag-raising Ceremony (12 June), Pagdiriwang 2017 (18 June) and Diplomatic Reception (19 June).
Now on its 7th year, IBM is organized by the Filipino Dragons Singapore (FDS) with the support of the Philippine Embassy around June each year as part of activities to commemorate Philippine Independence Day. Minister and Consul General Victorio Mario M. Dimagiba Jr., Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and First Secretary and Consul Mersole J. Mellejor, Head of the Political Section and Cultural/Community Relations Section, graced the event.
The FDS is a competitive expat dragon boat team, composed mainly of Filipinos, which was founded in 2008. It aims to bring together the Filipino community in Singapore to forge friendship and camaraderie through the sport of dragon boating. The group regularly competes in dragon boat events in and outside of Singapore.
The theme of this year’s IBM “Lakas ng Pagkakaisa” or “Strength in Unity”, which emphasizes the need for unity in order to move forward. This year’s event was joined by 14 boats including teams Balasador, Bankeros Kidlat, Kalasag, Lafayette Dragons, Mechanics, Race 2 Share, SRC Dragon Juniors, UPAAS Bakunawa, UAP, UP Stat, Zembabwe Dragons.
Bankeros Kidlat emerged as champion with Balasador, SRC Dragon Juniors and Kalasag A capturing 2nd place, 3rd place and 4th place, respectively. Special awardees include: Best in Team Spirit – UAP, Best in Uniform – Kalasag, Mr. IBM – Mark Copina (UAP), Ms. IBM (Kalasag) – Irish Ongpin.