Paraw Regatta more than a race of sailboats

These men harness the power of the wind by adjusting the sails to make their paraw (sailboat) move. Their boat is one of the over 40 entries in yesterday’s (Feb. 17, 2018) Paraw Regatta in the Iloilo Strait between Iloilo City and the island province of Guimaras. Paraw Regatta is considered the oldest sailing event in Asia. It is now on its 47th edition. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – Yesterday’s 47th edition of the Paraw Regatta attracted over 40 wind-propelled native sailboats called paraw.

But the annual regatta is more than a race, according to Mayor Jose Espinosa III before the competition started at the shores of Arevalo district.

“We do this to enhance public awareness on the importance of our seas. We have to protect our marine resources,” he stressed.

Participating paraws raced against one another on the Iloilo Strait between this city and the island province of Guimaras.

Espinosa said he wanted to make the city’s coastline swimmable again with the support of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other stakeholders.

Lawyer-environmentalist Antonio Oposa, meanwhile, lauded the Ilonggos’ “culture of the sea.”

“Thank you very much because you have revived our love for the sea,” he said.

Dr. Ronald Raymond Sebastian, president of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation Inc. (IPRFI), said the regatta could grow even bigger.

Yesterday’s Paraw Regatta started on the shores of Arevalo district. Sailboats negotiated the Iloilo Strait toward the Bundolan Point in Jordan, Guimaras then back again to Arevalo.

Twelve entries were from Boracay Island in, Malay, Aklan, according to Dr. Roberto Somosa, race director.

The rest were from the municipalities of Leganes and Oton in the province of Iloilo; from Arevelo district of Iloilo City and from Guimaras.
Fifteen paraws joined Category A (boat length of 15 feet); 14 in Category B (boat length of 6.1 feet); and 12 in Category C (boat length of 22 feet and longer).
Paraw Regatta is considered the oldest “traditional craft event” in Asia and the largest sailing event in the Philippines. It was established more than four decades ago primarily to preserve the paraw as a significant link to the earliest period of Ilonggo history.

The paraw is a small boat with two stabilizers and was widely used for travel and trade in the 1200s. Up to this day, it is still being used as a means of transport as well a source of livelihood.

The paraw is a strikingly fast boat, making 20 to 30 kph through the waves.  It was the prototype that inspired Westerners to develop the trimaran, the fastest sailboats now on the planet.

CATEGORY A WINNERS
* 1st (P45,000 prize) – LD owned by Wennie Demetillo Sr. of Leganes, Iloilo
* 2nd (P27,000) – KD owned by Kiven De Asis
* 3rd (P16,200) – RD owned by Rogelio Gareza
* 4th (P9,000) – Ninia and Issiah owned by Hector Espinosa
* 5th (P8,100) – Ave Divine owned bu Efren Aguirre
* 6th (P4,500) – Jen-Jen Owned by Cezar Espinosa
* 7th (P4,500) – Nes and Tats owned by Nestor Espinosa
* 8th (P4,500) – Kokoy Apo owned by Ariel Gad
* 9th (P4,500) – Aiya owned by Rogelio Gareza
* 10th (P3,600) – Wenwen owned by Winnie Salcedo

CATEGORY B WINNERS
* 1st (P67,500) – Jolina owned by Reuven Tajanlangit of Tigbauan, Iloilo
* 2nd (P45,000) – Kiss owned by Ricardo Gabales
* 3rd (P18,000) – Kristine and Kassie owned by Oscar Espinosa
* 4th (P13,500) – Justine owned by Danny Diomon
* 5th (P10,800) – Discover owned by Paul Rembirt
* 6th (P7,2000 – Cutty Shark owned by Sinel Mike
* 7th (P6,300) – Jonelyn2 owned by Nelson Guzman
* 8th (P5,400) – Apo Tats owned by Cezar Espinosa
* 9th (P4,500) – Jofman V3-2 owned by Nicanor Gad
* 10th (P4,500) – owned by Alehandro Elemento

CATEGORY C WINNERS
* 1st (P90,000) – Kim Aron owned by Efren Aguirre of Boracay Island
* 2nd (P67,500) – Goodshot Baby owned by Rona Casidsid
* 3rd (P45,000) – Happy Hour owned by Ronel Cahilig
* 4th (P13,500) – Ashley owned by Teddy Belejerdo
* 5th (P11,700) – Consejo owned by Hector Espinosa
* 6th (P9,000) – Marjhonec owned by Hector Espinosa
* 7th (P8,100) – Cheryl owned by Fedrico Tantiado Jr.
* 8th (P7,100) – Happy Camper owned by Jeffe Magno
* 9th (P6,300) – Kudah owned by Alex Ascno
* 10th (P6,300) – RC Lourence owned by Reman Balidiong/PN

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