Paraw Regatta Festival 2012: Sailing in Winds of Ilonggo Ingenuity
It’s more colorful and grander than ever! The 40th edition of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival was a success as it once again highlighted one of the oldest seafaring traditions in the Philippines. The festival was jam-packed with sporting events and cultural presentations with its climax held yesterday at Villa Beach in Arevalo District.
Now on its 40th year, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival is the oldest traditional craft event in Asia, and the largest sailing event in the Philippines. The festival is a celebration of the Ilonggo’s seafaring traditions and the culture developed in its shores. It also serves as the city’s annual thanksgiving on the abundance of its marine resources and honoring of the seamen and fishermen traversing its calm but deep straits and seas. This year’s theme, “Sailing the Best Wind” perfectly fits the festival’s objectives.
The festival officially opened a week earlier, February 12 at a ceremony held at Tatoy’s Manokan. A string of events such as the Miss Paraw Regatta 2012, Iloilo Paraw Slalom, Beach Ultimate Tournament, Rowing and Paddling Competition, Rapid Chess Tournament, and the Evening Torch Parade were held in the following days.
Here are the events held yesterday at Villa Beach:
The Paraws – More colorful than ever before
The Paraws – the icon of the festival, stand along the beaches early in the morning yesterday. Tourists and photographers flock the shores to view the beautifully painted paraws which will join the 30 kilometer race. It is worth mentioning that this year, the Department of Tourism insisted on a “No Pinta, No Entra” policy, meaning all sails must be painted as a requirement for the race. The entire Villa Beach had been transformed into an art gallery yesterday as the paraws lined up in the beach in preparation for the race.
The Paraws were divided into two categories based on the waterline length – Category A (16 feet and below) and Category B (16.1 feet and above). This year, an approximately 50 entries competed for the Paraw Regatta.
Here are some of the pictures of the Paraws:
At 9 AM in the morning, the festival program started. This is the climax of the festival as guests and tourists flock the beaches to see the take off the paraws for the race. Provincial and City government officials also attended the event. Also present is Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival 2012 winner Kimberly Diedrich of the University of San Agustin. Other winners are also present: Ma. Veronica Geraldoy, 1st runner-up, Gladys Pacete, 2nd runner-up, Mary Lee Tuble, 3rd runner up and Kathleen Joy Bico, 4th runner up.
Coinciding with the Paraw Regatta Festival is the opening of the State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA). The candidates of Mr. & Miss SCUAA 2012 also graced the Paraw Regatta program.
The Take-Off of Paraws
At around 10:20 AM, the first blast was heard – a signal for the Category A Paraws to start the race. Twenty (20) minutes later, the paraws of Category B head off to the race. And off they go:
Several markers are used in the route to guide the participants. The paraws headed west first for the first marker and turned east towards the island of Guimaras in Buenavista and later at Jordan before going through the homebound route.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s Fishing Cup with the cooperation of Panay Anglers Association commenced earlier in the day. The bountiful catch was later shown during the awarding ceremonies.
Sinaot kag Inamba (SINAMBA) sa Paraw Regatta
While waiting for the paraws to return, the second part of the program started. A cultural dance presentation was presented by the students of John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University. They featured several Hiligaynon folk songs such as “Dandansoy”, “Bilong-Bilong”, and “Si Filimon”. Definitely a showcase of Ilonggo culture, the audience sang with the accompaniment – a heart-warming appreciation of these timeless pieces.
Another highlight of the Paraw Regatta is the Sinamba Music and Mardi Gras Competition. Last February 16, the “Grupos” already competed for the 70% of the score at the Freedom Grandstand (see Paraw Regatta’s Sinamba 2012: Colors and Music of Ilonggo Dance). Though the remaining 30% would be judged at yesterday’s performance, the Grupos gave all their best in entertaining the visitors and spectators.
Wearing colorful costumes, the performers danced with the Samba Beat in the background of the beautiful Villa beach.
Grupo Samba La Fiesta of St Therese – MTC Colleges
Grupo Las Brillas of Iloilo City National High School
Grupo Del Oeste of West Visayas State University
2012 Pintawo Competition
Another side event is the Pintawo Competition – a body paint contest. Ten artists and their models showed Ilonggo artistry with their beautiful body paints.
Winners of the Paraw Regatta Race
1st Place: NINIA, ISSIAH, & MAXX of Hector Espinosa (Brgy. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City)
2nd Place: PIRANHA 3 maneuvered by Benito Gordoncillo (Brgy. Camangay, Leganes)
3rd Place: ARLYN by Orlando Demetillo (Brgy. Camangay, Leganes)
1st Place: CHERYLYN of Federico Tantiado (Brgy. Parara Sur, Tigbauan)
2nd Place: MARJOHNEC of Hector and Oscar Espinosa (Brgy. Niño Sur, Arevalo, Iloilo City)
3rd Place: KRISTINE (same with 2nd Place)
See you again next year for 2013 Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival! The next edition promises to be more exciting as the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation revealed its plans to go global and invite international sailors for the race.
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