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Sand Sculpting and Skimboarding at 2012 Porma Balas

Submitted by on May 1, 2012 – 11:13 amNo Comment

porma balas ABS-CBN

More than just pretty sand castles -that’s what we experienced seeing Ilonggo creativity give birth to several beautiful sand sculptures at Villa Beach last Sunday. Despite the searing heat in the morning, many beach-goers and spectators came at Breakthrough Restaurant to witness the 18th Porma Balas – a sand sculpting competition. Six entries vied for the prestigious prize but all of them clearly showcased the skills and originality of our fellow Ilonggos. Sand sculpting? Definitely it’s more fun here in Iloilo!

I arrived at Villa Beach around nine in the morning, and there are already 6 mounds of sand (much like volcanoes) in beach front of Breakthrough. The teams were already there at five in the morning to start digging up sand for the sculptures. When enough sand was piled up, the teams soaked the mound with sea water to make the sand stick together, much like loose cement.

Using ordinary materials – sticks, knives, and even walis tambo, are used in molding the sand. A backpack compression sprayer (the ones used in farms) was used to maintain the moisture of the sand, giving it a smooth finish. After almost eight hours of labor, the 7-foot beautiful sculptures were finished and wowed the crowds visiting the competition.

Organized by the Rotary International and Rotaract Club (Iloilo City District 3850) and supported by Breakthrough Restaurant, Department of Tourism and ABS-CBN, the Porma Balas is an annual event aimed at making sand sculpting a hobby for Ilonggos, and eventually making it a tourist attraction in the city. What’s also interesting in Porma Balas is the advocacy of the organizers to highlight the importance of protecting the coastlines and beaches of Iloilo City, especially at Villa Beach.

Villa Beach Iloilo City

Villa Beach, even with its brown sands, has lots of tourism potential. With its majestic view of the Guimaras Island, Villa Beach has string of resorts and restaurants serving delicious Ilonggo dishes. I believe with concrete action in cleaning up the coast of Villa Arevalo, it will be a prime eco-tourism spot in Iloilo City.

Here were the entries last Sunday:

Entry No. 1

Entry No. 2

porma balas 2012 arevalo

Entry No. 3

sand sculpture 2012

Entry No. 4

porma balas breakthrough 2012

Entry No. 5

Entry No. 6

Here’s how they sculpted a mound of sand into a master work of art:

porma balas rotary club of Iloilo

porma balas 2012

villa arevalo 2012

sand castles iloilo city

Flat Sand – A Skim Boarding Competition

A side-event of the Porma Balas is Flat Sand – a Skim Boarding Clinic and Competition. Aimed at promoting skim boarding among Ilonggos, enthusiasts and competitors showed their stunts in the wet sand in front of Villa Varona.

skim board stunts

“Unlike surfboards, skimboards have no skegs (fins on the bottom of the board used for controlling direction). They are much less stable and require a lot of practice to be able to control. Because they are less stable and specifically because they lack skegs, many things can be done on a skimboard that cannot be done on a surfboard. (from skimonline.com).”

The spectators take great interest in the sport and definitely, with more promotion and events skim boarding can be popular among Ilonggo beach- and adventure-lovers, and later a tourism event (a national competition in the future, perhaps?) for our city.


skim boards

Interested to join Flatsand Iloilo Skimboarding? See their Facebook page here: Flatsand Iloilo

Sand Sculpting and Skimboarding is definitely more fun here in ILOILO! 

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