I love posts about festivals. It hurts me that I don’t have the guts and glory (i.e., money) to attend all festivals in the world. Perhaps I also lack the DIGITAL CAMERA.haha. But my love for festivities is only rivaled by my pure adoration for my city. There has never been this kind of feeling in my life towards an inanimate thing other than my love for Iloilo City.
You may have seen my posts about the Dinagyang Festival and Iloilo Chinese New Year Festival, which are parts of the festival routine in the annual first quarter. The next would be the Paraw Regatta Festival. Hearing the name, you will know that this is a regatta, a race of “paraws,” which is “a double outrigger sailboat found in the Philippines.”
I hope my posts that combine my love for festivals and my love for my city do you! 😉
It is hailed as one of Asia’s oldest and most colorful boat festivals since its conception in 1973. Still, it is distinct from its other relatives because of the diversity of activities it features like all other Ilonggo festivals. While its main showcase is the race of paraws from Villa Beach, Arevalo passing through the Iloilo Strait to the Island Province of Guimaras, it is also made up of several but not limited activities as follows: Pinta Layag, sail painting contest; Porma Balas, sand sculpting; Pintawo, body painting contest; Miss Paraw Regatta, a local beauty pageant; Sinamba sa Regatta (formerly Samba De Regatta), music & Mardi Gras contest; Luces by the Sea, a pyrotechnic exhibition; beach volleyball; and photo competition. This year, the foundation introduced a new event, the Iloilo National Jet Ski Competition, a Mayor’s Cup.
If only I have all the equipment to cover all these things, I would have offered you B-E-A-utiful eye candies. I have presented here a section devoted to “Sinamba sa Regatta.”
A Sinamba lead dancer
“Sinamba sa Regatta” is also considered to be a highlight of Paraw Regatta and is a major break from the decades of simple regattas of the city. The costumes, music, and theme are very similar to its inspiration, the Mardi Gras of South America. It is held every Thursday of the festival week and on the regatta proper. The prelims are held at the streets of City Proper from the Iloilo Provincial Capitol building up to the famed Iloilo Freedom Grandstand, which is where the performers do their thing. The final is held on Villa Beach together with the other activities.
The preliminaries are also a torch parade with sectors from the government and NGOs parade through the streets to either showcase their talents or just play along.
Here are the pictures! Enjoy!
The participants also come from schools all over the city. This one event makes me proud of the unity thing displayed by the people, the people of the City of Love of the Philippines. 😉