Paraw & Samba Regatta
The high sense of spirituality and dynamic inter-cultural values of the Ilonggos pave the way for celebrations of festivals and fiestas as a form of thanksgiving for almost everything the Divine Providence has lavishly endowed them. Aside from district fiestas which usually celebrate a patron saint’s day, there are festivals which are celebrated by the whole city and have attracted visitors from other places in the Philippines and foreign countries which underscore the Ilonggos’ passion for community gathering. The sunny but cool and windy February climate paves the way for the annual Paraw Regatta along Iloilo Strait. Colorful paraws (native sailboats) vie for trophies and cash prices for the different categories of the contest. The event gives tribute and honor to this water vehicle as an indispensible partner of local fisherfolks and as a common means of transportation between Iloilo and Guimaras and other nearby coastal towns in the early days. Paraw Regatta can never miss out on exciting side events which include the PINTAWO (body painting), PINTA PARAW (sailboat design) and the adrenaline pumping and excitement-filled SINAMBA SA REGATTA, a mardigras inspired beach dance competition. Samba de Regatta is a celebration of Ilonggo seafaring ingenuity! It is a celebration expressed in music and dance. The Samba de Regatta Music and Mardi Gras Competition is hoped to be slowly developed into another tourism spectacle of the city. Conceived to be a special event after the take-off of the competing “Paraws” to entertain the anxious spectators, it has gained the acceptance and enjoyment of the witnessing regatta crowd along the beach of Villa in Arevalo. Originally set against a beach backdrop, the gaiety in “samba” beat befitting of a beach ambience was sought to invade the city streets last year in an attempt to make “samba” a vehicle for city-wide awareness of the Paraw Regatta Festival. Various musical and artistic groups are...
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