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Paraw Regatta’s Sinamba 2012: Colors and Music of Ilonggo Dance

Submitted by on February 17, 2012 – 9:25 pmNo Comment


Yesterday’s “SINAMBA sa Paraw Regatta” drew the metropolis at the Freedom Grandstand in an evening of excellent and exciting dance and music performances brought by Iloilo’s homegrown talents. It was a colorful event graced by Ilonggo creativity, culture and love for dancing. Even though only three groups entered for this year’s dance competition, the event was packed with energy and vibrant performances. All I can say is, it was as if Las Vegas and Brazil was combined with genuine Ilonggo culture – a world-class tourism event to behold!

What I really liked about last night’s event is the incorporation of folk Ilonggo music with modern samba music. Modern and folks songs were perfectly blended – but the Ilonggo identity never paled, rather it was strengthened as the crowd even sang some of the familiar Hiligaynon songs.


The costumes never lack extravagance! Grandiose and colorful, the dancers perform in their beautiful attires which perfectly fit the rhythm of the night.

Torch Parade and Mardi Gras Competition

At 6 PM yesterday, students and participants for the competition assembled in front of the Iloilo Capitol for the signature torch parade. It was a cold and rainy afternoon, but the dark early night played beautifully as the torches were lit and illuminated Calle Real going to the Freedom Grandstand.

John-B-Lacson-2While waiting for the arrival of the parade, the crowd at Freedom Grandstand was entertained by the cultural dancers from John B. Lacson Maritime University (JBLFMU) with folk dances and songs. The first Maritime University in Asia, JBLFMU has greatly supported the Paraw Regatta Festival through the years as the festival highlights the seafaring tradition of the Ilonggos (from prehispanic times up to this date).

At 7 PM, finally the program started. It’s worth mentioning that days prior to the event, news circulated that Sinamba won’t push through because of the lack of funds. But with the help of the city government and the private contributors, the event continued.

From here on, these are the highlights of Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta Mardi Gras Dance Competition (in pictures):


Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation Inc. Chair Manuel E. Villar Jr giving the opening remarks


Miss Paraw Regatta Float coming from the parade

A Samba Dance performed by the students from John B Lacson Foundation Maritime University:




Grupo Samba La Fiesta of St Therese – MTC Colleges





More picture of Samba la Fiesta’s performance here.

Grupo Las Brillas of Iloilo City National High School






Can’t get enough of Grupo Las Brillas? More photos here.

Grupo Del Oeste of West Visayas State University






Samba? It’s More FUN in ILOILO!

More Fun Philippines

You love Grupo del Oeste’s performance? Check out photos here.

What’s Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta? (from Paraw Regatta Official Website)

Samba de Regatta is a celebration of Ilonggo seafaring ingenuity! It is a celebration expressed in music and dance.

The Samba de Regatta Music and Mardi Gras Competition is hoped to be slowly developed into another tourism spectacle of the city. Conceived to be a special event after the take-off of the competing “Paraws” to entertain the anxious spectators, it has gained the acceptance and enjoyment of the witnessing regatta crowd along the beach of Villa in Arevalo.

Originally set against a beach backdrop, the gaiety in “samba” beat befitting of a beach ambience was sought to invade the city streets last year in an attempt to make “samba” a vehicle for city-wide awareness of the Paraw Regatta Festival.

Various musical and artistic groups are beginning to appreciate this side event of the festival and making it as good venue for their musical and other varied artistic expression.

This event is not religious nor culturally base. It is simply an expression of Ilonggos in appreciating their own talents and most of all simply celebrating the Ilonggo way of life.

This year’s theme “Sailing the Best Wind” stresses the Ilonggo seafaring skills in search for the perfect wind to swiftly maneuver their paraws to the finish line in the 30-kilometer race at Iloilo Strait.

Editor’s Note: The Mardi Gras Competition held yesterday at Freedom Grandstand were judged and the scores make up 70% while the Sinamba to be held in Villa Arevalo this coming Sunday, February 19, will be the remaining 30%. 

Back to 2012 Paraw Regatta Festival Parent Page.

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