The Iloilo Paraw (sailboat) Regatta, instituted in 1973 is a race among native outriggers in the strait between Guimaras Island and Iloilo City. Called "paraw" in the local dialect, these native outriggers faithfully copy in materials and design sailboats which carried to Panay, in 1212 A.D. the first settlers from Borneo who were in search for a peaceful home. the sailboats have survived the centuries and become a vital part of the Ilonggo seafaring life.
The first Iloilo Paraw Regatta was organized by the Iloilo Department of Tourism. The City of Iloilo, the municipalities of Oton, Jordan, Buenavista, Philippine Coast Guard, Negros Navigation, the late Atoniode Oteyza, Iloilo Boat Club, Panay Amateur Radio Club, the Iloilo Jaycees, Anhawan Beach resort and a host of others, readily welcomed the project and lent a helping hand. Since then, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta has grown both in size and renown. The race has become more exciting, colorful and inevitably a challenge to manage. This year, the Iloilo Paraw Regataa is among the main highlights of Island Philippines, a promotional program of the Department of Tourism.
The primary objective of the regatta is to help develop the local tourism industry and preserve the paraw as a legacy from the earliest period of Ilonggo history. In these times of energy crisis, the paraw becomes more relevant since it does not need fuel and is practically polution-free. The race also aims at the development of the spirit of sportsmanship.
The regatta has undergone dramatic transformation. From its humble beginnings, the race has become a festival of sort. Every year, hundreds of thousands line the beaches of the 36.5 km. Race route from Tatoy's Manokan to Fort San Pedro, to Sto. Rosario in Buenavista to Putting Balas in Jordan to Marabuan Jordan and back to Tatoy's Manokan for the finish line.
The San Miguel Beer 29th Iloilo -Guimaras Paraw Regatta is co-hosted, by the Province of Guimaras and sponsored by the City of Iloilo and the Province of Iloilo in cooperation with the Department of Tourism Region VI.
Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw regatta bits and pieces
By Helen J. Camarista
The Iloilo Paraw Regatta was instituted in 1973.
The Paraw (double outrigger) is believed to be a faithful copy in materials and designs of sailboats which carried to Panay in 1212 A.D. the first settlers from Borneo who were in search of a peaceful home.
The Paraw is fitted with outriggers which are mainly used as balancers against the tilting effect of the craft on cross currents and waves.
During World War II, Paraw-borne guerrillas of Panay, Negros and Guimaras kept the enemy offshore and harmless.
The first Iloilo Paraw Regatta was organized by the Department of Tourism-Iloilo Field Office, City of Iloilo, municipalities of Oton, Iloilo and Jordan and Buenavista, Guimaras. They were supported by the Philippine Coast Guard, negros Navigation, the late Antonio de Oteyza, Iloilo Boat Club, Panay Amateur Radio Club, Iloilo Jaycees, Anhawan Beach Resort and a host of others.
The primary objectives of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta were to help develop the local tourism industry, highlight the need for energy conservation and preserve the paraw as a legacy from the earliest period of Ilonggo history.
The Iloilo Paraw Regatta was renamed Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta in 1993, one year after Guimaras subprovince became a full-fledge province.
80% to 85% of the Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta entries come from th Province of Guimaras.
The early stagings of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta had its starting line at Brgy. Calaparan, Arevalo, Iloilo City and the finish line at Anhawan Beach Resort, Oton, Iloilo.
There was only one category of Paraw racers during the period 1973-1975.
Category "B" (for medium-sized Paraw entries) was added in 1976 while Category "C" (for large Paraw entries) came into being in 1982.
The entries of Colmenares family of Hinigaran (Negros Occ.)., Talisay (Ceby) and Jordan (Guimaras) became champions twenty-one (21) times in the combined categories of the regatta from 1973 to 2000.
The Paraw entry of Orlando Demetillo of Leganes, Iloilo became the champion six (6) times in category "A" from 1973 to 2000.
The entries of Gomez family of Nueva Valencia, Guimaras won in category "B" six (6) times from 1976 to 2000 while Colmenares family won five (5) times in the same category during the same period.
The entries of Colmenares family won the Category "C" of the regatta thirteen (13) times from 1982 to 2000.
The Municipality of Hinigaran, Negros Occidental contributed thirteen (13) champions in the combined categories from 1973 to 2000 while the Municipality of Jordan, twelve (12) and Municipality of Nueva Valencia both in Guimaras, nine (9) for the same period. The Municipality of Leganes, Iloilo produced ten (1) champions.
The Iloilo Paraw Regatta as a tourism promotion project was devolved by the Department of Tourism Region VI to the Province of Iloilo in 1992 in pursuance to pertinent provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991.
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