Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival will sail under MECQ

The Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival will be experienced virtually tomorrow – May 30 while the Coronavirus pandemic continue to hover above Iloilo City.

Learn more about Iloilo Paraw Regatta | Largest in PH; oldest in Asia

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas announced that the Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta Digital will be shown starting 10:00 A.M. and it will be streamed in various platforms.

“The current pandemic may have shaken the world in ways nobody has ever imagined, but there is no stopping us as we sail through the challenges of the times. With our brand of resiliency as Ilonggos, we will all get through this,” declared Mayor Treñas in his May 25 Facebook message.

The Iloilo City Government together with Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. and the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation have run a series of online material including a teaser video above for the festival on its social media platform. 

Paraw Regatta Festival
Iloilo Paraw Regattta Festival, a 2019 photo by Wilfredo Lumagbas, Jr. as posted in the Facebook of Iloilo Paraw Regatta

Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival will sail under MECQ

This year’s Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta Festival will sail under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). 

The Inter-Agency Task Force in charge of managing the COVID-19 health crisis has approved the request of the Iloilo City Government to place the urban center under MECQ through Executive Order No. 045.

The new wave of virus infection across the metropolis prompted the city government to declare selected barangays under a surgical lockdown and it expressed a request to IATF to extend the MECQ to June 15.  

The Iloilo City Hall has been temporarily closed and operations suspended starting May 24 to have offices undergo thorough disinfection after employees were infected.

It likewise implemented mass swabbing of city hall employees and personnel for Covid-19.

Last Sunday, the city listed 51 cases. The number excluded the 2 confirmed cases of APOR (Authorized Person Outside of Residence) and the 3 confirmed cases of ROFW (Returning OFW). By May 26, cases has climbed up to 101 cases and it increased to 115 as of May 27.

The local government has made a public appeal for residents to cooperate and to strictly observe health protocols for number of cases are increasing each day this May.

In spite of the crisis, the Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta Festival will proceed for it has been organized with the pandemic and health protocols in mind.

People can remain at home and watch the popular paraw sail through their TV, laptop and mobile phones for it is organized similar to the successful digital Iloilo Dinagyang Festival last January.

Paraw Regatta
The Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta festival is a show of the Ilonggo sailing tradition. The photo is lifted from the Facebook timeline of the Iloilo Paraw Regatta.

Paraw Regatta highlights Iloilo’s rich seafaring sector

The Paraw Regatta does not only highlights Iloilo’s seafaring tradition yet its rich seafaring sector with Ilonggos among the top seafarers in the world.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) there are about 460,000 Filipino seafarers employed worldwide and there are many Ilonggos from the different provinces of Panay Island. 

Their job covers ranked officials, oilers, ordinary workers, mess workers, chief cooks, bosuns, third mate engineers, waiters and are scattered in different types of ships like passenger-type vessels, bulk carriers, container ships, tankers, oil or product tankers, general cargo ships, chemical tankers, tugboats, pure car carriers, and gas tankers. 

Iloilo also hosts one of the oldest maritime school in the Philippines – the John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University which was established in 1948 as Iloilo Maritime Academy.  

Hence, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta being the oldest sailing event in Asia served, not only as an entertainment, but as an education of seafaring and its impact in the nation’s history and economic development.

The Paraw inspired many of Iloilo’s iconic landmark 

The “paraw” or “parao” which means an outrigger boat propelled by sails, is a type of bangka with or without outriggers in the country. Its origin is traced back to Datu Puti, the leader who reached Panay in 1212 AD and traded with the Aeta  chieftain King Marikudo.

Its history and usefulness among Ilonggos who reside along the coastline served to inspire many of Iloilo’s iconic landmark today. 

Paraw Regatta
Paraw-inspired bridge of the Gaisano Group’s Iloilo City Center (ICC). Edited photo from the trivia card of Uswag Iloilo posted at 

The icons that immortalized the paraw and the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival can be found in one of Iloilo City’s famous spot – the Iloilo City Center of the Gaisano Group along the Sen. Benigno Aquino, Sr. Avenue. 

The Paraw Bridge was established to preserve the local seafaring culture and highlight the seafaring tradition of the Ilonggos.

The Paraw at ICON
The Paraw-inspired design of the Iloilo Convention Center. The postcard photo is from

Another Paraw-inspired landmark is the Iloilo Convention Center or ICON, located at the Iloilo Business Park of the Megaworld Group in Mandurriao district. 

The Paraw sail-inspired convention center is a design by Ilonggo architect William Coscolluela which also highlights the significance of Paraw in the life of Iloilo. 

Paraw Regatta 2021
Iloilo Paraw Regatta 2021

The Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta streaming

This year’s Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival can be viewed through Sky Cable TV Channel an in various online various platforms. 

In Facebook, you can watch it through the following:  

  • Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc.
  • Jerry Treñas
  • Iloilo Dinagyang
  • Iloilo City Government
  • Iloilo Paraw Regatta

In Youtube, it will also be available in these accounts: 

  • Iloilo Festivals
  • Jerry Treñas

The Digital Paraw Regatta Festival was video shoot ahead of the declaration of MECQ for May 30 airing. 

According to the Iloilo City Government and the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc., the Digital Iloilo-Guimaras Paraw Regatta Festival is another event that Ilonggos can be proud of and it is a manifestation of Ilonggos’ strong commitment to continue celebrating its rich cultures and traditions despite being confronted with the challenges of the global pandemic.

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