By Mariela Angella Oladive
Iloilo City has just finished the Chinese New Year celebrations, but anticipation has been mounting for the upcoming Paraw Regatta Festival, the longest and grandest sailing competition in Southeast Asia.
Organized by the Paraw Sailing Events committee under Dr. Roberto Somosa, this year’s edition promises an exhilarating showcase of sailing activities.
The festival opens on February 25 at Tatoy’s Poolside Resort after a mass at Arevalo Parish and will feature various events leading up to the main sailing race on March 3.
Dr. Somosa said they aim to have around 50 racers in the main event which showcases the skills of seafarers on colorful sailboats known as paraws.
Paraw Regatta has attracted participants from far and wide, with confirmed entries from Boracay Island, Iloilo coastal towns, and Guimaras.
Somosa emphasized how the festival is more than just a sailing competition; it is a cultural celebration of the region’s heritage and a tribute to the seafaring legacy of the Ilonggos.
As the countdown begins, sailing enthusiasts are invited to join and witness firsthand the splendor of the Paraw celebration.
Pre-race registration will be open from February 12 to 23 at the back of the Kerr and Co. Building in City Proper, Iloilo City.
The Paraw Regatta 2024 schedule of activities to look forward to includes:
- Feb. 26: Pinta Layag that will start at JBLFMU-Arevalo Campus
- Feb. 27: Pinta Regatta Contest at Festive Walk Mall Garden Atrium
- Feb. 28:
– Paraw Regatta Job Fair (TBA)
– Miniature Paraw
- Feb. 29 (Day 1):
– Slalom Race
– Paraw Food Fest
- March 2 (Day 2):
– Paraw H.I.I.T
– Paraw Duathlon
– Beach Sports
– Sinamba sa Regatta (Hall of Justice to Freedom Grandstand
– Paraw Foodfest
- March 3 (Day 2):
– Pinta Tawo
– Pinta Layag Judging
– Paraw Lechon Contest
– Beach Sports at Villa Beach
– Paraw Beach Bodies
– Lighted Paraw and Fireworks
– Paraw Food Fest
– Paraw Photo Contest and Awarding Ceremony
Majority of the events, particularly the main sailing race are traditionally held at Tatoy’s Beach Front.