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.