We now turn to Asian reporter, Tricia “Beth” Takanawa

Thanks Tom. I’m coming to you live from the 16th Annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in Flushing Meadows, Queens. It is a beautiful day here at Corona Park as hundreds of Asians migrated to the park, some from as far away as New Jersey. Clear blue skies, the temperature at a cool 80 degrees, with a light breeze coming from the lake.

I will be covering the activities of Team Prudential, managed by the indefatigable, Nina.

“Miss Nina, how does your team feel, today?” I asked.

“We’re running a little late. I told everyone to meet up at the ass-crack of dawn, but we’re still missing a few people. But hopefully, they’ll get here soon cause our first race is at 9:30.”

“Your team of mixed Asians have been practicing every Saturday for the last 2 months now. What is your team’s strategy?”

“Row very, very fast. Shake and bake!

“Thank you, Nina. Good luck.”

“Thanks, Beth. Can you stay here and watch everyone’s stuff?”

This is Beth, reporting from underneath Team Prudential’s tent, watching the action from afar, making sure no one steals Team Prudential’s crap. There will be 32 races today. The first 16 will be the 250-meter event, and the next half will be 500meters. Each race has 3 or 4 “dragon boats,” whoever wins each race will advance to the finals. There are three levels, beginner, intermediate and advanced. This is Team Prudential’s debut appearance in this annual event, and as such, they will be competing at the beginner’s level.

After a 45-minute delay with the first race, the officials and organizers of today’s festival seem to have finally gotten their act together. By lunchtime, all 16 races have been held for the 250-meter event. Everyone seems to have gathered at the “food court” where dozens of delicious Asian cuisines could be sampled.

When the second half of today’s races got on their way, yours truly positioned herself close to the lake to capture each race with her digital camera (pictures included). Team Prudential, after a valiant effort, did not qualify for the finals of the 500 meter event. I followed the Team trudge their weary way back to their tent.

Nina had a surprise for them. A silver medal.

As I watched Nina hand out a medal to all the rowers, I could feel a growing sense of fulfillment from all the members. Even though they didn’t win, they put up a good effort, and they felt confident that they will win a race tomorrow. Nina was very proud of them.

A member of the team turned around and asked everyone to give Nina a round of applause for getting them all together. Were it not for Nina’s efforts to get them all organized 2 months ago, they would not be here today. We are all very proud of her.

I approached another Filipino spectator: “What do you make of today’s events?”

“It was a great day. Everyone was in good spirits, there was great food, the sun was shining on us, and everybody seems to have had a great time. It was a good day for Asians.”

It was a good day, indeed.

This is Beth, sunburnt and delightfully worn out from today’s activities, signing off. Back to you, Tom.

Thanks, Beth. After the break, we have more news: Filipino Jerseyan’s car dies after delicious Vietnamese dinner in Jersey City, leaving her and her friend stranded miles away from their home.

Also next: accountant-extraordinaire seeks man to help solve all her problems. Stay tuned for all the details.

Haloscan comments -7

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~ by Binibining Beth on August 12, 2006.

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