Posted by February 25, 2013on
And with the sound of an exploding firecracker, off they all went out to the sea for the 41st edition of the Paraw Regatta Festival in Iloilo.
Every year, scores of wind driven sailboats or locally known as paraw gather along the Villa Beach to compete in what is known to be the oldest Regatta in the entire Southeast Asia.
What makes this regatta even more attractive is that the sails were made by the local artists into a canvass and painted it based on the theme or concept of this year’s festival.
The festival started out simply as a racing event. Today it has grew by leaps and bounds with more activities added to the week-long event.
Aside from the boat racing, other events included in this year’s festival include: Body painting contest, Jet Ski competition, Deep Sea fishing contest, Beach Volleyball, Beauty Pageant, Intr school Cooking competition, and the Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta Mardi Gras Street Dancing Competition.
Aside from these, nightly concerts and concerts by celebrities from Metro Manila were also held to the delight of the locals as well as the tourists.
This year, I went back to the Iloilo upon the invitation of the organizers as well as the City Tourism Office to judge this year’s 9th Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta, as well as the 1st Paraw Regatta Inter School Cooking competition.
I arrived in Iloilo February 11th in the morning, just in time cooking competition. There were eight schools that participated, namely: John B. Lacson, Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, Western Visayas College of Science and Technology (ISAT), and Western Institute of Technology.
Each team is required to prepare two dishes. First dish will be cooked in the morning using any kind of seafood as its main ingredient, while the second dish will be prepared in the afternoon using the required ingredient: squid. I do not know how the organizers came up with squid as the mandatory ingredient during the afternoon cook-off.
And after much tasting, winners have to be declared. The team from Western Institute of Technology (WIT) went home winning the best dish both in the morning and the afternoon. and after wining these two cook offs, the team, coached by OJ Salazar III, was declared as the overall Champion of this year’s first ever Paraw Regatta Inter School Cooking Competition.
the team from Colegio del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus composed of John Paul Frias and Windzor Aldea finished as the Overall First Runner Up. They also ended up as first runner up in the morning and after noon competitions.
A day after the cooking competition, Febrary 12th, while the entire Brazil is on a high as it celebrates the annual Carnival or Mardi Gras, Iloilo city has its own version of Mardi Gras, called Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta.
Sinamba is a combination two Hiligaynon words Sinaut meaning dancing and Amba meaning Singing.
This is the third time that I sat down as a member of the board of judges. This year three schools joined the Mardi Gras competition namely, West visayas
State University, Iloilo City National high School, and John B Lacson.
Although there were only three groups that competed this year, the level of competition among the three is just so intense. The competition was held at the Freedom Grandstand and was witnessed by thousands of locals as well as tourists.
Then on February 17th, Sunday. at around 9:30 in the morning, the colorful sails of the paraws have been unfurled and off they all went to the sea in a race going to Guimaras and back to Villa Beach in Iloilo City.
Immediately after sailboats left, the Sinamba sa Paraw Regatta competition resumed. The performances they had last February 12th is 70% of the total score, while their dance performance at the Villa Beach will comprise 30% of the total score.
As usual, the event is very well attended. Lots of locals, tourists as well as photographers were present to witness the event or document the performances.
At the end of the day, a winner has to be declared. And after much deliberation, the dancers from John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation
University was declared as this year’s champion of the sinamba sa Paraw Regatta.
They also bagged the Best in Costume, Best in Production Design and Best in Choreography special Awards.
The Grupo del Oeste of PESCAR Department of theWest Visayas State University, finished first Runner up in this year’s competition.
Grupo Las Brillas of Iloilo City National high School won the Second runner up trophy as well as the Best in Music Special Award.
This year the organizers declared this this is one of the biggest celebration of Paraw Regatta ever, having the most number of activities and the most number of attendees.
To the Paraw Regatta Foundation, together with the Iloilo city and Provincial Government and the Department of tourismRegion 6, Congratulations for the successful holding of the 41st Paraw Regatta Festival. See you Next year!
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