Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Adventure, Fun and Experience for the 6th Biray Paraw Festival in Leganes

Nowadays, popularity of boat races has grown tremendously, not only where it originated but throughout the world.

In the Philippines, for many years, local boat races using paraws or a double-outrigger dug-out, proved that it had also invaded even in its most remote barangays. Such were races organized by government agencies, students, professionals, businessmen, and military personnel that actively participated in this type of race, drawing spectators from all walks of life.

Paraw racing recognizes two types of racing activities: sport race which is practiced by members of sailing organizations and follows formal rules, and the festival race which is the more informal type, a typical sprint event requirement only certain number of meters as standard race distance.

Paraws are popular recreational vehicle present in almost all coastal towns throughout the country. In Iloilo, it has achieved unprecedented heights of popularity with Ilonggos.

In June, the coastal town of Leganes takes pride of its paraws as it take centerstage with the annual celebration of Biray Paraw Festival. The celebration calls attention to Leganes’ active involvement in the tourism promotional programs of Iloilo. The activity is seen as an important vehicle in strengthening friendly ties between the people of Leganes and its neighboring municipalities. This tourism event made its debut in 2006.

With this year’s theme, “Torismo sang Kumonidad Sakdagun, Ekonomiya Pasanyugon,” the celebration will open on June 22 with a Ceremonial Launching at the Leganes Municipal Hall Lobby; June 23 with a Photo Exhibit at the Leganes Tourism Center; a Coastal Clean-Up Drive is scheduled on June 25; June 26 opens with the Festival Proper through an Opening Program that will kick-off at 9 a.m., the Palumba Paraw, On-the-Spot Painting Contest, Biray-Biray, Awarding Ceremony and the Binayle sa Hunasan starts at 10 am. Considered as this year’s center of sailing activity are the waters off Rianne’s Beach Resort in Barangay Camangay, Leganes, one of the town’s tourism destinations.

Aside from the paraw race, the event also offers everyone with the biray or sailing experience. There are two very distinct activities in sailing: one can indulge into thoughts, self-reflection, enjoying sunsets and sunrises, the nature, etc. The other activity is when one gets a hand on being responsible for all of the functions that need to be performed in order for the vessel to move properly.

Central Philippine University junior tourism student tries the biray
for Tumandok 2007-Leganes group
One of the most important and interesting things during the biray-biray is the understanding of winds by the people using the paraw and especially the one manipulating the sail. Interaction between the wind and the sails is the main speed gear of the boat; the wind is the fuel and engine of the sailing ships.

For a minimal fee, visitors can pay for a ride to experience biray-biray or sailing along the scenic coastal area of Leganes. Life vests are provided to all who wish to join in the fun and adventure.

Leganes is one of the 19 coastal towns of Iloilo Province. Composed of 18 barangays, the town has successfully combined modern living and rural ambiance. Though it is host to residential villages and a number of tourism-related establishments, Leganes has preserved its rustic appeal especially on its coastal barangays.

The town is also known for its SAAD Festival, the ancient tradition of Palapak, popular age-old crafts such as rattan furniture making, as well as their salt industry.

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