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Iloilo City gears up for Paraw Regatta

ILOILO CITY (PIA6) – The Paraw Regatta will once again flag off from the shores of Iloilo City and Guimaras this year, bringing more economic opportunities for the city as it pays homage to the region’s seafaring history.

Dr. Roberto Samosa, chairman of the Paraw Sailing Event, said the festival will officially open on Feb. 25 at Villa beach in the city’s Arevalo district.

For the festival’s 41st edition, Samosa said they are expecting more participants from Boracay and nearby towns to join the Paraw Main Race on March 2.

Spectators flock at the Villa beach in Arevalo district to enjoy the Paraw Regatta Festival. (Photo from Mayor Jerry Treñas Facebook page)

He also said they are in talks with Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (IFFI) to increase the cash prizes to up to P120,000.

Engr. Fulbert Woo, co-chair of the event, said that the Paraw Regatta, like the Dinagyang and other festivals in the city, would benefit not just the micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs), but big businesses as well, which would further boost the city’s economy.

“I think all festivals in Iloilo will be beneficial for us, not only the MSMEs, but the big industries. If we look at it, small establishments get their resources from big businesses, so there is really support from the private sector. Through these activities we can create a network of investments and an economic drive for

the city and province of Iloilo,” Woo said.

John Lex Bayombong, chairman of the Paraw Regatta Festival, on the other hand, revealed that other activities slated during the weeklong celebration include the Pinta Layag that will start on Feb. 26 at JBLFMU-Arevalo Campus; Pinta Regatta Contest on Feb. 27 at Festive Walk Mall Garden Atrium; Paraw Regatta Job Fair (TBA) and Miniature Paraw on Feb. 28; Slalom Race and Paraw Food Fest (Day 1) on Feb. 29; Paraw H.I.I.T, Paraw Duathlon, Beach Sports, Sinamba sa Regatta (Hall of the Justice to Freedom Grandstand) and Paraw Foodfest (Day 2) on March 2.

There will also be Pinta Tawo, Paraw Lechon Contest; Beach Sports at Villa Beach; Paraw Beach Bodies, Lighted Paraw and Fireworks, Paraw Food Fest (Day 3), Paraw Photo Contest and Awarding Ceremony on March 3.

The Paraw Regatta Festival, which started in 1973, is considered Asia's largest and oldest sailing event, serving as a way to preserve the historical value of the “paraw” sailboats, which were the main mode of sea transportation during pre-colonial trade. (AAL/JNH/PIA Iloilo)

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John Noel Herrera

Information Officer

Region 6

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