This PWD Dragon Boat Racing Team’s Story is the Stuff of Movies

This article originally appeared on Esquire Philippines

“Bugsay hangtod mabuang! (Paddle until you lose yourself!)” This is the battle cry of the Philippine Accessible Disability Services Adaptive Dragon Boat Racing Team. Composed of amputees, Deaf, Blind, and polio survivors, they are the country’s first cross-disability adaptive team.

Of the seven competitions this year-old team has joined, they've won four gold medals—one in the Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Races, and three in the 1st Naga Invitational Dragon Boat Race. Their victories prove that disability is a matter of perception.

“If there is a disability, it is not manifested through the use of wheelchairs, sign language, or Braille. It is a society who cannot see their [PWDs’] competence, strength, and ability in a world that should know no barriers,” says JP Maunes, founder of PADS and manager of the dragon boat racing team.


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